School of Pharmacy up two more notches in NIH grant rankings

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
By: Cynthia McMullen


Based on having attracted $6.27 million in National Institutes of Health grants during Fiscal Year 2015, VCU School of Pharmacy has climbed to No. 12 in the annual Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research rankings.



The NIH is the country’s primary medical research agency. “The school’s improvement in ranking is a credit to the excellence in scholarship of our faculty, staff and students,” said Aron Lichtman, associate dean for research and graduate studies. “I think the number speaks for itself.”

Awards made to the school during FY15 include research by principal investigators Edwin van den Oord ($3 million from the National Institute of Mental Health), Benjamin Van Tassell ($1.2 million from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute), Umesh Desai ($500,000 from NHLBI) and Don Brophy ($443,000 from NHLBI).

Of the 75 schools and colleges of pharmacy that were ranked, coming in at No. 12 puts VCU School of Pharmacy’s NIH funding ahead of the Universities of Maryland, Minnesota, Southern California, Texas-Austin, Connecticut and Florida, along with Ohio State University, Purdue University and the University of Southern California.

Lichtman noted that NIH-funded research at VCU School of Pharmacy helps support an outstanding Ph.D. program whose alumni have risen to positions of leadership in academia, industry and government.

According to BRIMR, the median NIH funding for pharmacy schools and colleges in FY15 was $2.75 million. The rankings include direct plus indirect costs but exclude R&D (research and development) contracts and ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) awards.

VCU School of Pharmacy ranked No. 14 with $5.6 million in FY14, up from No. 18 in FY13. Its ranking and awards histories since 2009 are provided by the university. (See below.)