WASHINGTON, July 8 (UPI) -- The leader of the Human Genome Project is U.S. President Barack Obama's choice to be the National Institutes of Health director, the White House said.
In announcing his intent to nominate Francis S. Collins to the post, Obama said his administration was committed to promoting scientific integrity and pioneering research, the White House said in a news release.
"The National Institutes of Health stands as a model when it comes to science and research," Obama said. "Dr. Collins is one of the top scientists in the world, and his groundbreaking work has changed the very ways we consider our health and examine disease."
Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes.
In addition to his leadership of the Human Genome Project, Collins was director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health from 1993-2008. The genome project culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of human DNA.
Collins also discovered a number of important genes, including those responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington's disease, a familial endocrine cancer syndrome and genes for adult onset diabetes and the gene that causes Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, the White House said.
He was elected to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007.