Plenary Speakers

Opening Address

Francis Collins
Former director, National Institutes of Health, USA

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes, and his visionary leadership of the Human Genome Project (HGP), is the former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Dr. Collins, served as NHGRI’s director since April 1993. Beside leading the Human Genome Project to completion, he initiated a wide range of research projects that built upon the foundation laid by the sequencing of the human genetic blueprint.

In addition to his long list of contributions to basic genetic research and scientific leadership, Collins is known for his close attention to ethical and legal issues in genetics. He is a strong advocate for protecting the privacy of genetic information and has served as a national leader in efforts to prohibit gene-based insurance discrimination. Building on his own experiences as a physician volunteer in a rural missionary hospital in Nigeria, Collins is also very interested in opening avenues for genome research to benefit the health of people living in developing nations.

Collins’ accomplishments have been recognized by numerous awards and honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.

Invited Plenary Speakers