50 Most Influential Clinical Executives
National Institutes of Health
Dr. Francis Collins, 65, has built a career dedicated to human genetics. He discovered the genes responsible for a variety of diseases including cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington's disease and Type 2 diabetes. He was appointed director of the National Institutes of Health in 2009, leading the world's largest medical research enterprise. Before taking the top position at NIH, Collins was director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. During his tenure, he led the Human Genome Project, overseeing the effort that successfully sequenced human DNA, completed in 2003. For that work, Collins was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. Along with his feats in genetics, Collins has publicly discussed his faith and its relation to science, publishing The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief in 2006.