Francis' Open Road

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  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Speedbump

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Washington, DC

  • AIRED ON:

    Other: Speedbump

FRANCIS COLLINS

Geneticist

“Pick something that you love and not something somebody else says you should love.”

INTERESTS:

Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Beliefs & Faith Exploration Fulfillment Goals Opportunity Passion

TAGS:

being open, career, chemistry, DNA, human genome, medical school, physics, religion, trying different things, Yale

BIOGRAPHY:

In a baccalaureate address while at the University of Virginia, Francis Collins remembers one piece of advice that stood out: find your life's work. For Francis, finding his life's work was something he worked to discover, rather than something he fell into from the get-go. While in high school, chemistry class always excited him. Biology class, on the other hand, was something he found boring and thought that he would never do. After graduating high school, Francis went on to study chemistry in college, leading him to pursue graduate studies at Yale University. But somewhere along this path, Francis realized something: despite that he had fun doing chemistry in school, he didn't really enjoy it as much out in the real world. He just didn't see himself in chemistry anymore. He thought, why not medical school? So, he changed his course in life and embarked on medical school at the University of North Carolina, where he loved it from his first day. Since then, Francis has led a successful effort to complete the Human Genome Project, a scientific enterprise at mapping all of the human DNA. In 2009, he was sworn in as the director of the National Institutes of Health.

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