Newswise — Rockville, Md. (October 5, 2021)—Today, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, announced his plans to step down by the end of the year. The American Physiological Society (APS) thanks Collins for his 12 years of service to the scientific community in this role.

NIH is a vital source of funding for research and training, and the agency’s policies shape the scientific workforce and influence the day-to-day work done in labs across the country. During Collins’ tenure, NIH developed initiatives to address major challenges facing the scientific community including sexual harassment; a lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the research workforce; and the eroding support for the use of animal models. He navigated these challenges with a focus on the needs of the research community and in collaboration with stakeholders. Under Collins’ leadership, the NIH budget grew from $30 billion to $41.3 billion, allowing the agency to tackle pressing scientific questions in new and innovative ways.

“As a champion for science, Dr. Collins’ work will have a lasting legacy on the agency and the biomedical research community,” said APS Chief Science Officer Dennis Brown, PhD, FAPS. “We applaud his tireless work on behalf of the scientific community and his efforts to advance research in the U.S. and around the world.”

Physiology is a broad area of scientific inquiry that focuses on how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. The American Physiological Society connects a global, multidisciplinary community of more than 10,000 biomedical scientists and educators as part of its mission to advance scientific discovery, understand life and improve health. The Society drives collaboration and spotlights scientific discoveries through its 16 scholarly journals and programming that support researchers and educators in their work.