NIH Funding for Neurosurgeons from 1991-2015

A presentation at the 2016 American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting

Newswise — Winner of the Journal of Neuro-Oncology Award, Arman Jahangiri, presented his research, From Bench to Bedside: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funding for Neurosurgeons from 1991-2015, during the 2016 American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Annual Scientific Meeting.

Neurosurgeons have long played an important role in advancing medicine through research which, historically, has been linked to the NIH. For this study, the authors defined variables associated with neurosurgical NIH funding, the prevalence of funded topics by neurosurgical subspecialty and identified temporal trends in NIH neurosurgical funding by conducting a retrospective review of NIH-funded AANS members.

The authors followed 6,515 neurosurgeons over 24 years, including 6,124 (94 percent) MDs and 406 (6 percent) MD-PhDs. NIH grants were awarded to 391 (6 percent) neurosurgeons. The average total funded years per neurosurgeon was 12.5 years (range=1–85). A higher percentage of MD-PhDs were funded than were MDs. The most common grants were R01 (n=128/33 percent), K08 (n=69/18 percent), F32 (n=60/15 percent), M01 (n=50/13 percent) and R21 (n=39/10 percent). For training grants, 30 percent of F32 recipients transitioned to K08s (18 percent) and/or R01s (18 percent), and 38 percent of K08 recipients transitioned to R01s. Of NIH-funded neurosurgeons, 32 (8 percent) transitioned to funded clinical trial(s). Funded neurosurgical subspecialties included neuro-oncology (33 percent), functional/epilepsy (32 percent), cerebrovascular (17 percent), trauma (10 percent) and spine (6 percent).

The decrease in K08 funding and the plateau in F32 funding suggests that the upward trend in R01s awarded to neurosurgeons during the last 24 years will be difficult to maintain. This also underscores the importance of continued selection and mentorship of neurosurgeons capable of impacting patient care through research, including the MD-PhDs; noted to be particularly successful at procuring funding.

Author Block: Arman Jahangiri; Patrick Flanigan, BS; Maxine Arnush; Sarah Choi, BS; Alvin Chou; Nima Emami, BS; Ruby Kuang; Albert Truong, BS; Mitchel Berger, MD; Manish Aghi, MD, PhD (San Francisco)

Disclosure: The author reported no conflicts of interest.

Media Representatives: The 2016 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting press section will include releases on highlighted scientific research, AANS officers and award winners, Neurosurgery Awareness Month and other relevant information about the 2016 program. Releases will be posted under the “Media” area on the 2016 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting website. If you have interest in a topic related to neurosurgery or would like to interview a neurosurgeon — either onsite or via telephone — during the event, please contact Alice Kelsey, AANS associate executive director, via email at

About the 2016 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting: Attended by neurosurgeons, neurosurgical residents, medical students, neuroscience nurses, clinical specialists, physician assistants, allied health professionals and other medical professionals, the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting is the largest gathering of neurosurgeons in the nation, with an emphasis on the field’s latest research and technological advances. More than 1,200 scientific abstracts were submitted for the 2015 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting; the scientific presentations accepted for the 2016 event will represent cutting-edge examples of the incredible developments taking place within the field of neurosurgery. Additional information about the 2016 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting and the meeting program can be found here.

Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with more than 10,000 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. Fellows of the AANS are board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, A.C. Neurosurgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the spinal column, spinal cord, brain, nervous system and peripheral nerves.

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