Preventive Medicine ranked No. 2 in NIH funding nationally

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Stock image of researcher in lab.

By Cristine Hall

USC’s Department of Preventive Medicine has earned a No. 2 ranking in funding from the National Institutes of Health for the second year in a row.

Preventive Medicine was one of six departments in USC’s Keck School of Medicine to reach the top 10 in their respective fields. The rankings are based on data compiled by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.

“The Department of Preventive Medicine is once again proud to have gained this re-affirmation of the research strength of its faculty,” said Howard Hu, MD, MPH, ScD, the Flora L. Thornton Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine. “Behind the numbers is a deep and abiding commitment to generate the scientific evidence that is essential for optimizing the health of large and diverse urban populations, locally and globally.”

Preventive Medicine recently opened a COVID-19 Pandemic Research Center in response to the pandemic and DPM faculty have covered a wide range of research topics in recent years.

“We’re competing better than we used to,” said Tom Buchanan, MD, professor of medicine, the Bernard J. Hanley Chair in Medicine and KSOM’s Vice Dean for Research.

Buchanan noted how difficult it is to secure an NIH grant, which is based on merit. “It takes a good fundamental idea, it takes preliminary data that the idea could be right, and a proposal that is feasible and scientifically very vigorous.”

KSOM’s Ophthalmology Department is again ranked No. 1 among medical schools in the country.

Rounding out the Top 10 is Neurology at No. 4; Physiology and Neuroscience at No. 5; Otolaryngology at No. 7, and Orthopaedics at No. 9.

Neurology, led by Helena Chui, MD, the Raymond and Betty McCarron Chair in Neurology, rose from No. 9 to No. 4, while Otolaryngology went from No. 10 to No. 7.