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Release: Feb. 16, 2000

UI College of Medicine ranks 10th among public medical schools in NIH awards

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A nearly 25 percent increase in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding during fiscal year 1999 moved the University of Iowa College of Medicine up to 10th place among public medical schools and 26th among public and private medical research institutions that receive NIH support.

The increase placed the College of Medicine second among Big Ten universities, with $91.9 million in NIH awards during the federal fiscal year that ended last Sept. 30. Overall, the college received $167.5 million for research initiatives during its 1999 fiscal year that ended last June 30. The UI as a whole received $114.9 million in funding from the NIH in fiscal 1999.

"Dean Robert Kelch and Dr. Allyn Mark, associate dean for research development, deserve congratulations for their extraordinary leadership of the college's research enterprise," said UI President Mary Sue Coleman. "Advancing medicine through basic and clinical research is a key component of the college's three-part mission of medical education, patient care and scientific investigation. The latest NIH ranking is indicative of the college's fine achievements."

"The College of Medicine also is showing strength in research support from the private sector and voluntary health agency funding, as well as technology transfer," added David Skorton, M.D., UI Vice President for Research. "These gains, along with the increase in NIH support, demonstrate the breadth of the college's success."

The College of Medicine moved ahead of the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis Medical School to claim the number two spot among Big Ten universities. The University of Michigan Medical School led all Big Ten medical schools, with more than $156 million in NIH support. The College of Medicine garnered $73.7 million from the NIH during fiscal 1998, placing them 11th among public medical schools and 28th overall.

The college is made up of 705 faculty and nearly 1,900 staff members representing 21 academic departments and divisions.

The $91.9 million in NIH support during fiscal 1999 was comprised of 264 research grants ($82.8 million), 27 training grants ($4.6 million), 22 fellowships ($670,000) and five research and development contracts ($3.8 million). A number of the research projects involve collaborations with faculty members in other UI colleges.

"This is great news," said College of Medicine Dean Robert P. Kelch, M.D. "This gain in

NIH funding is a reflection of the outstanding quality of our faculty and staff and their commitment to the college's research efforts. I believe this is just the beginning of an important phase of growth for college and university."

A number of UI medical researchers received multi-year, multi-million dollar NIH awards during fiscal 1999. These included:

-- Arthur Arnone, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, who received a five-year, $6.3 million grant to study how hemoglobin functions at the atomic level;

-- Ronald Strauss, M.D., professor of pathology and pediatrics, who received a five-year, $7.3 million grant renewal for his research into the pathophysiology and treatment of anemia in premature infants;

-- Michael Todd, M.D., professor of anesthesia, who received a five-year, $8.1 million grant to investigate how hypothermia may help treat or prevent certain neurological problems;

-- Michael Welsh, M.D., Roy J. Carver Professor of internal medicine and physiology and biophysics, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, who received a five-year, $7.1 million renewal for his study of gene therapy to treat cystic fibrosis.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.