President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, a physician-geneticist who headed the Human Genome Project, as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Collins, noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes, served as Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1993-2008. In addition to his seminal work on the Human Genome Project, Dr. Collins’ own research laboratory has discovered a number of important genes, including those responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington’s disease, a familial endocrine cancer syndrome, and most recently, genes for adult-onset (type 2) diabetes and the gene that causes Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome.

Dr. Collins received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Virginia, a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Yale University and a MD with Honors from the University of North Carolina. Prior to the NIH, he spent nine years on the faculty of the University of Michigan.