Test of FAITH
Resources for Churches from The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion

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Dr Francis Collins

Dr Francis Collins was the director of the Human Genome Project (the international initiative to decode the DNA instruction manual that’s inside each of our cells) in the USA from 2003 until 2008. His PhD was in quantum mechanics (the physics of atoms and subatomic particles), but he later qualified as a medical doctor and went into research on genetic diseases. His research has led to the identification of the genes that are affected in cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington’s disease and diabetes. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and has received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science.

After nomination by President Obama and unanimous confirmation by the Senate, Dr. Collins became the 16th Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health on August 17, 2009.  His contributions to "Test of Faith" are based on interviews conducted prior to that date.

Francis grew up on a farm in Virginia among a creative and theatrical family and was on the stage at the age of four. He was taught at home until he was ten and then discovered science through a charismatic chemistry teacher at high school. He became a Christian during his medical studies. His book "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief" (Free Press, 2006) was a New York Times bestseller. He is married to Diane Baker, a leader in the genetic counseling community, and has two daughters and five grandchildren.