UArizona Health Sciences Colleges Climb NIH Funding Blue Ridge Rankings

UArizona Health Sciences Colleges Climb NIH Funding Blue Ridge Rankings

Arizona University of Health Sciences


Jun Wang, an assistant professor at the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy, has received several major NIH grants to fund research into identifying antiviral drug targets for viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID -19, and enterovirus D68, which causes moderate to severe respiratory disease in children.

the Arizona University of Health Sciences received more than $133 million in National Institutes of Health funding in 2020-21, with several colleges showing improvements in the national rankings of the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, released in mid-February.

The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research is a non-profit organization that annually ranks US medical schools based on NIH grants. The NIH is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world. NIH-funded research has led to breakthroughs and new treatments that help people live longer, healthier lives, and build the research base that drives discovery.

NIH Ranking Infographic

From October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021, UArizona R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy advanced its ranking to No. 6 with $13.8 million in NIH funding. Last year, the college ranked No. 8 with $10 million in funding.

Some of the College of Pharmacy’s largest NIH grants have been received by:

  • Jun Wangassistant professor and BIO5 Institute member whose research includes investigation of antiviral therapies against SARS-CoV-2
  • Jeannie Leeassistant dean of student services and associate professor whose NIH-funded projects focus on improving adherence to blood pressure medications in older adults
  • Hong Min Liholder of the R. Ken and Donna Coit Endowed Chair in Drug Discovery who works to identify new therapeutic targets for several diseases, including those caused by flaviviruses, including West Nile, Zika and yellow fever

the UArizona College of Nursing crossed the $2 million mark and jumped five places in the rankings, from No. 33 to No. 27. College of Nursing investigators raised $2.6 million in NIH funding.

“We have a small but powerful faculty,” said Judith S. Gordon, Associate Dean for Research at the College of Nursing. “College of Nursing faculty are very productive in securing NIH funding, as well as other types of extramural funding.”

Gordon highlighted two large-scale trials conducted by Sponge badger and Aleeca Bellas well as a development study conducted by Tracy Crane, as newly funded research that contributed to the success of the college. Badger, Eleanor Bauwens Endowed Chair and Professor of Nursing, studies post-chemotherapy symptom management and psychological distress in caregivers and cancer survivors, symptom management, and healthcare utilization. Bell, an associate professor of nursing, examines behavioral interventions to improve mother-child synchronization in women who have experienced childhood adversity. Crane uses natural language processing to determine predictors of healthy diet and physical activity behavior change in ovarian cancer survivors.

The UArizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, while increasing its NIH funding from $3.8 million to $4.2 million, remained stable at No. 35 in the rankings. the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson and College of Medicine – Phoenixwhich the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research combines in the ranking, accounted for $112.4 million in funding and ranked No. 50 overall.

Blue Ridge rankings are determined by the total value of NIH scholarships to a principal investigator’s institution and do not include research and development contracts or funding from sources other than NIH.

A version of this article originally appeared on the UArizona Health Sciences website.