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AFP
May 21, 2020

US health research boss wins Templeton prize for science and faith

World

AFP
May 21, 2020

WASHINGTON: US geneticist Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, on Wednesday was awarded the Templeton Prize, which honors individuals whose work combines science and religious faith. The prize, now in its 48th year, is worth 1.1 million pounds ($1.35 million). In an interview given to AFP before the announcement of the prize, Collins — who led the pioneering Human Genome Project in the 1990s and 2000s — says he discovered his faith in the 1970s when he was in medical school. “I realized as a medical student encountering life and death on a daily basis that there were some pretty profound issues that my atheism wasn´t helping me with,” Collins told AFP. The 70-year-old Collins, who is now at the forefront of the US response to the coronavirus pandemic, says he is spending “probably 100 hours a week” on the search for a vaccine and other treatments.