Washington, Oct 6 (IANS) Francis S. Collins has announced his decision to end his tenure as the director of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) by the end of the year.
"It has been an incredible privilege to lead this great agency for more than a decade," said Collins in a statement.
"I love this agency and its people so deeply that the decision to step down was a difficult one," Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
"I fundamentally believe, however, that no single person should serve in the position too long, and that it's time to bring in a new scientist to lead the NIH into the future," Collins said.
A physician-geneticist, Collins took office as the 16th NIH director on Aug. 17, 2009, after being appointed by then President Barack Obama and confirmed by the US Senate.
In 2017, he was asked to continue in his role by then President Donald Trump, and in 2021, by President Joe Biden.
NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 institutes and centres and is a component of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases.
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