News Release: Research, University News

Sep. 23,  2008

University Tops $400 Million in FY08 Research Funding

Emory University scientists continued their positive momentum in fiscal year '08 by attracting $411.2 million in funding from external sponsoring agencies, with the majority of funds coming from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

External research funding--the most of any university in Georgia—topped $400 million for the first time, rising seven percent over the previous year. Increases in Emory research funding have averaged eight percent a year over the past three years.

Federal funding, at $300.2 million, was responsible for approximately 73 percent of the Emory research awards. Funding from the NIH was $251 million, or approximately 61 percent of the total and about 84 percent of total federal funding.

"Emory scientists continue to excel in their ability to attract research funding and to serve society through the discoveries that result from that support," says James W. Wagner, president of Emory University.  "I am extremely proud of our outstanding faculty and staff and their national research leadership."

Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center received more than $387.5 million, or more than 94 percent of the University total.  The Health Sciences Center includes Emory University School of Medicine, Rollins School of Public Health, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Research funding in Emory University School of Medicine grew by 10 percent over the previous year, funding to Yerkes National Primate Research Center grew by 13 percent and funding to the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing grew by 8 percent.

"Emory investigators have worked extraordinarily hard to earn these competitive research grants," says Fred Sanfilippo, MD, PhD, Emory executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. "The quality and promise of their research and their scientific teams is reflected in this impressive funding accomplishment, which continues to transform health and healing for our patients."

"Emory research funding has grown at a very impressive rate among national institutions, even in this era of flat NIH budgets and a difficult economy," says David L. Wynes, PhD, Emory vice president for research administration.

"Notably, many of our research grants this year were based on collaborative projects with other institutions including Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Tech and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Support from the Georgia Research Alliance, which rewards collaborative research, also was a key factor in attracting research funding to Emory and to Georgia."

Emory researchers received major grants and contracts from the NIH for collaborative clinical and translational research:

  • Emory was designated as one of the newest members of the national Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs) funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The designation came with a seven-year contract of approximately $23.7 million.  In their first VTEU collaboration, Emory researchers are conducting a clinical trial testing a new avian flu vaccine.
  • Emory received more than $31 million over five years to lead a clinical trials partnership of Atlanta institutions, including Morehouse School of Medicine, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to accelerate the translation of laboratory discoveries into patient-care innovations.
  • A multi-year award of $25.5 million will fund Emory researchers leading the Georgia arm of the landmark National Children's Study, examining the effects of environmental and genetic factors on children's health in the United States.
  • A five-year $8 million NIH grant will support clinical research efforts to reduce transfusion-related risks for vulnerable patients like premature infants and bone marrow transplant recipients.
  • As a new participant in the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network, sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Emory will receive $1.25 million and join seven other premier cardiovascular institutions in the U.S. and Canada to evaluate new surgical techniques, technologies, devices and innovative pharmaceutical and bioengineered products.

Other NIH grants will support research to more accurately assess patients with schizophrenia, improve kidney transplants in children and develop painless microneedle patches to deliver flu vaccine.

Emory glycomics researchers were awarded an NIH EUREKA grant for exceptional and unconventional research that will catalog the thousands of complex carbohydrates in the human body with the aim of exploring their link to human biology and disease.  


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