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Emory Surgery Ranked #5 in NIH Awards for 2012

February 2013

Continuing the trend that began in 2008, the Department of Surgery of the Emory University School of Medicine was ranked #5 in NIH awards for all departments of surgery nationwide in FY2012, the fifth year in a row it has achieved this level. The stats were obtained from the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, which has been publishing ranking tables online of annual NIH funding since 2006. The data is calculated from the NIH's Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT).

In a type of symbolic endorsement of his recent move from chair of the Department of Surgery to dean of the Emory University School of Medicine, Dr. Chris Larsen was listed as the top funded principal investigator in 2012, a placement befitting an internationally recognized leader in transplant surgery and immunology. Dr. Allan Kirk, vice chair of research of the Department of Surgery and fellow transplant surgeon-scientist, was listed in the 8th position. Additional Emory Surgery faculty listed in the top 250 funded PIs were Drs. John Calvert, Craig Coopersmith, Mandy Ford, David Lefer, Kenneth Newell, John Puskas, and Lily Yang.

While the ongoing ranking can be seen as a testament to the NIH's confidence in the vigor of the Department's research endeavors, it should not be interpreted as a sign of dependence by Emory Surgery on the agency's largesse. The Department has consciously worked towards diversifying away from NIH funding to sustain its substantial clinical portfolio, and our faculty have had great success in acquiring alternate funding sources such as the FDA, Department of Defense, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, American Society of Transplantation, Georgia Cancer Coalition, AVON Foundation, and numerous industry sponsors.

In FY2012, 38% of Department of Surgery faculty were PIs, up from 26% the prior year, and our faculty published approximately 195 peer-reviewed papers in 91 journals, also an increase from 2011. "The sustained success of our faculty is attributable to their embracing a concept of collegial and team oriented science," says Dr. Kirk. "We see this strong showing as a tribute to the faculty's willingness to support scientific investigation alongside clinical practice, and in doing so provide the best treatment for the patients we see today and those we will see in the future."