The Golden Era of Biomedical Research
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the final sequencing of the human genome, a global effort led by Francis Collins that put him on the map as one of our generation's most innovative scientists and someone who jump-started a revolution in how we understand the building blocks of life and disease. Despite sequestration and the government shutdown, Collins, now director of the National Institutes of Health, says the future is bright and that the best years of scientific research are ahead. "This is the golden era for biomedical research," said Collins. "You could ask and answer questions about how life works and how disease occurs that you could dare not even ask a few years ago because it would seem too outrageous to imagine that we could get such answers. Whether it's in figuring out what to do about cancer, developing a universal vaccine for influenza, or coming up with the strategies to teach us what to do to prevent and cure Alzheimer's disease, we're on the brink of all those things."