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OHSU attracts nearly $600 million in research funding — a record

University’s scientific discoveries support public health, well-being for Oregonians and beyond
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OHSU Knight Cancer Institute's team of cancer specialists are pioneers in targeted cancer therapy and early detection. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)
OHSU Knight Cancer Institute's team of cancer specialists are pioneers in targeted cancer therapy and early detection. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)

Oregon Health & Science University attracted a record $595.9 million in research funding during its 2023 fiscal year, supporting countless discoveries related to human health.

Peter Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D.
Peter Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D. (OHSU)

“While it is satisfying that OHSU has received so much research funding, I focus far more on how this funding enables OHSU scientists to make impactful scientific discoveries every day,” said Peter Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D., OHSU executive vice president and chief research officer. “OHSU scientists continue to display incredible creativity and innovation in support of the university’s overarching mission to improve the health and well-being of all Oregonians.”

The record research revenue was awarded during OHSU’s 2023 fiscal year, which ran July 2022 through June 2023. It includes funding that was directly awarded to OHSU as the lead institution for research projects, as well as pass-through funding that OHSU received as a partner on projects that were led by other organizations.

About 58% of OHSU’s 2023 fiscal year funding came from the National Institutes of Health, which supported $343.5 million in OHSU research. Other organizations that supported OHSU research that year include:

  • Industry partners, including pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers that sponsor clinical trials ($129.3 million).
  • Other federal agencies, including the Human Resource Services Agency, Center for Disease Control and the Department of Defense ($70.4 million).
  • Foundations and nonprofit organizations ($45.3 million).
  • The state of Oregon ($6.73 million).

OHSU areas that received the most research funding last fiscal year are:

OHSU School of Medicine received $402.4 million, which includes:

  • Knight Cancer Institute ($126.3 million)
  • Department of Neurology ($35.7 million)
  • Department of Medicine ($23.3 million)
  • Department of Pediatrics ($19.7 million)

Freestanding centers and institutes received $144.1 million, which includes:

  • OHSU Oregon National Primate Research Center ($65.3 million)
  • OHSU Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute ($32.5 million)
  • OHSU Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute ($15.1 million)
  • OHSU Vollum Institute ($11.6 million)

Other schools and programs received $43.8 million, which includes:

  • OHSU-PSU School of Public Health ($20.5 million)
  • Oregon Office of Rural Health ($8.9 million)
  • OHSU School of Dentistry ($8.5 million)
  • OHSU School of Nursing ($5.2 million)

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is one of many organizations affiliated with OHSU that are expanding their research efforts. The school’s research budget substantially increased between the 2022 and 2023 fiscal years, growing by nearly 40%.

The school’s research is as diverse as the field of public health, ranging from climate change, homelessness and air pollution, to gun violence and substance abuse.

Marguerita Lightfoot, Ph.D. (OHSU)
Marguerita Lightfoot, Ph.D. (OHSU)

Marguerita Lightfoot, Ph.D., associate dean for research and Ron Naito-John McAnulty Professor in Health Equity in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, said the school’s research has grown steadily during the last three or four years. That growth can partly be attributed to an increased focus on public health following the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, more grants are coming from the federal government and pharmaceutical companies, both of which tend to provide larger funding amounts.

Another example is the OHSU School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, in which approximately 30 faculty members received a combined $13.7 million in research funding during the 2023 fiscal year — representing an increase of more than 28%.

Bonnie Nagel, Ph.D.
Bonnie Nagel, Ph.D. (OHSU)

Bonnie Nagel, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and vice chair for psychiatric research in the OHSU School of Medicine, said the growth is partly a response to the current mental health crisis and generous philanthropic support, as well as the department’s emphasis on encouraging research collaboration and helping junior faculty members flourish. A large portion of the psychiatry department’s expanding research portfolio focuses on child and adolescent mental health, including participating in the nation’s largest long-term study of early brain and child development.

As Oregon’s only academic health center and a public institution, OHSU’s thousands of scientists, healers, teachers and learners are focused on improving the health and well-being of Oregonians and beyond. Grant funding supports impactful research at OHSU, including:

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