The Golden Era of Biomedical Research

Despite sequestration and the government shutdown, Francis Collins, director of the NIH, says the future is bright and that the best years of scientific research are ahead.

Lab technician Zubeda Nuri works in the DNA sequencing laboratory 31 May, 2000 at Celera's headquarters in Rockville, MD. Celera is involved in human genome mapping and expects to announce a rough draft sequence of the human genome in June of 2000.
National Journal
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Mark Michel
Nov. 22, 2013, 10:40 a.m.

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.”


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