Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's Impact Movement Express Gratitude for Director Collins' NIH Leadership

Francis S. Collins Announces Departure from National Institutes of Health

Chicago, October 6, 2021 – The Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) are immensely grateful for Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who announced his decision to step down as director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was a champion for advancing Alzheimer's dementia science. For more than 12 years, serving three U.S. presidents, Dr. Collins has presided over the agency with passion, dedication and honor. 


During his tenure, the NIH budget grew by 38%, from $30 billion in 2009 to $41.3 billion in 2021, including growing Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding from less than $450 million to $3.2 billion today. 


“Dr. Collins has been an innovative leader of the NIH. Responsible for overseeing unprecedented growth for the agency, Dr. Collins has led the way toward scientific advancements to address some of the most complex health issues facing the country. The role he has played in advancing Alzheimer’s and dementia science is significant,” said Harry Johns, chief executive officer, Alzheimer’s Association. “On behalf of the more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and their more than 11 million caregivers, I extend my deepest gratitude for his years of service and dedicated leadership.”


In 2014, the Alzheimer's Association and AIM championed and secured support for the passage of the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act, which ensures Congress hears directly from NIH scientists on the resources needed to address the Alzheimer’s crisis. Alzheimer’s is only the third disease to have a professional judgment budget. Dr. Collins oversaw the development of seven professional judgment budgets for Alzheimer’s released by the NIH. 


“Dr. Collins embodies the institution and its values. It has been a tremendous honor to get to know Dr. Collins and work with him over the years. His commitment to advancing scientific discovery is second only to his compassion for the individuals facing devastating and fatal diseases,” said Robert Egge, chief public policy officer, Alzheimer’s Association and executive director, AIM. “Following a meeting with or after hearing Dr. Collins speak, our advocates have a renewed sense of inspiration and faith that progress against Alzheimer’s and other dementia is achievable.”


Under his leadership, the NIH launched the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. Established in 2013, the BRAIN Initiative works to accelerate the development and implementation of innovative technologies, allowing researchers new ways to treat, cure and prevent brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. 


Research on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia has never been more promising in large part because of Dr. Collins and his leadership,” said Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., chief science officer, Alzheimer's Association. “Throughout his career and in his role as NIH director, Dr. Collins has been a champion of researchers and scientific discovery.” 


The Alzheimer’s Association presented Dr. Collins with the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Award during the 2014 Alzheimer’s Advocacy Forum. The award is reserved for those who make significant advancements in Alzheimer's research. In the fiscal year 2013 director’s budget for Alzheimer’s research, Dr. Collins included an additional $40 million. Dr. Collins also spearheaded the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) between the NIH, biopharmaceutical companies and nonprofits, including the Alzheimer’s Association, to reduce the time and cost of developing new Alzheimer’s diagnostics and treatments.


Alzheimer's Association®
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit alz.org.

Alzheimer's Impact Movement
The Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) is a separately incorporated advocacy affiliate of the Alzheimer's Association. AIM works to develop and advance policies to overcome Alzheimer's disease through increased investment in research, enhanced care and improved support. For more information, visit alzimpact.org.

Contact:
Laura Cilmi, 202.638.8673, [email protected]