UNMC research awards top $174 million, up 26% from prior year

by Vicky Cerino
August 03, 2020

Image with caption: Jennifer Larsen, MD

Jennifer Larsen, MD

The University of Nebraska Medical Center has set another record for research funding from external sources, topping $174.2 million for fiscal year 2020, a 26% increase from the previous year's record $138 million.
 
As in previous years, most of the grant sources -- 69% -- are funded by federal sources, and of those, most are from the National Institutes of Health. 
 
Of the total, $7 million is focused on COVID-19 related research that will develop training on how best to protect first responders, businesses and community groups. It includes research to improve testing, strategies and products that can prevent disease in those at risk, including health care providers and students, first responders and other community members. The funding also supports clinical trials for treatments for COVID-19. 

"This increase is particularly remarkable because it occurred while many types of research, including patient-oriented studies, had to pause or slow because of COVID-19," said Jennifer Larsen, MD, UNMC vice chancellor for research. "This record increase also is a testament to our ability to continue to recruit talented researchers to UNMC who are also teaching the next generation of health care providers and researchers, as well as providing clinical care and expertise to our state. Their success depends on the work of many others, as well as the key research infrastructure we’ve developed and kept open throughout the pandemic."  
 
UNMC colleges and centers contributed to the increase in research funding. The College of Allied Health Professions led with an increase of 302%, along with the College of Nursing at 71%; College of Pharmacy, 60%; College of Public Health, 28%; College of Medicine, 24%; and Eppley Cancer Center, 14%. 

Research highlights include:
  • $2.3 million annually to Tony Wilson, PhD, professor of neurological sciences, for a new Center for Biomedical Research Excellence focused on neuroimaging; the partnership involves Boys Town National Research Hospital, Creighton University and the  University of Nebraska at Omaha. 
  • $1.4 million to Andre Kalil, MD, professor of infectious diseases, for a clinical trial that demonstrated the effectiveness of the drug Remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19.
  • $1.6 million to Joshua Santarpia, PhD, associate professor of pathology/microbiology, and research director, National Strategic Research Institute, for multiple awards related to the decontamination of spaces and equipment for the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • $205,000 to Elizabeth Wellsandt, DPT, PhD, assistant professor of physical therapy, for a study to identify markers that predict the earliest signs of poor knee joint outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament injuries.
We are Nebraska Medicine and UNMC. Our mission is to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care.
 
Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  YouTube  |  Flickr