Francis Collins and Ari Patrinos receive Energy Secretary's Gold Award for Human Genome Project

WASHINGTON, DC -- Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham today presented Francis Collins and Aristides Patrinos with the Secretary's Gold Award for their leadership of the government's Human Genome Project. Francis Collins is the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. Ari Patrinos heads the Office of Biological and Environmental Research at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science.

The award is the Energy Department's highest honorary award and includes a plaque with citation, a medallion and a rosette. Secretary Abraham presented Drs. Collins and Patrinos with the award in a ceremony at DOE headquarters. Director of the National Institutes of Health Elias Zerhouni represented the Department of Health and Human Services at the ceremony.

"These awards are in recognition of your vision and sustained leadership of the international human genome project, which culminated in the completion of the human DNA sequence in April 2003," Secretary Abraham said. "The project's success was largely due to your ability to join the efforts of two agencies: the Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy's Office of Science. This outstanding scientific and management accomplishment has opened the door to the biotechnology revolution that now offers such promise for human health, clean energy and a cleaner environment."

Francis Collins, a physician-geneticist, practiced medicine at North Carolina Memorial Hospital. Following a fellowship in human genetics at the Yale Medical School, he joined the faculty at the University of Michigan. His research there led to the identification of genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington's disease and, this year, the gene that causes Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, a disorder that causes the most dramatic form of premature aging.

Contact: Jeff Sherwood
DOE/US Department of Energy

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