UCSF Tops Public Institutions in NIH Biomedical Research Funds

By Kristen Bole

NIH Funding 2000 to 2011

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) received more research funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than any other public institution in 2011 and ranked second among all institutions nationwide, according to new figures released by the NIH.

The funding helps UCSF continue to perform world-renowned health sciences research amid state budget cutbacks.

UCSF received 1,056 grants last year, totaling $532.8 million for research and training, fellowships and other awards. In 2010, UCSF also was the largest public recipient, with $475.4 million in funding.

The federal funding plays a key role in supporting UCSF’s graduate-level biomedical enterprise, including research into the genetic, molecular and cellular basis of diseases, epidemiological and clinical-research studies, and efforts to develop innovative treatments and cures. That research has led to four UCSF faculty members receiving the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and has fueled significant advances in biomedical sciences.

“These grants are absolutely essential in supporting the work of our scientists as they tackle the most pressing questions in the health sciences,” said UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH. “This broad-based support of UCSF research, in the context of increasingly competitive funds, is testament to the caliber of scientific discovery in each of our schools and the graduate division.”

UCSF has ranked among the nation’s top institutions in NIH funding for more than two decades, as have each of its schools. In 2011, the UCSF School of Pharmacy received $29.1 million in NIH funding, the most of any pharmacy school for the 32nd consecutive year. The School of Medicine received $420.2 million,* while the UCSF schools of Dentistry and Nursing received $19 million and $8.3 million, respectively.

Federal funding also buoys the local and regional economy, Desmond-Hellmann said, as the scientists purchase materials and instruments and employ laboratory staff. Other economic engines include patents and scientific advances generated by NIH-funded research and related industries, such as biotechnology.

Current NIH data list the top five recipients of FY 2011 research funding as follows (not including research contracts or ARRA grants):

Public institutions:

  1. UCSF ($532.8 million)
  2. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ($467.4 million)
  3. University of Washington ($455.8 million)
  4. University of Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh ($428.2 million)
  5. UC San Diego ($398.0 million)

All institutions:

  1. Johns Hopkins University ($645.3 million)
  2. UCSF ($532.8 million)
  3. University of Pennsylvania ($471.5 million)
  4. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ($467.4 million)
  5. University of Washington ($455.8 million)

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. For more information, visit www.ucsf.edu.

* Excludes $54.4 million in additional NIH support for multiple research programs.

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