UC Davis placed among the nation’s leading institutions of higher education that conduct research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2013, according to data collected and tabulated by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, a North Carolina nonprofit organization that uses the NIH’s Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools for its annual rankings.
The School of Veterinary Medicine ranked first of 28 U.S. veterinary schools in NIH-funded research, and the School of Medicine, which includes grants from the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences to be comparable with other U.S. medical schools, ranked 34th among 139 medical schools. The 2013 ranking advances UC Davis School of Medicine three places higher than in 2012, when it ranked 37th, and 15 places higher than in 2009 when it ranked 49th nationwide.
In fiscal year 2012-2013, total research funding at UC Davis topped $754 million. This includes nearly 1,000 research grants and contracts totaling $207.3 million at the School of Medicine (56 percent of which come from the NIH) and 209 grants and contracts totaling $67.2 million at the School of Veterinary Medicine (20.5 percent of which come from the NIH). Another research ranking by National Science Foundation using data on total research and development spending from fiscal year 2012 ranked UC Davis 21st among 655 colleges and universities.
“The proportion of NIH funding for an institution is one measure of research excellence,” said Harris Lewin, vice chancellor for research and a professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis. ”NIH grants are awarded on a highly competitive basis and only those institutions with fundamental core strengths across the life sciences have been successful at maintaining their NIH funding base. The rankings underscore UC Davis' continuing rise in research, its record of hiring outstanding faculty, and our ability to leverage interdisciplinary collaborations to win prestigious grants even during a time of state and federal cuts in research funding.”
“Growth in NIH funding at UC Davis benefits students, patients, communities and the region. Research fuels the discoveries that transform health, and the infusion of federal funds contributes to the overall economic health of the area we serve,” said Frederick J. Meyers, executive associate dean at the School of Medicine who oversees the research, teaching, clinical care and community engagement missions in close coordination with leadership across UC Davis Health System and the larger UC Davis community.
Meyers attributes much of the recent gains in NIH research funding to high-impact multi-investigataor grants that build shared infrastructure, such as studies at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center; research partnerships with the College of Biological Sciences; training grants for emergency medicine and cancer researchers and robust support for scientists through the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC).
“We are so pleased that our faculty members, many of whom have joint appointments with the School of Medicine, are a part of this unique collaboration between bench and bedside that has resulted in a level of excellence reflected in this new ranking,” said James E. K. Hildreth, dean of the College of Biological Sciences. “It further proves that partnerships across disciplines and institutions are powerful tools by which we can advance the study and application of discoveries in the life sciences."
UC Davis was a founding member of the national CTSC consortium, an effort that is transforming how scientific research is conducted and advancing the translation of laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients.
“The School of Medicine has benefited from the excellent synergy between departments and centers within the health system, across the UC Davis campus and with our many industry and community partners,” said Lars Berglund, senior associate dean for research and director of the UC Davis CTSC. “These investments in research pave the way for important discoveries that will improve health and save lives.”
For more than 100 years, UC Davis has been one place where people are bettering humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the state capital, UC Davis has more than 33,000 students, over 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.