NEWS | February 14, 2011

UC Davis School of Medicine now among top 40 in U.S. for National Institutes of Health funding


The UC Davis School of Medicine rose to 37th place among 134 schools of medicine in the United States in an annual ranking based on the amount of National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funds received over the course of a year. The 2010 ranking puts UC Davis School of Medicine 11 places higher than in 2009 and 25 places higher than in 2001, when it ranked 62nd nationwide.

Photo of UC Davis Cancer Center researcher Mamata Pochampalli, copyright 2010, UC Regents
Mamata Pochampalli is among the many federally funded researchers conducting leading-edge studies.

Total NIH funding for the School of Medicine has more than doubled in the past nine years. In 2010, NIH funds topped out at nearly $119 million; the total in 2001 was just over $46 million. NIH funding represents 62 percent of the school’s total extramural funding, which in fiscal year 2009/2010 reached $190.4 million.

“The proportion of NIH funding for an institution is one measure of research excellence," said Lars Berglund, associate dean for research at the School of Medicine. "Funded by U.S. tax dollars, NIH supports researchers throughout the country and around the world as they work to improve people’s health. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and only the best research studies are funded."

The rankings data were collected and tabulated by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, a North Carolina nonprofit organization, using the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT) from the NIH at

UC Davis School of Medicine ranked particularly high in basic sciences, including in microbiology (12th out of 96 surveyed) and in anatomy/cellular biology (20th out of 80 surveyed). In the clinical sciences arena, the Department of Urology stood out with a 5th place ranking out of 34 schools surveyed and the Department of Neurology ranked 21st out of 78.

Another research ranking by the Association of American Medical Colleges using benchmarking data from fiscal year 2009 showed UC Davis Medical School as the nation’s first in the rate of research growth compared with other surveyed medical schools.

Berglund attributed much of the recent gains in NIH research funding to work on autism and fragile X syndrome at the UC Davis MIND Institute, research partnerships with the College of Biological Sciences, UC Davis Cancer Center grants and robust support for scientists through the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC). UC Davis was a founding member of the national CTSC consortium, an effort that is transforming how scientific research is conducted and advancing the translation of laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients.  

Claire Pomeroy, CEO of UC Davis Health System, vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis, said that growth in NIH investment at UC Davis ultimately benefits individuals, their communities and the state.

“Research fuels the discoveries that transform health, and the infusion of federal funds contributes to the overall economic health of the region,” said Pomeroy.

The UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center is the academic home for innovative and collaborative medical research conducted at UC Davis Health System and its many institutional and community partners. By cultivating a collaborative scientific environment, the center is transforming how clinical and translational research is conducted, ultimately enabling researchers to provide new treatments more efficiently and quickly to patients. Established in October 2006 with a $24.8 million award from the National Institutes of Health, the UC Davis center was among the first 12 institutions selected to launch this nationwide initiative. The consortium ultimately will link nearly 60 institutions to energize the discipline of clinical and translational science. For more information, visit