Tonight's Francis Collins Lecture Postponed Until Later Date

News Photo 4406
Dr. Francis S. Collins
March 14, 2008

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

Tonight's lecture at Baylor University featuring Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, has been canceled but will be rescheduled at a later date.

Severe weather and continuing delays at airports around the country have hampered Dr. Collins' travel to Waco.

Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health and author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, will speak at Baylor University at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, in Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The recipient of the nation's highest civilian honor - the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom - Collins is well known for leading the successful effort to complete Human Genome Project (HGP), a complex multidisciplinary scientific enterprise directed at mapping and sequencing all of the human DNA and determining aspects of its function.

The lecture is sponsored by the Baylor student chapter of the American Scientific Affiliation, Baylor Society for Conversations in Religion, Ethics and Science, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the College of Arts and Sciences. Collins' lecture will be followed by a book signing.

"As the director of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins has become one of the most influential scientists of our time, leading the most important scientific enterprise of our time," said Dr. Walter S. Bradley, Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Baylor. "Through his book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, Collins has also become one of the most important spokespersons on the way that our scientific discoveries support (rather than confound) belief in a Creator. Dr. Collins can only accept a very small percentage of the invitations he receives to speak, so we are extremely fortunate to have this very special opportunity at Baylor."

A working draft of the human genome sequence was announced in June of 2000, an initial analysis was published in February of 2001, and a high-quality, reference sequence was completed in April 2003.

From the outset, the HGP ran ahead of schedule and under budget, and all the data is now available to the scientific community without restrictions on access or use. Building on the foundation laid by the HGP, Collins is now leading NHGRI's effort to ensure that this new trove of sequence data is translated into tools and strategies to advance biological knowledge and improve human health.

Collins received a bachelor's of science degree from the University of Virginia, a doctorate in physical chemistry from Yale University, and a doctor of medicine degree from the University of North Carolina. Following a fellowship in Human Genetics at Yale, he joined the faculty at the University of Michigan, where he remained until moving to NIH in 1993. His research has led to the identification of genetic variants associated with type 2 diabetes and the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington's disease and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.

Collins' book, The Language of God, was on The New York Times best-seller list for seven weeks. A description of his book reads: "Dr. Collins provides a satisfying solution for the dilemma that haunts everyone who believes in God and respects science. Faith in God and faith in science can be harmonious -- combined into one worldview. The God that he believes in is a God who can

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