Research Funding to Medical School Jumps 11 Percent to Record Level
January 17, 2008
"To see such a boost when the climate for research funding is so tight is a tremendous tribute to our scientists. It is also a credit to the significant strategic investment that this institution has made in our scientific enterprise over the last 10 years."
Funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry jumped 11 percent in the last year. The sizable increase is especially notable because it comes in a year when the overall budget growth at NIH, the nation’s largest funder of basic and clinical biomedical research, was essentially flat.
In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2007, the NIH supported $159.3 million in research and teaching at the school. That record amount is up from $143.2 million for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2006.
The jump in funding is the result of several factors, said David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the school, where NIH funding has more than doubled since 1999.
“This increase speaks to the outstanding caliber of our faculty,” said Guzick. “To see such a boost when the climate for research funding is so tight is a tremendous tribute to our scientists. It is also a credit to the significant strategic investment that this institution has made in our scientific enterprise over the last 10 years.”
Since 1996, the Medical Center has invested $500 million in its biomedical research enterprise. This included the addition of more than 600,000 square feet of new and renovated state-of-the-art laboratory space and the number of research faculty has grown from 304 to 484.
The jump in funding at the school is all the more remarkable, Guzick notes, because it has occurred in an environment where the NIH budget has remained flat. “During a year when the number of new grants awarded to medical schools by NIH declined from 2477 to 2065, new awards to our faculty actually increased.”
In April 2007 the University received a seven-year, $26 million grant from NIH to establish the New York Influenza Center of Excellence, where researchers are developing methods to protect the nation from both “traditional” flu as well as bird flu. And in late 2006, NIH named the School of Medicine and Dentistry as one of 12 institutions to receive a Clinical and Translational Science Award. The award for $40 million is designed to speed the movement of basic discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic where they will benefit patients. These grants and other new major awards in human immunology, bioterrorism, and computer modeling of immune response help propel the growth in funding.
These awards are just a few of more than 400 projects at the school currently funded by NIH.