UAB School of Medicine in Elite Group in NIH Funding How did UAB Accomplish This? In the past five years, the UAB School of Medicine has climbed 10 places on the National Institutes of Health research funding rankings, from 31 in the nation to 21. Total NIH funding during that period rose from $133,264,288 in 2013 to $234,390,799 in 2018. “Over the past five years, UAB has been part of an elite group of eight academic medical centers that have experienced more than $100 million in net NIH funding growth,” said Selwyn Vickers, MD, dean of the medical school. The School of Medicine (SOM) created a systematic plan following the arrival of Vickers as dean in 2013 to boost NIH funding by concentrating on several key components.
for Clinical and Translational Science, the Center for AIDS Research, the Antivirial Drug Discovery and Development Center, and the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center. UAB launched the Multi-PI Program in 2015, which fosters collaboration by creating a funding mechanism to encourage faculty to work with researchers in other disciplines on a common goal. The School of Medicine funded four collaborative projects in 2015. The research teams were able to produce significant preliminary results and jointly publish that data, priming the pump for securing large, collaborative NIH grants. “The intent is to fund a cadre of faculty who have complementary research interests,” said Etty Benveniste, PhD, senior vice dean for Basic Sciences. “The first four we funded were successful at leveraging our initial investment into larger NIH grants. We have funded eight more since then, with more in the pipeline.” The return on investment for the initial round of funding was 19 to 1. “A small investment by the school on
Science Through Synergy One way to quickly move up in funding rankings is to secure large, collaborative grants, and UAB has seen success there. The NIH provided $45 million to UAB to lead the Southern Network of the All of Us Research Program, a national effort to promote genomic medicine. Other large grants were awarded to the Center
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Birmingham Medical News
Birmingham Medical News April 2019