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The bold and groundbreaking work of physicians and scientists propelled IU School of Medicine to a record year in external support.

Growth in the Lab

a researcher at work in the lab

For the fifth-straight year, Indiana University School of Medicine set a school record for research funding received from the National Institutes of Health, showcasing its continued leadership in the field of medical research.

IU School of Medicine scientists and physicians were awarded more than $213 million in NIH research funding in the 2020 federal fiscal year—netting about $24 million more than the school record from the previous year and surpassing the $200 million mark for the first time in school history. Over the past five years, the school has increased its NIH funding by more than $104 million, or 95 percent.

Combining grants across several disciplines, the school ranked fifth in the country in funding from the National Institute on Aging, the NIH branch that is the primary funder of Alzheimer’s disease research. And once again, the Department of Pediatrics ranks sixth out of all U.S. departments of pediatrics.

“Our continued growth in NIH funding is a testament to the leadership and expertise of our faculty. I extend my thanks for their tremendous effort,” said Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, dean of IU School of Medicine and IU’s executive vice president for university clinical affairs. “NIH grants are the gold standard for research funding, but most importantly this fuels our work in finding answers for some of the most challenging questions. As we continue to navigate the pandemic, this is more important than ever.”

According to a report by United for Medical Research, every $1 million in NIH funding awarded to Indiana researchers created 18 jobs and $2.7 million in economic activity in 2019. Based on that data, IU School of Medicine’s 2020 NIH funding is responsible for more than 3,768 jobs—with 2,755 of those jobs existing here in Indiana. The income from those jobs, along with other associated expenses, generates an estimated $585 million annually in economic activity. 

graph shows growth in research funding

Strategic investments in talent and infrastructure have continued to boost research productivity at IU School of Medicine and highlight the commitment of school leadership to addressing the most pressing health challenges in Indiana and beyond. For the second year in a row, four of the five research studies that received the most NIH funding were for Alzheimer’s disease research, in alignment with the school’s top priorities.

With more than $32 million in grants, the Department of Pediatrics remained ranked at sixth in the nation—accounting for 15 percent of the school’s total NIH funding. Among the 69 studies the department received NIH funding for were sizable grants for work on cystic fibrosis therapies and congenital heart defects in babies.

Read more stories from the 2020 Annual Report.

Annual Report

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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IU School of Medicine

With more than 60 academic departments and specialty divisions across nine campuses and strong clinical partnerships with Indiana’s most advanced hospitals and physician networks, Indiana University School of Medicine is continuously advancing its mission to prepare healers and transform health in Indiana and throughout the world.