Francis Collins to step down as NIH Director

CNN has the lead here. I can’t say I’m surprised. Francis has done a great job leading the Agency, but he’s been there a very long time. It’s early in the handicapping for who President Biden will nominate to succeeed him, but it’s a good bet the Lander and Faucci will have a big say. What is important is that NIH figure out a distinct mission for its intramural program–I would suggest focusing on high risk, high payoff science. I also think that a new NIH director should do something to reform the creaky NIH peer-review culture (Study Sections).