NIH funding for UNMC increases by nearly 25 percent

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC public relations | April 06, 2017

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Research awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the University of Nebraska Medical Center increased by more than $14 million in 2016, an increase of nearly 25 percent, with each UNMC health science college improving its NIH-funding ranking.

"The excellence of UNMC research is demonstrated in many ways, including national recognition through publications, presentations and successful grant support," said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. "The recently released ranking data provides further national recognition of this excellence. The true test of our success is how our research continues to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. We are very grateful for all of the hard work and congratulate all those engaged with our research programs."

UNMC improved from No. 84 to No. 79 in aggregate rankings of the 2,588 academic medical centers, educational institutions, hospitals or corporate entities receiving NIH research funding. UNMC earned a total of $71.7 million in NIH funding in FY 2016, which ended on Sept. 30, 2016. This compares to $57.5 million in 2015.

The College of Pharmacy headlined UNMC's ascent in the national rankings, climbing to No. 6 nationally in NIH funding, out of 141 accredited schools or colleges of pharmacy. The College of Pharmacy was previously No. 10, despite having one of the nation's smaller pharmacy faculties, and saw its funding increase by 23.7 percent.

The College of Medicine saw even a larger gain with its funding growing by 25.5 percent over the previous reporting period. It gained five spots going from No. 61 in 2015 to No. 55 in 2016 out of 142 medical schools. Funding received by UNMC's Eppley Institute and the Munroe-Meyer Institute is included in the total for the College of Medicine.

In other rankings, the College of Nursing rose two spots to rank No. 29 among 69 nursing schools, the College of Dentistry moved up one position to No. 34 among 66 dentistry programs, and the College of Public Health climbed four spots to No. 48 among the 165 NIH-funded public health programs.

"This is the first time I have ever seen the NIH rankings of all our colleges rise the same year," said Jennifer Larsen, M.D., vice chancellor for research. "We are competing with the top academic health centers in the country, many of which have three times more faculty than we do. This is a tremendous accomplishment by a lot of faculty and their teams who have been working very, very hard."

The rankings were compiled by UNMC, based upon data made publicly available by the NIH. The total grant award counts toward the home college and institution of the reporting principal investigator. These numbers reflect NIH funding only, and not total extramural funding.

The College of Allied Health Professions was in its first year as an independent college, and thus had no ranking from the previous year.

Researchers at UNMC brought in a record total of $115.1 million during the 2015-16 academic year.

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