Miller School of Medicine Sets New Record in NIH Research Grant Funding

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The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine received a record $133.5 million in research grants from the National Institutes of Health in Federal Fiscal Year 2018 — a $12.8 million increase over the school’s FFY 2017 total, raising the school another point to No. 40 of 147 institutions in the national rankings.

Schoninger Research Quadrangle.

According to data compiled by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, that total again made the Miller School the No. 1 NIH-funded institution in Florida. It also put the Miller School $28.2 million and six ranking places above the next-highest Florida medical school in terms of NIH funding.

In addition, based on the NIH data, 12 of the Miller School’s departments posted funding increases, with nine departments rising in the rankings, one holding its place. Three departments ranked in the 90th percentile in their respective fields, two of which were in the top 10.

Among faculty members, 30 received more than $1 million in funding, 16 ranked in the top 10 percent nationally, and two ranked in the top 100 nationally of 19,862 total.

“Our continued rise in NIH funding and ranking among our peer institutions is evidence that research at the Miller School is being recognized for both its importance and its excellence,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., MHA, dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School. “Results-driven research leads to improved patient outcomes.”

“The new strategic plan for research that we developed last year is already yielding positive results,” said Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., MSPH, professor of surgery and executive dean for research. “By focusing on areas that are our greatest strengths, we are not only increasing funding, but also increasing the pace of translation from bench to bedside.”

The two departments that ranked in the top 10 nationally against their peers were Human Genetics (up 3 places, to No. 4) and Neurological Surgery (No. 7), both of which ranked in the 90th percentile, as did Surgery (up 4 places, to No. 12).

Other departments that moved up were, in order: Dermatology (up 5 places, to No. 16), Neurology (up 4 places, to No. 18), Pathology (up 3 places, to No. 45), Anesthesiology (up 15 places, to No. 32), Pediatrics (up 22 places, to No. 50), Cell Biology (up 4 places, to No. 51), and Physiology and Biophysics (up 4 places, to No. 55). Holding its position was Radiation Oncology (No. 37).

Two additional departments ranked in the top 20 in their field: Otolaryngology (No. 17) and Public Health Sciences (No. 19). Other rankings included Ophthalmology (No. 22), Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (No. 29), Microbiology and Immunology (No. 35), Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (No. 47), Medicine (No. 55), and Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (No. 56).

Thirty faculty members received more than $1 million in funding, with 16 ranked in the top 10 percent nationally.

• Stephan Züchner, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics and co-director of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, was the school’s highest NIH-funded researcher, with $12.6 million in awards, which earned him the No. 4 spot in a national field of 693, in the top 0.4 percent of his specialty

• Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., director of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Professor of Human Genetics, was the school’s second-highest NIH-funded researcher, with $8.4 million in awards, which earned her the No. 6 spot in a national field of 693, in the top 0.7 percent of her specialty.

Other researchers in the top 10 percent nationally were:

• Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and chairman of Neurology and Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders, and director of the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute, $6.0 million

• Jeffery M. Vance, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, $4.5 million

• Eden R. Martin, Ph.D., professor in the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, $3.6 million

• Savita Pahwa, M.D., professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, and director of the Miami Center for AIDS Research, $3.5 million

• Michael Benatar, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology, $2.9 million

• Sabita Roy, Ph.D., professor of surgery, $2.2 million

• José Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and chair emeritus of Public Health Sciences, $2.1 million

• Ashok K. Saluja, director of the Sylvester Pancreatic Cancer Research Institute, associate director for research innovation, senior associate dean for research, and professor and vice chair of surgery, $1.9 million

• Margaret A. Fischl, M.D., professor of medicine, director of the HIV/AIDS Clinical Research Unit, and co-director of the Miami Center for AIDS Research, $1.7 million

• Joshua M. Hare, M.D., the Louis Lemberg Professor of Medicine and founding director of the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, $1.6 million

• Ramin Shiekhattar, Ph.D., professor of human genetics, $1.5 million

• Nichole Rose Klatt, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and vice chair for research, $1.5 million

• W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D., scientific director of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and Kinetic Concepts Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery, senior associate dean for discovery science, and professor of neurological surgery, neurology and cell biology, $1.5 million

• Claes Wahlestedt, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, associate dean for therapeutic innovation, and director of the Center for Therapeutic Innovation, $1.5 million

Additional researchers who received more than $1 million in funding were:

• Alejandro Caicedo, Ph.D., professor of medicine, $1.4 million

• Mustafa Tekin, M.D., professor in the Dr. John T. MacDonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, $1.4 million

• Xue Z. Liu, M.D., professor of otolaryngology, $1.3 million

• Ronald C. Desrosiers, Ph.D., professor of pathology, $1.3 million

• Michal Toborek, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and vice chair for research in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, $1.3 million

• Enrique A. Mesri, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology, $1.2 million

• Alessia Fornoni, Ph.D., professor of medicine, chief of the Katz Family Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, director of the Peggy and Harold Katz Family Drug Discovery Center, and associate director of the newly NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program, $1.2 million

• Eli Gilboa, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology, and director of the Dodson Interdisciplinary Immunotherapy Institute, $1.2 million

• Dushyantha Jayaweera, Ph.D., professor of medicine and senior associate dean for research, $1.2 million

• Carlos T. Moraes, Ph.D., Lichtenstein Professor of Neurology, Cell Biology and Anatomy, $1.1 million

• Marjana Tomic-Canic, Ph.D., professor and director of the Wound Healing and Regenerative Medicine Research Program in the Dr. Phillip Frost Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, $1.1 million

• Shaun Brothers, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, $1.1 million

• Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., MPH, professor of medicine and public health sciences, $1 million

• Stephan C. Schürer, Ph.D., research assistant professor of molecular and cellular pharmacology, $1 million

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