Biden will keep Dr. Francis Collins as National Institutes of Health director: statement

FILE PHOTO: Dr Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, gives an opening statement during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss about vaccines and protecting public health during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Washington, U.S., September 9, 2020. Michael Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will keep Dr. Francis Collins as head of the National Institutes of Health, his transition team said in a press release on Friday.

First appointed as NIH director by former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009, Collins will stay at the helm of America’s premier health policy research agency as COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. near 400,000.

(This story corrects name of agency in headline and first paragraph)

Reporting by Joel Schectman, Editing by Franklin Paul