Profile: Where Science and Religion Meet; February 1998; Scientific American Magazine; by Beardsley; 2 Page(s)
The combination of world-class scientific researcher, savvy political activist, federal program chief and serious Christian is not often found in one person. Yet that constellation of traits is vigorously expressed in Francis S. Collins.
Collins leads the U.S. Human Genome Project, an ambitious effort to analyze the human genetic inheritance in its ultimate molecular detail. A physician by training, he became a scientific superstar in 1989, when he was a researcher at the University of Michigan. There, together with various collaborators, he employed a new technique called positional cloning to find the human gene that, if mutated, can give rise to cystic fibrosis. That discovery quickly made possible the development of tests for prenatal diagnosis of the disease.