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VUSM among top 10 in NIH grant support

Jan. 15, 2015, 9:50 AM

According to annual figures available through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) continues to be ranked among the top 10 in the nation among U.S. medical schools in total grant support provided through the nation’s medical research agency.

Receiving $293,981,233 in NIH grant support during calendar year 2014, VUSM finished the year ranked No. 10 through an additional $1,567,793 in funding over its 2013 total.
NIH funding support remains more competitively sought than ever and continues to be considered a key indicator of an institution’s overall strength in biomedical research.

These funds provide essential support as Vanderbilt’s scientists advance the institution’s mission to understand the underlying causes and develop treatments for many devastating adult and childhood diseases. Vanderbilt’s researchers are seeking answers to a diverse array of diseases and disorders that cost the U.S. economy approximately $3 trillion each year.

“Despite the overall decline in federal research funding taking place for more than a decade now impacting U.S. academic medical centers, our faculty continue their legacy of successfully competing for these funds,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“While the NIH continues to face reduced funding relative to inflation, our investigators and their teams are able to sustain a remarkable pace for the groundbreaking discoveries that take place here each day. I want to congratulate everyone involved in this outstanding achievement.”

This year, four of VUMC’s basic science research departments and six of its clinical departments are ranked among the nation’s top 10 in NIH funding relative to similar departments at peer institutions.

Among VUMC’s basic science departments, both Biochemistry and Molecular Physiology & Biophysics continue to be ranked first among peers. Cell and Developmental Biology is ranked fourth while Pharmacology is ranked fifth.

Six of VUMC’s clinical departments, housing more than 2,000 faculty who care for patients while leading basic and clinical research activities, ranked among the top 10, including: Internal Medicine, fourth; Otolaryngology and Hearing & Speech Sciences, fourth; the Section of Surgical Sciences, fifth; Anesthesiology, eighth; Radiology & Radiologic Sciences, eighth, and Emergency Medicine, ninth.

“Our ability to maintain high levels of funding in today’s hyper-competitive environment is a tribute to the creativity and hard-work of our faculty and their research staff,” said Lawrence Marnett, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research and senior associate dean for Biomedical Sciences. “Their passion for research is leading to discoveries that are making peoples’ lives better locally, nationally and internationally.”

Each institution’s funding data are compiled by the independent Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research from figures available through the 2014 award files obtained from the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT) from the NIH.

Figures include direct plus indirect costs but exclude research contracts and ARRA (stimulus) grants.

The NIH is the world’s largest funding source for biomedical research. More than 80 percent of the NIH’s budget supports more than 300,000 research personnel at more than 2,500 universities and research institutions. About 6,000 scientists work in the NIH’s own Intramural Research laboratories in Bethesda, Maryland — comparable to the number of faculty and staff performing NIH-fund research at Vanderbilt.

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