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Collins Honored for Genome Mapping

By Eddy Ball
April 2010

Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Collins' refusal of the half-million dollar prize money is a high-profile testament to his commitment to the highest standards of ethics at NIH. (Photo courtesy of NIH)

NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.( Exit NIEHS, is enjoying the honor - but not the cash - for winning a 2010 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. In its March 10 announcement, Albany Medical College named this year's winners, which include David Botstein, Ph.D., of Princeton University, and Eric Steven Lander, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School, in addition to Collins, who was honored for his leading role in mapping the human genome.

Awarded annually, the $500,000 prize( Exit NIEHS is the largest prize in medicine in the United States and is bestowed on any physician or scientist, or group, whose work has led to significant advances in the fields of health care and scientific research with demonstrated translational benefits applied to improved patient care, according to the Albany Medical College Web site. A message from the NIH Office of the Director explained that Collins declined his portion of the $500,000 prize in order to comply with government ethics rules.

In addition to his most recent honor, Collins is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. In a White House ceremony on Oct. 7, 2009, Collins received the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed on scientists by the United States government.

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