WASHINGTON, DC — In his current role as President Biden’s acting scientific advisor, Francis Collins, MD, PhD, is dealing with a wide range of issues from semiconductor shortages to wildfires. “But my heart is in what you are all doing here at this meeting,” he told a packed house at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) annual conference, which is being held in Washington, DC, this week.
Collins made a quick trip across town from the White House to accept the ASGCT’s inaugural Founder’s Award. He was praised by society president Beverly Davidson, PhD, not only for his service as NIH director (stepping down at the end of 2021) but also for his stewardship of the Human Genome Project (HGP), without which many gene therapy programs would be years behind their current schedule. He is currently the acting White House chief science advisor following the resignation earlier this year of Eric Lander, PhD.
Collins began by paying tribute to the 2,400 scientists in six countries who made the initial draft of the human genome sequence possible in... see more