Skip to Main Content

‘I’m deeply concerned’: Francis Collins on trust in science, how Covid communications failed, and his current obsession

“The big thing that I know I didn't do, and I don't think a lot of the communicators did, was to say this is an evolving crisis, this is going to change every time we made a recommendation,” former NIH leader Francis Collins said.

With a promising new plan to pay for pricey cures, two states set out to eliminate hepatitis C. But cost hasn’t been the biggest problem

Experts assumed the biggest obstacle to eliminating hepatitis C was the sky-high cost of a new miracle cure. But an investigation into Washington's and Louisiana’s efforts reveals more intractable issues.

Biden appoints former government scientist as first leader of ARPA-H

The president is appointing biologist and former government scientist Renee Wegrzyn as the first director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.

Pfizer isn’t sharing Covid vaccines with researchers for next-gen studies

Researchers studying next-gen vaccines to fight an evolving Covid threat are running into problems getting existing vaccines to use in their research.

What Fauci’s exit tells us about the ongoing fight against Covid

There was a time when Anthony Fauci thought he would retire when the Covid-19 pandemic was over. That, he admits now, may never happen. But this December, he announced this week, will have to be good enough.

Inching closer to an essential global pandemic treaty

Despite interest in a global pandemic treaty, nothing has been agreed upon and nothing in the limited procedural victories has benefited marginalized global citizens. It's time for the real work to begin.

A chaotic sprint to lower insulin prices and AIDS activists go after Biden on monkeypox

You’re reading the web edition of D.C. Diagnosis, STAT’s twice-weekly newsletter about the politics and policy of health and medicine.

Cities are lobbying to host the ARPA-H headquarters. Experts don’t understand why

Cities and states are lobbying hard to bring ARPA-H to their backyard. But experts say it won’t be the economic boon they’re hoping for.

White House summit sets lofty goals for new Covid vaccines — but largely sidesteps questions of funding

Top White House officials spent Tuesday laying out a vision for a Covid vaccine utopia. (They spent less time talking about how much it would cost.)

After STAT report, GOP lawmakers seek answers about defunct NIH oversight committee

An NIH oversight committee mysteriously stopped meeting seven years ago. Republican lawmakers want to know why.

Biden picks renowned cancer surgeon Monica Bertagnolli as NCI chief

The Biden administration has selected Monica Bertagnolli, a renowned surgical oncologist, as the next director of the National Cancer Institute, according to two sources familiar with the decision.

In the search for an ARPA-H director, the White House is zeroing in on DARPA veterans

Francis Collins is making progress in finding a founding director for ARPA-H, and he’s turned to a natural proving ground for candidates: DARPA’s biotech office.

Congress is closer than ever to formally authorizing ARPA-H. But the details aren’t as final as they seem

Although health secretary Xavier Becerra declared in March that ARPA-H will be a branch of the NIH, the House bill authorizing the new agency houses it outside the NIH.

Biden picks former DARPA director Prabhakar as next science adviser

President Biden will soon nominate Arati Prabhakar, a physicist and former DARPA director, to serve as his next top science adviser, the White House announced.

The Senate health committee finally marks up its user fee bill

The Senate HELP Committee convened today for a markup on the unfortunately-acronymed bill known as FDASLA, which would reauthorize the user fees that support the FDA and enact a number of agency reforms.

Francis Collins on his new life as White House science adviser

Francis Collins thought he’d get some peace and quiet after 12 years running the NIH. Then came a plea from the president.

Francis Collins: Concern about independence of new moonshot science agency ARPA-H are ‘overblown’

Francis Collins thinks the debate surrounding the Biden administration’s new high-stakes research agency ARPA-H is much ado about nothing.

The panel was supposed to improve efficiency at the NIH. It hasn’t even met for 7 years

In 2006, Congress created an advisory group meant to regularly critique the NIH. But it hasn’t met for seven years, and its members aren’t sure whether it still exists.

Researchers describe the human element in the alchemy behind the Moderna vaccine and other new medicines

At a @statnews event, researchers described the human element in the alchemy behind the Moderna vaccine and other new medicines.

A new nonprofit wants to rewrite the playbook for how the U.S. government funds science

“Playing it safe doesn’t get you the best science. Some of the greatest scientific discoveries came from people who were taking chances," said Stuart Buck, executive director of the Good Science Project, a new nonprofit.

Biden’s new high-stakes research agency needs a home. For cities and states, the race for ARPA-H is on

The race is on to become the new home of ARPA-H — and no state is more excited than Texas.

Biden’s high-stakes biomedical science agency ARPA-H will be part of the NIH — but there’s a twist

The Biden administration’s new research agency ARPA-H will exist as part of the NIH — but with a twist.

The FDA endorses accelerated approval reforms

The FDA is asking Congress for more authority to crack down on drug makers abusing the so-called accelerated approval pathway.

Lawmakers and a Pelosi aide turn lobbyist to push for new health agency’s independence

Xavier Becerra faces a Wednesday deadline to decide ARPA-H’s fate — and now he’s the focus of a frenzied, last-minute lobbying effort from top lawmakers and a key Nancy Pelosi aide.

‘A slow-moving glacier’: NIH’s sluggish and often opaque efforts to study long Covid draw patient, expert ire

Critics charge that, in addition to being slow to recruit patients, the NIH's long Covid initiative is looking at open-ended research questions rather than testing out therapies or treatments.

How we got herd immunity wrong

The idea that vaccinating a certain percentage of the population would stop transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was a seductive but unhelpful description of herd immunity.

Pharmalittle: FDA rejects Lilly drug studied only in China; AstraZeneca suffers a setback with a key cancer drug

The Food and Drug Administration declined to approve an Eli Lilly (LLY) lung cancer drug that had been studied only in China.

NIH’s identity crisis: The pandemic and the search for a new leader leave the agency at a crossroads

Francis Collins’ popularity masked a debate raging in university labs and biotech boardrooms over whether the NIH is living up to its mission — or what its mission should be.

Biden’s agency to ‘end cancer as we know it’ is finally real. But it has a chaotic road ahead

Congress funded ARPA-H, the agency that President Biden has pledged will help “end cancer as we know it.” But lawmakers left most of the major questions about the new agency unresolved.