Dr. Francis Collins
On Saturday, April 24th, Dr. Francis Collins, the current head of the National Institutes of Health, gave a lecture at Northwestern. The event was co-sponsored by the University of Illinois-Chicago and the University of Chicago and brought out many graduate students, post-docs and senior researchers from each of the institutions. Dr. Collins' talk focused on his proposed "5 themes" for the future goals of NIH: developing more high-throughput science so we can know the "alls" of science (ie. "all" the proteins involved in a biological pathway), increasing the amount of translational research funded by the NIH, improving healthcare, addressing global health disparities, and reinvigorating the biomedical community (with a special interest on improved K-12 education). On the last theme, Dr. Collins pointed out work being done by the Institute for Women's Health Research and the Illinois Women's Health Registry to educate women outside the field of science, to stimulate the interests of young girls in science and medicine, and to fund new researchers in the field. As we continue to strive to meet those goals, we want to thank Dr. Collins for the recognition, and for such an invigorating talk!