Two School of Medicine Departments – for the first time – have ranked within the top ten for research award dollars awards by the National Institutes for Health. The School of Medicine’s Department of Pathology was ranked seventh in among medical school clinical science departments receiving research funding in 2010. The UNM School of Medicine’s Department of Family and Community Medicine ranked tenth, up from 12thposition in 2009. The figures were compiled by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.

In 2010, some 1167 institutes received research support from the NIH. Altogether, 12 of the UNM School of Medicine departments and the College of Pharmacy scored within the top 100 clinical sciences departments.

“We are continuing to build our department’s research programs within the long term goals of improving the health of the population and of enhancing patient care via the best faculty and most advanced basic and clinical research approaches,” said Thomas M. Williams, MD, Chair of Pathology.

Williams credited research scientists and physicians Richard Larson, MD, PHD, Larry Sklar, MD, Cosette Wheeler, PhD, Janet Oliver, PhD and Cheryl Willman, M.D., Altogether the department received some $18.9-million in NIH research funding awards.

Family Medicine Chair Martha McGrew, MD, said the creation of the

multidisciplinary New Mexico Center for Advancement of Research, Engagement and Science on Health Disparities (NM CARES HD), led by Robert Williams, MD, was an important factor in the department’s jump in NIH standings. The center will be a multidisciplinary effort partnership within the School of Medicine, and Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy to work with communities across the state to research the causes and solutions of health disparities in New Mexico.

The integrative growth of research, particularly in the departments of Neurosciences, which received more than $2-million and neurology, with received $2.8- million combined to place the departments within the top quarter of medical school clinical department funding, said Larson who also serves as HSC Vice Chancellor and Senior
Associate Dean of Research at the Health Sciences Center Research.

The mission of the HSC’s Clinical & Translational Science Center (UNM CTSC) is to amplify research dollars to create real health solutions regionally, as well as nationally and internationally. To that end, Neurosciences and Neurology will be combing in 2011 as a UNM signature program in Brain & Behavioral illness. Larson said that direction is already reflected in the increases in research dollars received by both departments in anticipation of their increased effectiveness.
Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322