UCSF is Third Largest Recipient of NIH Research Funding

March 14, 2002
News Office: Bill Gordon (415) 502-6397

The UCSF School of Medicine became the third largest recipient of National Institutes of Health research funds among all medical schools in 2001, receiving 769 awards totaling $320.8 million in the highly competitive process.

NIH research funding to the UCSF School of Medicine increased more than $70 million last year, moving the school up from fourth position in the 2000 fiscal year rankings.

The NIH announced the new rankings this week.

The UCSF School of Medicine always has been among the top four recipients of NIH research funding and earned the top ranking for 13 consecutive years from 1978 to 1991, when space constraints left faculty researchers unable to compete for some grants simply for lack of laboratory space. With occupancy of the first laboratory building at the new UCSF Mission Bay research and teaching campus less than a year away, some of the constraints are easing.

"We are very pleased to have moved up in the NIH-ranking for research funding," said Dr. Haile T. Debas, dean of the UCSF School of Medicine and UCSF vice chancellor for medical affairs.

"The improvement is related to the recruitment of key faculty members, including Jeffrey Bluestone," Debas said. "I believe when UCSF Mission Bay is fully occupied and we have established the new programs for Parnassus Heights, we will once again be number one."

Jeffrey A. Bluestone, one of the world's leading experts on why the body's immune system rejects or tolerates transplanted tissue, heads the UCSF Diabetes Center.

Bluestone is the A.W. & Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professor in Metabolism and Endocrinology at UCSF and director of UCSF's Hormone Research Institute and the Metabolic Research Unit. He also oversees the UCSF-based Immune Tolerance Network (ITN), an international network of more than 70 leading researchers in nine countries established to coordinate clinical testing of new therapies to induce immune tolerance.

Debas also offered special congratulations to the UCSF Department of Medicine and the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, both of which ranked first nationally among all departments in their fields.

The Department of Medicine received 242 grants, fellowships, and contracts totaling nearly half ($148.2 million) of the NIH research funds awarded to the UCSF School of Medicine. The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences received 21 NIH grants, contracts, and fellowships, totaling $12.1 million.

Opportunities for additional research funding are expected to grow along with the construction of the new UCSF Mission Bay campus and the redevelopment of existing campus sites. Over the next 20 years, the campus plans to construct 2.65 million square feet of new laboratory, classroom and support space at UCSF Mission Bay, doubling the amount of research space on current campus sites. About half of that space will be built in the next few years as part of the first phase of the Mission Bay plan.

UCSF's other professional Schools of Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy also routinely rank at or near the top in NIH-funded research. Rankings for these categories have not yet been announced for the 2001 fiscal year.

The top 10 medical schools in NIH-funded research for the 2001 fiscal year are the following: John Hopkins University, Baltimore ($334.1 million/865 awards), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia ($327 million/918 award), UCSF ($320.8 million/769 awards), Washington University, Saint Louis ($289.5 million/683 awards), University of Washington, Seattle ($234.5 million/646 awards), Yale University, New Haven, Conn. ($227 million/637 grants), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston ($221.6 million/498 awards), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor ($213 million/603 awards), University of California, Los Angeles ($205 million/580 awards), and Duke University, Durham, N.C. ($203.6 million/519 awards).

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