NIH director to discuss research funding at U-M conference

October 26, 2017
Nicole Casal Moore


DATE: 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, for Collins talk; 2-5 p.m. for Ted-style talks.

EVENT: Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, will give a talk on the federal research funding landscape and the value of interdisciplinary research at the University of Michigan’s 2017 MCubed conference.

NIH is the world’s largest supporter of biomedical research.

MCubed is a one-of-a-kind rapid funding program that aims to jumpstart bold, boundary-crossing research and scholarship by shortcutting the traditional, lengthy grant review process. It gives seed grants of either $60,000 or $15,000 to teams of three professors from at least two different disciplines.

Since its launch in 2012, it has led to millions of dollars of additional external grants and hundreds of publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as numerous artistic products, invention disclosures and startup companies.

Collins will give the keynote address, which will be followed by a series of Ted-style talks from selected MCubed teams, including: “Seeing the human eye in four dimensions,” “What robots can teach us about snakes: Communicating with color and motion,” “Digitizing Orson Welles’ Heart of Darkness” and “Data-driven tools to curb the spread of healthcare-associated infections.”

Collins, a physician-geneticist, was appointed by President Obama in 2009, and President Trump continued his appointment. Before serving at NIH, Collins was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at U-M.

MEDIA: A media availability with Collins will take place immediately following the talk. The event is free and open to the public, but media must register in advance by sending an email to Nicole Casal Moore at

PLACE: Rackham Auditorium, 915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor (view map). The talk will also be streamed live online. Check the MCubed website for details on the day of the conference.


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