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Director’s Album – Photos

Welcoming President Biden

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On December 2, President Joe Biden visited NIH for a briefing on the importance of vaccines and booster shots. They remain vital this holiday season to slowing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the cause of COVID-19, and saving lives. It was my honor to greet the President, though with a careful fist bump, and I got to speak with him briefly before he delivered his remarks about the White House’s strategy for fighting COVID-19 this winter. Credit: NIH

A Special Thanksgiving Day Concert

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What an inspiring afternoon I spent at the NIH Clinical Center. Caesar Sant, a 13-year-old violinist and child prodigy whose family now lives in the Memphis area, gave a special Thanksgiving Day concert. I got to accompany on guitar, but the moment belonged to his amazing talent. Caesar was born in August 2008 with sickle cell disease. As a participant in an NIH clinical trial, Caesar recently received a bone marrow transplant in hopes of curing his disease. So far so good.

Time for My Booster Shot

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Dr. Francis Collins getting vaccinated
I got my booster shot last week. The process was extremely quick and easy, and I felt great afterwards. I received my first dose of the Moderna vaccine in December 2020 and the second dose in January 2021. So, it was definitely time for me to get my Moderna booster. If you haven’t already, please consider getting a COVID-19 booster shot to protect your health entering the winter holiday season. Credit: NIH

NIH Welcomes HHS Leaders to Campus

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On November 4, NIH was visited by U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and HHS Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm. It was my pleasure to join in welcoming them to our Bethesda, MD campus and sharing some of the exciting research conducted here. In this photo, Secretary Becerra (front left) and Deputy Secretary Palm (standing beside him) visit a lab in NIH’s Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center (VRC) for a briefing on coronavirus vaccine development. Speaking to everyone is Nancy Sullivan (front right), VRC senior investigator. In front of me, joining in the briefing are (from left to right): Tony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID); John Mascola, VRC Director; and Richard A. Koup, VRC Deputy Director. Credit: NIH

NIH Efforts Recognized at 2021 Sammies

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Eliseo Pérez-Stable and Gary Gibbons hold awards. Francis Collins stands next to them.
It was a banner year for NIH at the 2021 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals celebration, also known as “the Sammies,” which honors “feds” who make significant contributions to the health and well-being of Americans. NIH’s Gary Gibbons and Eliseo Pérez-Stable brought home the 2021 COVID Response Award from this year’s gala held at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. Gibbons, director of NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and Pérez-Stable, director of NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health, were honored for addressing the higher COVID-19 rates in the nation’s underserved communities. The two worked tirelessly to develop and implement federal programs for the nation’s underserved communities that increased testing and participation in COVID-19 treatment and vaccine trials.

I had the privilege of presenting Gary and Eliseo for their awards. After exiting the Kennedy Center stage, I paused backstage for this photo showing Eliseo (left) and Gary (middle).

There was even more good news for NIH at the October 29 Sammies event. The 2021 Federal Employee of the Year Award went to Barney Graham, deputy director of NIH’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC), and Kizzmekia Corbett, formerly with the VRC and now at Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston. They received this honor for leading the groundbreaking research that led to an mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. The vaccine was developed in record time and has protected hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Congratulations one and all! Credit: Joshua Roberts for the Partnership for Public Service/Kennedy Center.

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