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OHSU Programs Among Top Five In NIH Research Funding

   Portland, Ore.

Anesthesiology program jumps to 3rd from 15th; neuroscience programs remain second in nation

Oregon's four-year-old investment in medical research and bioscience infrastructure, particularly in anesthesiology, is paying off.

The Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine's ranking in anesthesiology leaped to third from 15th in newly released National Institutes of Health data on research funding for comparable programs across the country. OHSU drew more than $4.57 million for anesthesiology research in 2005.

Ranking first and second were the anesthesiology programs at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and the Washington University School of Medicine, respectively. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was fourth.

Anesthesiology was one of several areas of focus for the Oregon Opportunity, the statewide biomedical research funding initiative supported by public and private dollars.

OHSU research awards grow 7.4 percent overall with the help of the Oregon Opportunity

In fiscal year 2006, OHSU garnered $294 million in research awards from all funding sources, a 7.4 percent increase over the previous year.

"OHSU exceeded its strategic goal to grow by 5 percent, and that bodes well for the university's research endeavors. This is only the beginning of the impact the Oregon Opportunity funding has on the quantity and quality of bioscience research in the state," said Dan Dorsa, Ph.D., OHSU vice president for research.

The Oregon Opportunity brought together a voter-approved, one-time state investment of $200 million, plus a private fundraising campaign that raised nearly $378 million. The Oregon Opportunity helped OHSU to recruit 80 top-tier researchers so far and to fund the Biomedical Research Building and other research space and equipment.

Jeffrey Kirsch, M.D., OHSU professor and chairman of anesthesiology and peri-operative medicine, said anesthesiology's high ranking this year, and growth in the last several years, is a testament to voters' and lawmakers' commitments to biomedical research in Oregon.

"Without that investment, our growth would never have happened," Kirsch said. "They believed in us and provided us their support, and it's caused us to rise to the occasion and bring in 40 to 50 laboratory employees who weren't there just three years ago."

Five OHSU programs rank in the top five in NIH funding

OHSU neurosciences remained at No. 2, with no change in rank between 2004 and 2005. It pulled in $26.93 million in funding from the NIH, the nation's single largest supporter of university research, behind first-place holder the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and ahead of third-ranked Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with $14.53 million.

In addition to anesthesiology, OHSU ranked third among peers nationwide in the other basic science category, which includes research from the Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology and the behavioral neurosciences, among others. They dropped one spot in NIH funding between 2004 and 2005. They received more than $8.79 million in 2005, behind first-ranked Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the University of Massachusetts Medical School at second

OHSU ranks in the top five in two other NIH departmental funding categories, including otolaryngology, which had no change in its fourth-place ranking between 2004 and 2005, and emergency medicine, which jumped two spots to No. 5.

The university also ranks in the top 10 in four other categories, including physiology and microbiology/immunology/virology, both at sixth; ophthalmology at ninth; and biostatistics and other math sciences at 10th. And it was in the top 25 in an additional six categories.

OHSU ranks high in overall research funding

OHSU gained two spots, from 30th to 28th, in an NIH tally of domestic higher education institutions receiving NIH money, after scientists located on OHSUs Marquam Hill and west campuses drew $175,443,012 in research, training and fellowship, research and development contracts, and other awards during fiscal year 2005.

Coming in at 27th on the domestic higher education institution list was the University of Maryland-Baltimore Professional Schools, and at 29th was Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University. Massachusetts Institute of Technology was 30th.

Among all institutions, including hospitals, research centers, clinics, foundations and private companies, OHSU also jumped two positions, from 35th to 33rd, again one spot behind University of Maryland-Baltimore Professional Schools and one ahead of Mount Sinai School of Medicine of NYU. MIT replaced OHSU at 35th.

Among United States medical schools, however, OHSU slipped one spot, from 23rd to 24th. Ranked at 23rd is the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, and at 25th is the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Harvard Medical School was 26th.

Bringing more research funding into the state is long-term OHSU goal

The NIH granted nearly $276 million in out-of-state funding to Oregon's institutions in 2005. Of that total, more than 63 percent, or $175.4 million, went to training, and applied and basic science projects at OHSU.

"It has been one of the university's longtime goals to bring more research funding into the state. Our scientists' research growth has been steady and this is one more benchmark of their success," said Joseph Robertson, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine, who becomes OHSU president on Thursday, Sept. 14.

OHSU's technology transfer efforts are creating new companies, which in turn, are bringing additional out-of-state funding on their own. Five OHSU spinoff companies received more than $3 million in NIH support in 2005: Najit Technologies Inc., Targeted Gene Delivery Inc., Virogenomics Inc., Znomics Inc., and Proteogenix Inc. OHSU has helped start 30 spinoff companies since 2000, most of which are based in Oregon.

As Oregon's only health and science university, OHSU is a knowledge leader. OHSU's mission focuses on: sharing knowledge through teaching; creating and advancing knowledge through research; using knowledge to achieve quality outcomes in patient care; and applying knowledge to find and advocate for solutions in our community.


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