Trump meets with 2 front-running candidates to lead NIH

President-elect Donald Trump and two leading candidates to serve as director of the National Institutes of Health met at Trump Tower Wednesday, reports STAT.

Mr. Trump met with Francis Collins, MD, PhD, who currently holds the director role, and Republican Rep. Andy Harris, MD, of Maryland, an obstetric anesthesiologist. Dr. Collins told STAT he would be willing to retain his role during the Trump presidency if asked. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, R-Pa., said Dr. Collins was under serious consideration for the role, according to the report.

Some researchers outside of Washington have urged Mr. Trump to consider Dr. Harris for the role. Dr. Harris is the only member of Congress to have conducted NIH-funded research, according to the report. He is in favor of lowering the average age of NIH grant recipients and supports more "high-risk, high-reward" research conducted by the institute.

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