NIH funding to UAB nears $300 million

NIH funding to UAB nears $300 million
UAB places 23rd on the list for research funding from the National Institutes of Health, just shy of $300 million in 2018. The university's School of Medicine led the way, with nearly $232 million in grant funding. (UAB/Contributed)

Research funding to the University of Alabama at Birmingham from the National Institutes of Health came in just shy of $300 million in 2018, placing UAB 23rd on the list of universities receiving NIH funding, according to figures published by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. Overall, the university received $296,359,266 in 2018.

The School of Medicine led the way with $232,960,967 in grant funding. The SOM was 21st on the list of medical schools, up from 31st just five years ago.

Two UAB schools ranked fourth nationally among their peer institutions: the School of Dentistry, with funding of $11,599,873, and the School of Optometry, with $4.5 million.

The School of Nursing received $4,266,162 to place 14th in the country, while the School of Public Health had NIH grant funding totalling $14,650,216, placing it at 17th on the list.

The School of Health Professions garnered $8,720,907 in NIH funding in 2018.

“Research funding is a barometer that helps measure all the variables that reflect the success of an academic research institution,” said Chris Brown, Ph.D., vice president for Research at UAB. “The top schools in research are also among the top facilities in health care. There is a correlation between funding and the retention and recruitment of top faculty and the brightest students. Research and the funding that supports it are the structural basis of any academic research institution.”

Within the School of Medicine, six departments ranked in the top 10 for NIH funding in their fields, led by the Department of Dermatology, which held the top spot as the most-funded dermatology department in the nation.

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences ranked fifth, the Department of Biomedical Engineering ranked fifth and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology came in at ninth in the nation, as did the Department of Cell, Integrative and Developmental Biology. The Department of Anaesthesiology was 10th on the NIH funding list.

Six more SOM departments placed in the top 20. Both the Department of Urology and the Department of Pathology ranked 12th, followed by the Department of Genetics at 13th. The Departments of Medicine and Neurology were 17th on their respective lists, while the Department of Pediatrics came in at 18th.

The departments with the largest gains were Genetics, which jumped from 31st in 2017 to 13th in 2018, and Neurology, which jumped from 29th to 17th.

This story originally appeared on the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s UAB News website.

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