Miller School Ranks No. 1 in Florida in NIH Research Awards

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The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine received $153 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2021, maintaining its position as Florida’s No. 1 medical school for these federal research grants.

Drawing on NIH award amounts to medical schools in federal fiscal year 2021, the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR) ranked the Miller School 40th in the nation and well ahead of six public universities in the state. The school’s funding total and overall rankings were unchanged from the prior year.

The Miller School is No. 1 in the state and No. 40 in the nation in NIH funding, with nine programs in the top 25 nationally.

“This is a significant accomplishment for our entire research program, which includes basic science studies, clinical trials, public health, wellness, and prevention initiatives,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School. “We are extremely proud of the research taking place here at the Miller School and are honored to be highly ranked in many key areas, especially genetics, where we are at the forefront of the specialty.”

The Miller School’s genetics program ranked No. 5 among its national peers, with $35.9 million in NIH funding. The ranking includes research at the school’s John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, led by Director Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Professor of Human Genetics and executive vice chair of the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, and by Stephan Züchner, M.D., Ph.D., the school’s chief genomics officer and professor in the department.

Working collaboratively, the genetics department and the Hussman Institute study the genetic components of some of the most challenging diseases afflicting people, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, hearing loss, peripheral neuropathies, multiple sclerosis, and rare diseases and disorders.

Drs. Pericak-Vance and Züchner were the top two NIH-funded faculty members at Miller, with $11.6 million and $9.7 million in grants, respectively. Jeffery Vance, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and founding chair of the Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, was third on the faculty list, with $6.65 million in funds.

The Miller School’s other disciplines ranked highly among peers including internal medicine/medicine, at No. 53 with $23.7 million in funds; neurology at No. 19 with $20.8 million; public health and preventive medicine at No. 11 with $11.7 million; microbiology, immunology, and virology at No. 34 with $9.9 million; surgery at No. 16 with $9.2 million; and neurosurgery at No. 15 with $4.4 million.

Other leading NIH-funded principal investigators included:

  • James E. Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., professor of neurology and director of the Miller School’s Comprehensive Center for Brain Health, with $4.9 million in grants,
  • Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and chair of the Department of Neurology, with $4.7 million,
  • Maria Luisa Alcaide, M.D., professor of internal medicine/medicine and director of the Miami Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), with $3.8 million,
  • Savita Pahwa, M.D., professor of microbiology and immunology and director of the Miami CFAR, with $3.4 million,
  • Adam Wayne Carrico, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences and psychology and director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health, with $3.4 million,
  • Scott Charles Brown, Ph.D., research associate professor of public health, with $3 million, and
  • Stephen Nimer, M.D., director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Oscar de la Renta Chair, and executive dean for research at the Miller School, with $3 million.

Looking ahead, Dean Ford said that the Miller School seeks to gain additional NIH funding to continue to attract the brightest minds and advance scientific discoveries.

“We are well on our way toward our goal of being one of the nation’s premier research medical schools,” he said.

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