NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M. D., Ph. D., has revealed that he has been asked to stay in his position by Chief executive Donald Trump.
Dr . Collins becomes the very first NIH director in a generation to serve under 2 U. S. presidents, having been appointed in 2009 by Trump’ s predecessor, Barack Obama.
“ Privileged to be selected by @POTUS to continue as #NIH Movie director. I consider it a privilege to continue to lead this particular noble enterprise, ” Dr . Collins tweeted at six: 07 p. m. ET yesterday.
Within a memo to NIH staffers, Dr . Collins elaborated: “ I am truly grateful for the president’ s vote associated with confidence, and I will be honored to continue to serve this particular noble institution.
“ This is a time of unparalleled scientific opportunity in biomedical research, as we seek collectively to advance health and relieve suffering, ” Dr . Collins carried on. “ It will be my distinct pleasure to continue working with a person, my valued colleagues at NIH— as well as with our alternatives at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Whitened House, the Congress, and the broader community, including colleges, philanthropy industry, and patient groups. There is much function to do! ”
A key part of that work is going to be preserving NIH’ s budget from cuts proposed from the Trump administration. Last month the president proposed the spending plan for the 2018 federal fiscal year, which usually starts October 1, that would reduce NIH program-level investing to $26. 92 billion from $32. 593 billion dollars in the current federal fiscal year, down $5. 673 billion dollars or 17. 4%.
Under that suggested budget, the largest cut in dollars at NIH will be made at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), whose spending budget would shrink $1. 031 billion, or 18. 7%, to $4. 474 billion.
However , Trump on May 1 enacted a budget for FY 2017 that increased NIH funding $2 billion or 6%, after Congressional leaders from both parties balked at the president’ s initial proposal to slice agency funding simply by $1. 232 billion. Funding for the NIH and biomedical research spending more broadly have been among the few focal points to enjoy bipartisan Congressional support in recent years.
Within retaining Dr . Collins, Trump rejected a request simply by some 40 members of Congress led by Representative. Jim Banks (R-IN) to replace the NIH director “ with a director who is more aligned with the President’ ersus pro-life agenda. ”
“ Dr . Collins’ unhealthy pursuit of embryonic stem cell research, along with his feedback that cloned embryos do not deserve the same moral defenses as ‘ naturally generated embryos, ’ make your pet a less than an ideal fit for this life-affirming administration, ” Banks and colleagues wrote.
Dr . Collins’ retention was welcomed, however , by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the U. S. Senate Committee upon Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: “ Francis Collins continuing to head NIH is ‘ good news for your country, ’ one of POTUS ‘ best appointments, ’ ” he tweeted yesterday at 6: 28 g. m.