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Francis Collins, 2003-05-31

 Item — Box: AV01, miniDV: CSHL1036
Oral History | Francis Collins
Oral History | Francis Collins

Scope and Contents

Francis Collins, Human Genome Project leader, is interviewed by Mila Pollock and Jan Witkowski, on May 31, 2003, at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Francis Collins discusses the following in his interview: Scene 1. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia -- Scene 2. Bruce Stillman, Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory -- Scene 3. Jim Watson, personality and influence -- Scene 4. Jim Watson, personality and influence: the Human Genome Project -- Scene 5. Involvement in the Human Genome Project -- Scene 6. Surprises in the Human Genome Project -- Scene 7. Challenges of the Human Genome Project -- Scene 8. Competition in science -- Scene 9. Competition in the Human Genome Project: public vs. private -- Scene 10. Craig Venter and Celera Genomics -- Scene 11. Dangers of genomic research -- Scene 12. The future of genomic research -- Scene 13. Science and spirituality.


  • Creation: 2003-05-31


Conditions Governing Access

Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online: Select tapes have been digitized thanks to support from CLIR Recordings at Risk Grant awarded in 2021, these tapes are available for research online via our Oral History Website and in person at CSHL Archives. Please contact CSHL Archives with any questions regarding availability.

Biographical / Historical

Francis Collins earned a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia (1970), a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Yale University (1974), and an M.D. from the University of North Carolina (1977). While a researcher at the University of Michigan (1984-1993), he pioneered “positional cloning” methods which resulted in the Collins team and their collaborators isolating the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, neurofibromatosis, and others.

In 1993 he accepted leadership of the Human Genome Project (HGP) by becoming Director of the National Center for Human Genome Research (NHGRI). With Dr. Collins as head of the NHGRI, the HGP attained its goal of sequencing all 3 billion base pairs of the human genome. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. He is currently the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a position he has held since 2009.

He has attended all of the Cold Spring Harbor meetings on genomics.


1 Cassettes (Camcorder footage) : Hi-8 - 3014

1 Cassettes : MiniDV - CSHL1036

1 Optical Disks (Talking Science with Francis Collins) : DVD ; 25 min

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Interview recorded on Hi-8 and Mini DV, then transferred to DVD.

Repository Details

Part of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives Repository

Library & Archives
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
One Bungtown Rd
Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724 USA