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Miller School Makes History with NIH Research Funding

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine received more than $175 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in federal fiscal year 2022, the highest amount earned in the school’s history. The Miller School moved up in the national ranking and maintained its position as Florida’s No. 1 medical school for these federal research grants.

The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR) ranked the Miller School 38th in the nation — up from 40th last year — and well ahead of six public universities in the state. Overall, the Miller School had six programs in the top 25 nationally.

Aerial view of medical campus and Simkins Research Tower
The Miller School moved up in national rankings and maintained its No. 1 position in Florida for NIH grants in 2022.

“Our status as a nationally and internationally recognized research institution is clearly moving in the right direction,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School. “Our preeminent scientists and researchers are dedicated to finding new therapies for challenging diseases and conditions, while advancing public health, wellness, and prevention initiatives.”

Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and executive dean for research at the Miller School, noted the collaborative nature of the medical school’s research, which includes basic science studies, clinical trials, and biomedical technologies.

“We are focused on creating platforms that facilitate team science across various disciplines,” said Dr. Nimer, who is also the Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular biology. “This approach leads to more groundbreaking discoveries and clinical studies that can ultimately improve patient care.”

Genetics Program Ranked No. 2, Others in Top 25 Nationally

The Miller School’s genetics program moved up to No. 2 among its national peers, with $48.13 million in NIH funding. The ranking includes research at the school’s John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, led by Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., who is also the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Professor of Human Genetics; and by Stephan Züchner, M.D., Ph.D., the school’s chief genomics officer and professor in the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics.

The Miller School’s other disciplines ranked highly among peers, including public health sciences at No. 8 with $16 million — ranked in the top ten for the first time in the program’s history. Neurology ranked at No. 14 with $24.087 million; dermatology at No. 15 with $2.53 million; surgery at No. 20 with $9.36 million; and otolaryngology at No. 24 with $2.5 million.

Drs. Pericak-Vance and Züchner were the top two NIH-funded faculty members at the Miller School, with $22.30 million and $14.16 million in grants, respectively. James E. Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., professor of neurology and director of the Miller School’s Comprehensive Center for Brain Health, was third with $8.304 million in grants, while Jeffery Vance, M.D., Ph.D., professor and founding chair of the Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, was fourth with $6.584 million in funds.

Other leading NIH-funded principal investigators included:

  • Jose Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and chair emeritus, Department of Public Health Sciences, with $6.106 million
  • Maria Luisa Alcaide, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the clinical sciences core of the Miami Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), with $4.495 million
  • Savita Pahwa, M.D., professor of microbiology and immunology and director of the Miami CFAR, with $4.271 million
  • The late Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and chair of the Department of Neurology, with $3.591 million
  • Michael Benatar, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and public health sciences, with $2.948 million

Looking ahead, Dean Ford said that the Miller School will strive for additional NIH funding to support future scientific discoveries.

“This latest ranking is a significant accomplishment,” he said. “It shows that we are well on our way toward our goal of being one of the nation’s premier research medical schools.”

Tags: Center for AIDS Research, Department of Neurology, Dr. James Galvin, Dr. Jeffery Vance, Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance, Dr. Stephan Zuchner, Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, NIH funding, NIH grant