INDIANAPOLIS — Bucking a national trend of tight resources for biomedical research, Indiana University School of Medicine scientists brought a record $302.3 million in research grants and awards to the school in fiscal year 2015, a 17 percent increase over 2014.
The school attracted $111.5 million in research funds from the National Institutes of Health, the single largest source of research dollars for the school and the nation’s primary source of funds for academic biomedical research. NIH awards were up by nearly 10 percent, or nearly $10 million, over fiscal year 2014.
Along with the growth in NIH awards during the year ended June 30, 2015, research funding rose significantly from several other important sources of research funding:
A 22 percent increase in funds to $63 million, from foundations and other non-profit organizations.
A 10 percent increase, to $65 million, from corporations, much of it to test potential new drugs.
A 24 percent increase, to $25 million, from other federal government agencies, such as the Department of Defense.
“This growth in research funding is a credit to hundreds of investigators at the IU School of Medicine who are both persistent and successful in demonstrating to funding agencies that they have creative ideas for new research,” said Anantha Shekhar, M.D., Ph.D., executive associate dean for research affairs and director of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.
Dr. Shekhar also credited resources made available by the Physician Scientist Initiative and the Strategic Research Initiative that supported the recruitment of senior scientists whose research programs have continued to attract new grants. The Lilly Endowment funded the Physician Scientist Initiative with a $60 million gift in 2009. More than half of the money was allocated to recruiting physician-scientist researchers. The Strategic Research Initiative is a $150 million collaboration between the IU School of Medicine and IU Health that has, in part, supported recruitment of faculty scientists.
Significant grants during the year included:
$13 million as part of the NCAA-Department of Defense Grand Alliance project to study concussions in college athletes
$5 million from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. to the Indiana CTSI for several new initiatives to move research discoveries from the laboratory to new therapies and new businesses.
$2.4 million from the National Institutes of Health for a study to identify biomarkers in Type 1 diabetes.
Among many clinical trials under way at the school, seven new trials each bringing in more than $1 million to test new drugs, primarily in cancer.
$750,000 from the National Human Genome Research Institute to implement a program of pharmacogenotyping — testing to enable physicians to choose appropriate prescription drugs based on patients’ genetic profiles — at Eskenazi Health.