Professor of biomedical engineering, University Professor, and co-director of the Center for BioDynamics, Professor Collins is part of the team of scientists who created the world’s first genetic toggle switch. This mechanism is designed to control gene activity and has potential applications for treating a variety of diseases. For his extraordinary agility of mind and for his exceptional teaching ability, Professor Collins received the Metcalf Cup and Prize, Boston University’s most prestigious teaching award. Professor Collins has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. Designation as HHMI investigators gives this elite group creative license to pursue novel, high risk avenues of research, with a total of more than $600 million awarded during their first 5-year term. Once established, investigators typically receive about $1 million per year.