Miller School Maintains Top NIH Ranking as Neurosurgery, Urology Programs Celebrate Significant Increases

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine received $174.2 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2023, according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research data, maintaining its position as Florida’s No. 1 medical school for federal research grants. Overall, the Miller School had seven programs in the top 25 nationally and several celebrated noteworthy advancements in their rankings.

The Department of Neurological Surgery, led by professor and chair Allan D. Levi M.D., Ph.D., ascended to No. 10 nationally with $9 million in funding, a 20-point improvement from No. 30 in the previous year.  

Several areas of research excellence in neurosurgery have moved the needle in NIH funding, including investigations in spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries through The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, brain tumor research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Brain Tumor Institute and basic science investigations in cerebral aneurysms formation.

Collaboration on these projects spans the medical school. The Office of the Executive Dean for Research last year hosted a neuroscience retreat to break down silos and build essential connections across a wide range of disciplines, including neural engineering, nanotechnology, genetics and stem cells.

“We are proud of the continued strength of our research enterprise, which is grounded in Team Science,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School. “Our outstanding scientists epitomize the notion that ‘we achieve our best by working together,’ and their seminal discoveries provide a beacon of hope for many suffering patients.”

The Desai Sethi Urology Institute also leaped in the national rankings, elevating its standing to No. 15 with $2.1 million in funding from its previous ranking of No. 33. The institute, led by founding director Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., is revolutionizing the field of urology and pioneering outstanding scientific, clinical and technological advancements. The institute is one of a very few free-standing urology institutes in the U.S. focused on a multidisciplinary approach to advance clinical care, research and education for genitourinary diseases.

The Miller School’s Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics remains a national leader and ranks No. 3 among its peers, with $44.4 million in NIH funding. That standing is undoubtedly helped by Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., director of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Professor of Human Genetics, who is the No. 1 NIH-funded principal investigator in genetics nationwide with $22.4 million, and Stephan Züchner, M.D., Ph.D., the Miller School’s chief genomics officer and professor in the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, who is No. 6 in the nation with $9 million in grants.

Other programs ranked in the top 25 nationally include public health and preventive medicine at No. 10 with $15.7 million; dermatology at No. 18 with $2 million; neurology at No. 21 with $15 million, and otolaryngology at No. 23 with $2.5 million.

Other leading NIH-funded principal investigators included:

Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., executive dean for research, emphasized the widespread impact of the Miller School’s research on global health.

“We are bringing together the best researchers in the world to advance novel approaches that can be translated into better patient care in South Florida and around the world,” said Dr. Nimer, also director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Miller School of Medicine and the Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research. “Through Team Science and strategic investments in key areas, we are elevating the impact of our research and advancing life-changing discoveries, technologies and preventive disease strategies that are changing the future of medicine.”

Tags: Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, Dean Henri Ford, Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, Department of Neurological Surgery, Department of Neurology, Department of Otolaryngology, Desai Sethi Urology Institute, Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, Dr. Stephen Nimer, John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, NIH, NIH funding, rankings