NIH Director Francis Collins Gives Keynote at NACFC

October 15, 2009

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health, distinguished geneticist who led the international effort to map the human genome and co-discoverer of the gene responsible for CF, opened up the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference today with a keynote address at the conference’s first plenary session.

Collins inspired the international group of CF professionals, offering reflections on his journey to identify the CF gene and his vision of how a new program at NIH will speed the development of new drugs for rare and neglected diseases, including cystic fibrosis. He also entertained the group by singing a song as he strummed his guitar at the end of his talk.

“The CF science and research developments we have collectively achieved over the years have been phenomenal. There is no doubt that we have significantly improved the health and quality of life for CF patients and advanced the search for a cure,” said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation, in his opening remarks. “Over the next few days, our discussions will surely extend the exciting roadmap of progress for which CF is known worldwide.”