Posts Tagged ‘Francis Collins’

You Came Here For Me

April 29, 2009

Dr. Francis Collins

I really enjoyed working with Dr. Francis Collins on his story for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. He was very down to earth and authentic. Considering his pedigree and position, I was impressed by his casual assumption in his very first e-mail to me that we should be on a first-name basis. Here is his bio and an abridged excerpt from his story about his work at a small mission hospital in Nigeria.

Dr. Collins, one of the country’s leading geneticists, is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. From 1993 to 2008, he headed up the Human Genome Project as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. Prior to that, Dr. Collins helped to discover the genetic misspellings that cause cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, and Huntington’s disease. Working on the cutting edge of the study of DNA, the code of life, he has personally discovered some of the scientific evidence for the common descent of all living creatures. For more information, visit
Four or five days went by. I took care of a myriad of problems, helping some patients, not knowing what to do with others, but generally having the sense that whatever I did was only putting a finger in the dike of what ultimately would be a disaster for most of these people. It was discouraging, knowing that many of them would go back to the same environment that had been the cause of their illness, only to be stricken by something else.

Then a young farmer came to the clinic, brought by his family, with a very puzzling illness. In the previous couple of weeks, his legs had gradually swollen to twice their normal size. He was weak, almost unable to stand, and appeared very seriously ill. In examining him, I took his pulse, and a startling revelation was immediately apparent. His pulse, while palpable when (more…)