Pavan Muttil  and Dominique Price
Pavan Muttil, PhD (right) and doctoral candidate Dominique Price work in a lab at the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy.
Credit: Furhana Afrid

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center wrapped up the just-ended fiscal year with a record $165 million in grant funding for biomedical research, representing more than a decade of continuous growth, the university announced Tuesday.

The funding total of $164,525,828 for FY 2016 is a 2.3 percent increase over the previous year, said Richard S. Larson, MD, PhD, the HSC’s executive vice chancellor and vice chancellor for research.

“We’re continuing to buck national trends, thanks to our efficient and effective strategy for fostering new research initiatives,” Larson said. “We have seen 12 years of annual funding increases amid the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and while research funding in general has declined.

“As New Mexico continues to struggle, the HSC is bringing millions of dollars into our state, providing the economy with a major shot in the arm and supporting thousands of well-paying jobs.”

Meanwhile HSC discoveries have led to more than three dozen biotechnology spinoffs in the past decade – five in the past year.

The HSC is one of only 29 institutions nationally with both an NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Sciences Award and a National Cancer Institute–designated comprehensive cancer center.

The HSC research enterprise supports clinical studies in hundreds of New Mexico communities. UNM researchers have achieved major breakthroughs in treating diabetes, dementia, cancer, multiple sclerosis, asthma, brain trauma and other diseases and disorders, leading to improved health care delivery in our communities.

“This remarkable achievement is a tribute to the sustained, coordinated efforts of our leadership, faculty, staff and student researchers, who have enabled us to overcome these challenges,” Larson said.

“We are unique among New Mexico’s health care providers. We generate discoveries and breakthroughs that have led to economic growth, social improvement and improved health – but most importantly, hope – for all New Mexicans.”