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Department of Surgery Ranks 2nd Nationally in NIH Research Funding

In its 2023 ranking, the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research has placed the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as the nation’s 2nd highest academic surgical department in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding.

The department broke its previous funding record with more than $34.1 million in grants in 2023. This marks an increase of nearly $6 million over last year’s funding.

“Our department has long been a pioneer in cutting edge research, from basic and translational science to public health science to clinical trials and innovation,” says John A. Olson Jr., MD, PhD, the William K. Bixby Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery “This recognition demonstrates our continued commitment to advancing academic surgery through world-class research programs. I am incredibly proud of our investigators, public health experts, surgeon-scientists, trainees and research staff for their ongoing efforts to discover knowledge in service of our patients.”

The Department of Surgery has placed in the top 4 since the Blue Ridge rankings began in 2006.

Among the many NIH grants led by Department of Surgery researchers is a prestigious $10.9 million Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to support research and clinical trials aimed at improving therapies for pancreatic cancer.

“Blue Ridge rankings are widely regarded as a measure of research vitality among academic medical centers across the United States,” says Mohamed Zayed, MD, PhD, MBA, a professor of surgery, radiology, molecular cell biology and biomedical engineering, director of vascular research and director of the CardioVascular Research Innovation in Surgery and Engineering (CVISE) Center. “Achieving consistently high research funding requires strong infrastructure, support from leadership at all levels, and a spirit of inquiry and collaboration—all of which are thriving at Washington University.”

The School of Medicine also ranked 2nd highest nationally among all medical schools for NIH funding in 2023, with several departments placing among the nation’s highest in funding for their specialties.