Francis Sellers Collins (born April 14, 1950) is an American physician–geneticist who discovered the genes associated with a number of diseases and led the Human Genome Project. He is director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, United States.
Before being appointed director of the NIH, Collins led the Human Genome Project and other genomics research initiatives as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the 27 institutes and centers at NIH. Before joining NHGRI, he earned a reputation as a gene hunter at the University of Michigan. He has been elected to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science.
Collins also has written a number of books on science, medicine, and religion, including the New York Times bestseller, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. After leaving the directorship of NHGRI and before becoming director of the NIH, he founded and served as president of The BioLogos Foundation, which promotes discourse on the relationship between science and religion and advocates the perspective that belief in Christianity can be reconciled with acceptance of evolution and science, especially through the advancement of evolutionary creation. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Collins to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.