The Doctor Is In

Mark Mitchell | Government Executive | July 1, 2013

I’m a little underslept today,” Dr. Francis Collins laughs, sitting in his office in the historic Building 1 of the National Institutes of Health’s sprawling campus in Bethesda, Md., where he presides as the dean of the nation’s health. 

They say Collins is indefatigable. He has accomplished so much in his career—from sequencing the human genome to running the largest biomedical research agency in the world—he must not need much sleep.

But on this sunny April afternoon Collins looks as if he could use a nap. Not because of the weightiness of NIH’s mission to prevent disease and prolong human life, but because the previous night he stayed up late to appear on Comedy Central’s talk show The Colbert Report to discuss the BRAIN Initiative, NIH’s audacious project to map the human brain.