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Director’s Album

Singing “If Not Now”

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What a thrill it was to perform the song, “If Not Now,” with my daughter Margaret Collins. We sang the duet at the conclusion of the Women in Nephrology’s annual Nancy Gary Memorial Luncheon Lecture. Margaret, a nephrologist, and I delivered this year’s lecture titled “Two Generations of Perspective on Women in Medicine.” This song’s message seemed so very appropriate to leave with these leaders and mentors in nephrology. We delivered the lecture on November 9. 2019 at the Walter Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C., and I share the video to encourage others to take the words of this song “to the next level.” Credit: Diane Baker


Charting Research Careers in Global Health

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That’s me at the 67th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). I took part in a townhall-style conversation with ASTMH President Chandy John (far middle, blue shirt). We discussed global health and NIH’s efforts to build career opportunities for trainees abroad. Afterwards, folks in the audience gathered with follow-up questions and to ask for selfies with me, which is always fun. The session was held on November 22, 2019 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, Washington, D.C. Credit: Karen Goraleski.

First NIH-CIHR Symposium

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Cross-Border Symposium
On November 22, 2019, I participated in a joint symposium involving NIH and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Held at NIH’s Lawton Chiles International House, this gathering of senior NIH and CIHR leadership marked the first symposium between these analogous governmental organizations. Topics included: cross-border training, international collaboration, global health, artificial intelligence, and implementation science. In this photo showing some of the meeting attendees, I’m standing next to CIHR president Michael Strong. The day-long symposium was co-hosted by NIH’s Fogarty International Center and CIHR. Credit: NIH

Singing “Dare to Dream”

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It was an honor to speak at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference in Nashville on November 1, 2019. It has been 30 years now since I was a part of the team that discovered the CFTR gene, which, when altered, causes cystic fibrosis (CF). Our challenging hunt for CFTR was energized by the promise that a genetic understanding of this terrible disease would one day lead to life-extending molecularly targeted treatments. I later wrote a song for everyone touched by this disease called, “Dare to Dream,” to capture the historic opportunity before us. Today, I concluded my remarks by singing this slightly updated version of the song to celebrate with everyone in the audience that life-sustaining molecularly targeted treatments are now available for 90 percent of people with CF. What a wonderful moment it was, and I’d like to share it with everyone who would like To Dare to Dream until the story of CF is history! Credit: CF Foundation

2019 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting

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Global Challenges
Greetings from Africa. I am participating in the 2019 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting at the United Nations Conference Centre, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Grand Challenges is a family of global initiatives supported by various funders around the world to address critical problems of health and development. Here, I took part in a panel discussion on October 28 during the meeting’s opening plenary session. The panel included (from left to right) Haitham El-noush, senior adviser, Innovation in Health and Development, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Oslo; Matshidiso Moeti, director, World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo; Felix Dakora, president, African Academy of Sciences (AAS), Nairobi, Kenya; Francis Collins; Jennifer Blanke, vice president, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, African Development Bank Group, Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and Tom Kariuki, AAS’s director of programs. Among the topics raised during this stimulating conversation were the need for cooperation among the world’s scientific and political leaders and current efforts to prioritize African initiatives that will most immediately benefit human health. Credit: AAS

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