UVA Alumnus and Former NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Featured on HOOS in STEM Podcast

April 4, 2023 by

Francis Collins and Ken Ono

Francis Collins (lt) and Ken Ono

HOOS in STEM is a new podcast that showcases the cornucopia of all that is STEM at UVA. Ken Ono, the STEM advisor to the Provost and Marvin Rosenblum Professor of Mathematics is the host. Ono’s name might be familiar because of his side gigs. He has been called a “secret weapon” for the 3 time National Champion UVA Women’s Swim and Dive Team, and in 2022 he was the spokesperson for Miller beer in a Super Bowl commercial. For his day job, Ono keeps his finger on the pulse of scientific and technological innovation at UVA. This week’s episode is truly special.

Science usually advances on the work of thousands, over generations, fine-tuning and extending the scope of understanding. But from time to time, creative visionaries, such as Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, and Albert Einstein, burst onto the scene catapulting human knowledge forward. This week’s episode showcases another one of these figures, UVA alum Francis Collins, MD, PhD, an Echols Scholar, former director of the National Institutes of Health, and science advisor to the President of the United States. He is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science.

Dr. Collins graduated from UVA in 1970 with an undergraduate degree in chemistry. He discovered the genetic cause of Huntington’s disease and cystic fibrosis, work which led him to direct one of the most audacious projects in the annals of science. Begun in 1990 and completed in 2003, the “Human Genome Project” uncovered mankind’s biological blueprint, an achievement that has transformed modern medicine.

Tune in to the HOOS in STEM podcast for a lively discussion with Dr. Collins about his time at UVA, the human genome project, science and faith, beloved chemistry professor Carl Trindle, and much more. As a special treat for HOOS worldwide, Dr. Collins also sings the “Good Old Song.”



Filed Under: Alumni