Newswise — Indiana University School of Medicine scientists and physicians brought in more than $135 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in federal fiscal year 2017 – setting a school record and advancing IU into the top 33 NIH-funded medical schools in the nation. This represents a 40 percent increase in NIH funding over the past four years, and a more than 13 percent increase compared to 2016. In total, the school brought in over $316 million in research funding from all sources in calendar year 2017.

"The dramatic increase we've seen in our NIH and other funding is a tribute to our faculty,” said Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, dean of IU School of Medicine and vice president for University Clinical Affairs at IU. "Through focusing our efforts in key areas of neuroscience, cancer, diabetes, child health and others, thinking creatively and working collaboratively, our faculty is growing our research in areas of critical need, with the ultimate goal of making lives better for patients.”

Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, executive associate dean for research affairs at IU School of Medicine and associate vice president of research for University Clinical Affairs at IU, said that in addition to talented faculty, the increase in NIH funding also can be attributed to the number of programs now available to help IU School of Medicine researchers submit better proposals, including a mentoring program for junior faculty members, committees of faculty peers who can help review grant applications and providing a wide variety of core services that give researchers access to expertise such as biostatistics and 3D imaging.

IU School of Medicine researchers’ work and the dollars they attract to Indiana not only advance research and innovations that lead to better patient care, they also drive economic impact in the state.

According to a 2011 study by the Association of American Medical Colleges, for every dollar invested in research at medical school and teaching hospitals, $2.60 of economic activity occurs through both direct spending by the schools and their employees, as well as money “re-spent” within the local community.

“NIH funding has multiplier effects,” Dr. Shekhar said. “It provides direct funds to hire more people to work on different research projects, so it creates jobs. It increases discoveries and potential commercial ideas that have an impact on the local biomedical industry. Increased funding also helps IU School of Medicine become a stronger environment for research, attracting more scientists to come here and develop their own labs and companies.”

See a list of IU School of Medicine's Top 10 Largest NIH Grants of 2017.