ASCO Congratulates Dr. Francis Collins on Successful Tenure as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Statement By Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO Board Chair of the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
October 5, 2021

“The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) congratulates Dr. Francis Collins on his long and impactful tenure as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"Over the past 12 years, Dr. Collins has worked tirelessly to ensure that the United States remains at the forefront of biomedical innovation by spearheading new initiatives to modernize and improve biomedical research. Dr. Collins has been pivotal in the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act, which gave the NIH new funding and authority to support vital cancer research, including through the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot. Under his careful guidance, these initiatives have helped to fuel innovation and speed new treatments to reduce cancer incidence and improve patient outcomes. Through his leadership, the All of Us initiative – which builds on his career of research into the human genome – promises to further revolutionize the way we diagnose and treat cancer so that our treatments are better targeted and more effective.

"His passion for science and public service led to new policies and reforms aimed at encouraging and supporting early-career researchers and building a stronger, more robust scientific workforce ready to help tackle the research questions of tomorrow. We also commend his efforts to increase workforce diversity and to increase equity in the way biomedical research is funded. We are hopeful that these efforts will continue long after Dr. Collins steps down from his leadership role at the NIH.

"We are extraordinarily grateful for Dr. Collins’ steadfast leadership and wish him well as he returns to the National Human Genome Research Institute. We look forward to close collaboration with the incoming leader of the NIH as we pursue our shared goal of advancing federally supported basic and translational research and publicly funded cancer clinical trials.”