There were no NIH funded grants in the Department of Surgery of the Emory University School of Medicine when Dr. William Wood became chair in 1991. When he passed the chair to Dr. Chris Larsen in February 2009, however, the Department had risen to the 5th leading academic department of surgery in NIH funding nationwide in fiscal year 2008.
According to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, which calculates its data from the NIH's Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT), the Department maintained this NIH ranking for all departments of surgery nationwide in fiscal years 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Blue Ridge also reported that Dr. Larsen was listed as the top funded principal investigator in FY2012, followed by Dr. Allan Kirk 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.
Despite continuing national trends of relatively flat federal funding and marked reductions in foundation and philanthropic giving, the Department sustained its remarkable growth in research activities in FY2012 and continued its explicit efforts to diversify funding. Additional funding sources included the American Society of Transplantation, Georgia Cancer Coalition, Department of Defense, FDA, CDC, and numerous industry sponsors.
The Department's clinical research portfolio is consistently substantial and our faculty's peer reviewed publications have gradually increased over the past five years, with approximately 195 peer-reviewed papers published in 91 journals in FY2012. The top five impact factor journals were New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Circulation, and Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Following the FDA's 2011 approval of belatacept in the form of the drug Nulojix for kidney transplant recipients, our transplant program continued to have the world's largest experience with belatacept as immunosuppression for kidney transplant.
The Emory Center for Critical Care, directed by Dr. Timothy Buchman, received a $10.7 million Health Care Innovations Award from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to fund its effort to build a collaborative network to support intensive care units in rural North Georgia.
Dr. Michael Halkos received an NIH K-23 Mentored Career Development Award—a first for the Department—to support his evaluation of different strategies for performing coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
The DoD agreed to fund a pilot wound closure study based at Grady Memorial Hospital that is the first of its kind in the country at a civilian medical center. Through the identification of chemical and molecular biomarkers that appear to predict successful closure, the study team—led by Dr. Chris Dente—hopes to develop a predictive system for wound closure that would greatly improve patient care.
An NIH U19 grant of $20 million earmarked to support multiple teams of investigators of the Emory Transplant Center will allow the problems of immunosuppression to be attacked from different but complementary angles.