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Past Stories

Around the Campfire at Camp Fantastic

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Dr. Francis Collins sings for children around a campfire at Camp Fantastic

I always have such a wonderful time each August visiting Camp Fantastic in Front Royal, VA. This year, I got to sing a few songs around the campfire with my wife Diane Baker and granddaughters Bailey and Norah. Camp Fantastic provides a unique, week-long camping experience for about 100 children with cancer. We were there on August 14, 2018. Credit: Chia Chi Chang


From Juggling to Biomechanics

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For any aspiring juggler, the path to greatness requires mastering the dreaded “five-club backcross.” It’s a move that begins by juggling five clubs in front of your body and transitions to doing the same thing behind your back! Dr. Noah Cowan has nailed it once, and vows to do it again one day.

But this NIH-funded neuroscientist and bioengineer, who directs the Locomotion in Mechanical and Biological Systems (LIMBS) Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering in Baltimore, doesn’t have much time to practice his juggling these days. Instead, he is focusing on ways to use virtual juggling, such as the ball-and-paddle system shown in the video above, to explore the biomechanics of motion. His ultimate goal?  To apply what he’s learned to advance the fields of robotics, prosthetics development, and physical therapy.


2018 Collins Scholars

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Francis Collins poses with awardees at Francis Collins Scholars Scientific Symposium

Here are the 2018 Collins Scholars: Ina Ly (left), Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; and Shruti Garg, (right), Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, United Kingdom. These young physician-scientists will receive three years of support and training through the Francis S. Collins Scholars Program in Neurofibromatosis Clinical and Translational Research. The program, now in its fifth year, is helping to create a community of outstanding clinician-scientists with expertise in research and clinical care for neurofibromatosis type I. The photo was taken at the Francis Collins Scholars Orientation Day, held at Rock Creek Mansion in Bethesda, MD on August 3, 2018. Credit: Lizzy Lees Photos


A Group Photo with HiSTEP Students

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Francis Collins and HiSTEP students

These terrific students are part of the NIH High School Scientific Training and Enrichment Program (HiSTEP), which encourages careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medically related fields). HiSTEP students take part in a seven-week summer internship on the NIH campus. I had the pleasure of meeting with them on August 1, 2016. Credit: NIH


Singing with Pardis Sabeti and MIT Logarhythms

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This is a blast from the not-too-distant past. I delivered the Compton Lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in October 2014. At the end of the lecture, I was joined on stage by Pardis Sabeti (center) and the MIT Logarhythms (right). We joined together to sing Sabeti’s inspiring song, “One Truth,” about the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. Credit: MIT


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