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President Wilson to serve on advisory committee to NIH director

July 7, 2016


Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson has accepted an offer to serve on the Advisory Committee to the Director for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The director, Francis Collins, “oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research,” according to the NIH website.

According to its charter, the Advisory Committee to the Director provides recommendations to the NIH concerning program development, resource allocation, NIH administrative regulation and policy, and other NIH policy. It also reviews and makes recommendations on applications for grants and cooperative agreements for research and training projects that show promise of making valuable contributions to human knowledge.

In addition to advising Collins, the committee will consult with and make recommendations to the secretary of health and human services and the assistant secretary for health.

“This is both an honor and a responsibility that I take very seriously,” said Wilson. “Thanks in large part to NIH-funded research, people are living healthier and longer lives than ever before, but there is still plenty of work to be done.”   

The committee’s 13 members include some of the nation’s foremost experts from both the academic and private research community. Wilson is the only current university president on the committee. Mary Sue Coleman, former president of the University of Michigan, is also a member.  

As a non-federal member of the committee, Wilson will serve as a special government employee. Meetings of the full committee are open to the public and will be held approximately three times within a fiscal year.

Prior to joining Wayne State, Wilson served as deputy director for strategic scientific planning and program coordination at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the NIH.

Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH from 1993-2008.

Before going to the NIH, Collins was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan.