How To Lead A Team To Greatness, From The Man Who Sequenced The Human Genome

Mark Micheli | Nextgov | June 5, 2013

From sequencing the human genome to running the largest biomedical research agency in the world, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, has a record of harnessing complex public institutions to get things done.

In his five years as NIH Director, much of Collins’ agenda has centered on advancing the technology powering lifesaving medical advances. From creating the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a new institute dedicated to getting innovative treatments from the lab into the doctor’s office, to leading the BRAIN Initiative, an ambitious $100 million project announced by President Obama to develop new technologies capable of mapping the human brain, Collins rarely lets bureaucracy and red tape stand in the way of delivering on the NIH’s mission—to fight disease and prolong human life.

“Many people really thought we were moving too fast,” Collins said, reflecting on the many hurdles he had to overcome to create NCATS. “I take that as a badge of courage. If you’re in the government and somebody says you’re moving too fast, maybe that’s not a bad thing.”