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Director’s Album

Accepting the COVID-19 Vaccine

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Francis Collins Vaccination
I was thrilled to roll up my sleeve and get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine today at the NIH Clinical Center. As NIH Director, I’ve followed closely the development of these first vaccines, and I know they have been rigorously tested and found to be safe and effective. I encourage everyone to accept the vaccines when offered to you. It’s our best chance to turn the tide on the pandemic. Also receiving the vaccine today were Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Anthony Fauci, Director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Colleen McGowan, Director of NIH’s Office of Research Services; and six frontline healthcare workers at the NIH Clinical Center. Credit: NIH

A Song for the Holidays

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Here’s a song that I dedicated to NIH staff for the Thanksgiving holiday, adding a new verse about the COVID-19 pandemic. But the song’s message is appropriate any time of the year. So, I’m sharing it here on my blog to wish everyone a joyous holiday season.


Ceremonial Nobel Presentation

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Ceremonial Nobel Presentation for Harvey Alter
It’s been such a strange year this 2020. For the first time since World War II, the 2020 Nobel Laureates didn’t receive their Nobel prizes at special presentations in Stockholm and Oslo on December 10. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the December 10 award presentations were held ceremonially at a number of small virtual gatherings around the world. At NIH, we streamed a ceremonial presentation in the Natcher Building for our own Harvey Alter, a senior scholar in the NIH Clinical Center’s Transfusion Medicine Department. Dr. Alter is a co-recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his contributions in discovering the hepatitis C virus. He shares the prize with Michael Houghton, University of Alberta, Calgary; and Charles Rice, Rockefeller University, New York. Presenting the Nobel Prize medal to Dr. Alter on behalf of the King of Sweden was Swedish Ambassador to the United States, Karin Olofsdotter. In this photo, Dr. Alter (center) displays his Nobel medal, flanked by Ambassador Olafsdotter (left) and me (right). Credit: NIH

New Director for NEI

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Michael Chiang Swearing In
At a virtual ceremony on Nov. 16, 2020, Michael F. Chiang was sworn in as the new director of the National Eye Institute (NEI). We are excited to welcome Michael to our NIH leadership.


Discussing COVID-19 at the Washington National Cathedral

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On November 12, I took my 3D model of SARS-CoV-2 along with me to the annual Ignatius Forum at the Washington National Cathedral. Following a presentation on the COVID-19 pandemic by NIH’s Anthony Fauci, I participated in a panel discussion with infectious disease expert Luciana Borio (center). New Hampshire Superior Court Judge Amy L. Ignatius (right) moderated the video-recorded discussion. Credit: Washington National Cathedral


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