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Emory receives $521.8 million in research funding for 2014

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Holly Korschun

Researchers at Emory University received $521.8 million from external funding agencies in fiscal year 2014, a 2.56 percent increase over last fiscal year. This marks the fifth consecutive year that research funding has exceeded $500 million.

Federal agencies awarded more than $356 million, or 68 percent of the total, led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with nearly $300 million in awards. NIH funding represented 84 percent of total federal dollars awarded to Emory and 58 percent of all funding received.

"In view of the nation's continued budget constraints on research and development funding, these totals are especially remarkable," says David Stephens, MD, vice president for research in Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center and chair of the Department of Medicine in Emory University School of Medicine. "They are truly a testament to the high quality of our researchers' grant proposals and their potential and relevance to benefit society."

Researchers in Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) received nearly $483 million in FY14, or nearly 93 percent of the University total, with nearly $325 million in federal funding, including more than $288 million from the NIH. The WHSC includes schools of medicine, public health, nursing, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Winship Cancer Institute and Emory Healthcare.

Emory University School of Medicine received approximately $320.7 million, or 64 percent of the FY14 total dollars awarded. The Rollins School of Public Health received $73 million, Yerkes National Primate Research Center received nearly $73.4 million, and Emory's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing received more than $12.2 million.

The value of biomedical research extends well beyond new cures and disease treatment and prevention, says Stephens. In Georgia, nearly 19 high-paying jobs are generated per $1 million in research funding. And university research discoveries often are translated into commercial applications that positively impact the economy while offering medical advances to patients more quickly.

Examples of Emory funded research projects in fiscal year 2014 include:

  • $26.7 million over seven years in potential funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the NIH for the Emory-UGA Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance.
  • $7.2 million over five years from the National Institute on Aging of the NIH to the Department of Neurology to discover proteins altered by Alzheimer's, in an effort to identify new drug targets.
  • $2.5 million over three years from the NIH to the Laney Graduate School to create the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development. The grant will help increase the number of undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups who complete doctorate degrees and enter the biological and biomedical sciences research workforce.
  • $12.7 million over seven years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the Emory-CDC HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Unit, responsible for implementing the scientific agenda of the NIH international HIV/AIDS clinical research network.
  • More than $6 million over four years from the National Institute of Mental Health of the NIH to study the genetics of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Emory will lead the genetics portion of the International Consortium on Brain and Behavior in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome, a large-scale effort among 22 institutions across North America as well as institutions across Europe, Australia and South America.
  • $1 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to the Emory College Assured Information Management and Sharing (AIMS) research lab to develop improved methods for building data registries that benefit biomedical research while guaranteeing patient privacy.
  • $2.3 million over five years from the National Science Foundation to the Rollins School of Public Health to develop new computational approaches to study waterborne infectious disease risks resulting from a changing and variable climate.
  • $1.2 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to re-envision the chemistry curriculum at Emory College and Oxford College, with the goal of building a robust pipeline from discovery-based learning to doing hands-on science in faculty labs.
  • A multi-million dollar contract as one of the nation's nine NIH-sponsored Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs). The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases leads the VTEUs in testing new vaccines and therapies for infectious, immunologic and allergic diseases in adults and children. It will award the VTEUs a combined $135 million annually over seven years.

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