Even still, the commitment by the NIH is evident, regardless of whether the Director's attendance is protocol or not. The fact is, Francis Collins will be hearing plenty about CFS in the conference and behind the scenes.
1st International Workshop on XMRV: Q&A Wrap-up Session
View event: You will be able to view the event at http://videocast.nih.gov/ when the event is live.
Air date: Wednesday, September 08, 2010, 5:15:00 PM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local . Description: This scientific conference has assembled an international group of scientists, physicians and epidemiologists to present and discuss, in a public forum, the latest XMRV studies on a range of topics including virus-host interactions, cell type tropism, mode of transmission, animal models, and diagnostic assay development.
This Web cast Q&A wrap-up session will touch on the latest developments in the field in order to evaluate the state of our knowledge, address controversies, and develop an understanding between experts that will help direct future research.
This workshop is co-sponsored by the NIH and will be organized by Virology Education.
The person who said that the Head of the org would be the key-note speaker or first to speak and open the meeting was correct. This is typical and means nothing. Sorry.
Collins will give his quick opening speach and then blow out of there soon after. He will not stick around and if he did, even for an hour, I would be quite surprised.
So, Collins being there doesn't mean much of anything. The real proof comes when we all see the funding and grants spewing out quickly to the private researchers and the Federal research groups. Until I see real money going out quickly, none of this means much to me.
Collins may be a good and smart guy, but we need to see the real money coming quick. He may also be there to put a bit of a spin on things, make it look like they (NIH) really care, etc. So what.
Hi Rrrr, thanks for posting this exciting news and for directing us to this great article about the life and work of Francis Collins. Count me in for those thrilled about Dr. Collins' opening of the conference tomorrow. :victory:
A few years ago I read his fascinating book "Language of God" and was introduced to the world of genomics and the future of medicine (the appendix in that book alone is worth the read!). I didn't realize he had written a follow-up called "Language of Life" which apparently explores this topic further. Can you imagine if he gets interested in XMRV and solving this family of diseases?
The New Yorker article you found has several great quotes that capture what sets Francis Collins apart from most people. My impression of him is that he has a brilliant mind combined with a rare compassion, and is driven to find answers to help eliminate human suffering (reminds me of the great people at WPI, come to think of it). He doesn't back down from naysayers, and he has little patience for politics that slow down progress. Exactly the kind of charismatic superstar that is needed to turn the ME/CFS status quo on its head.
"Collins was breezing through a doctoral program in theoretical chemical physics at Yale when he realized that a professor’s life in that field was not at all what he wanted. He decided instead to become a physician, and enrolled at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine."
“If you fall ill,” he wrote, “the therapeutic options waiting for you, many derived from new understanding of the human genome, will be both more effective and less toxic than the treatments available just a few years ago.” This new “personalized medicine,” Collins says, is the big prize that has always motivated his work.
"Francis Collins’s bureaucratic skills will be severely tested in the coming struggle. Last week, his resolve was evident. “This goes beyond politics,” he declared. As he put it to me, “Patients and their families are counting on us to do everything in our power, ethically and responsibly, to learn how to transform these cells into entirely new therapies."
Sensing progress, my mom doesn't know Francis Collins personally. She's just heard him speak. So she was not talking about his personality, necessarily, just his professional demeanor. Like other people have been posting on this thread, he seems to be ethical, caring and open-minded.
My hope is that since he is new at the NIH, he will be forward thinking and open-minded enough to embrace XMRV and CFS research. I really hope he decides to be "on our side".
If the Blood is Contaminated he'll have to do more than put a pretty face on it. I also doubt he'll sit through this conference. But I'm optimistic that he will be thoroughly briefed and react with as much sense as we could expect anyone to in his position, from what I've seen and read of him.
Time will tell.
As far as funding- he claims that his main strategy is to maximize resources by funding private research institutes- which he believes is the best way to get crossover discoveries between diseases.
If he's really committed to that, WPI is a prime target.
Here's a video I found pretty encouraging- specifically 3:30 to 7:46
I'm sure he won't sit through the conference - he's in charge of a 31 billion dollar budget - I would be surprised if he sat through any conference...(I hope he doesn't actually....) but he wasn't on the ticket before and now he is....which certainly seems encouraging.