News Release

May 8, 2006

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

Media Invited

Leader in Human Genome Project to Speak at UConn Medical and Dental Schools Commencement May 14

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Francis S. Collins, M.D., director of the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Md., will speak at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine commencement exercises Sunday, May 14, at 1 p.m. under the tent at the UConn Health Center’s academic entrance.

Recognized for his landmark discoveries of disease genes, Dr. Collins’ leadership of the genome project resulted in the completion of a sequence of the human genetic blueprint. Currently, Dr. Collins is leading the genome research institute’s effort to ensure that the new sequence data, available to scientists worldwide, is used to advance biological knowledge to improve human health.

The genes that cause cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, and most recently Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, a dramatic form of premature aging, were discovered in his laboratory. In addition to his scientific achievements, Dr. Collins is known for his emphasis of ethical and legal issues in genetics.

Medical degrees will be awarded to seventy-six graduates and dental medicine degrees to 45 graduates. Degrees will also be conferred to graduates of master’s programs in public health, dental science, and science and biomedical science.

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

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