Francis Collins, former
director of the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, appears to be the top contender for the post as President-elect Barack Obama's director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Collins, buttonholed today at a meeting of one of the Obama transition teams, answered "no comment" when asked if he aspired to the post. But Alan Trounson, head of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine in San Francisco, admitted to Science:
"That's the name I've heard most often."
Collins and Trounson were among the scientists and disease advocates at the meeting of Obama's agency review team
for the Department of Health and Human Services.