UArizona Health Sciences post gains in Blue Ridge rankings

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The University of Arizona Health Sciences received nearly $137 million in National Institutes of Health funding in 2021-2022 and advanced in several categories in the recently released Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research national rankings.

The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research is a nonprofit organization that ranks U.S. medical schools by NIH grant awards each year. The NIH is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world.

For the third consecutive year, the UArizona College of Nursing significantly improved its ranking, advancing from No. 27 last year to No. 23 this year. From Oct. 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2022, investigators in the College of Nursing garnered $3.7 million in NIH funding, an increase of more than $1.1 million.

"This ranking is a testament to our hard-working faculty, including Dr. Judith Gordon, associate dean for research, and the Office of Research and Scholarship. The College of Nursing's increase in NIH funding is a direct result of their dedication to improving the care of individuals and society through discovery and testing of interventions designed to promote health and wellness," said Kathleen C. Insel, the College of Nursing interim dean, who received a $2.5 million grant that contributed to the ranking.

Insel is leading a team of researchers from the University of Arizona Health Sciences and the University of Illinois to study the effectiveness of digital technology to improve medication adherence among older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

Gordon and College of Nursing professor Terry Badger and associate professor Thaddeus Pace also received significant NIH awards.

Badger, who is chair of the Division of Community and Systems Health Science and holds the Eleanor Bauwens Endowed Chair of Nursing, is using a $3.2 million grant to study whether adaptive symptom self-management may reduce psychological distress and improve symptom management in cancer survivors.

Gordon, professor and member of the BIO5 Institute, was awarded a $3.2 million grant to test the efficacy of telephone-delivered guided imagery as an intervention to help people stop smoking.

Thanks to a $1.7 million grant, Pace is examining whether including informal caregivers in an internet video conference-based compassion meditation intervention may reduce psychological distress in breast cancer survivors.

The UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson and UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, which the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research combines in the rankings, increased to a combined $114 million in awards and advanced one post to No. 49. The College of Medicine – Tucson was responsible for $110.7 million in awards while the College of Medicine – Phoenix checked in at $3.4 million.

The UArizona R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy maintained its No. 6 ranking with $14.4 million in NIH awards. The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health dropped one spot to No. 36 while increasing its NIH funding to nearly $4.7 million.

Overall, the University of Arizona maintained its position at No. 59 with $174 million in NIH funding.

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

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