Feb. 20, 2004

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Contact: Dan Lara, University Relations, (785) 864-8855.

KU School of Pharmacy ranks 2nd among all schools in NIH funding

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas School of Pharmacy announced today that it ranks second among the nation's elite programs in securing funding from the National Institutes of Health, according to a recent analysis of data.

For fiscal year 2003, KU's pharmacy school received more than $13.6 million in NIH funding. KU and the University of California-San Francisco were the only two among all 64 schools and colleges of pharmacy across the nation to receive NIH funding that surpassed $12 million.

"This is a reflection of the diligence of KU's faculty and staff," said Jack E. Fincham, KU dean of pharmacy. "The NIH funding is a testament to the cutting-edge research being performed by our faculty."

In FY 2002, KU received slightly more than $10 million in NIH awards and was ranked third nationally. In FY 2001, KU received NIH awards totaling more than $8 million, ranking fifth nationally.

"This is exceptional news that is a reflection on the outstanding work of KU's faculty, staff and students," Jim Roberts, interim vice provost for research and president of the KU Center for Research. "KU becomes a top-tier institution one step at a time, and this is a major step."

KU ranked higher than the five other Big 12 institutions with pharmacy programs. They were the University of Colorado (13th), the University of Texas at Austin (17th), the University of Nebraska (41st), Texas Tech University (45th) and the University of Oklahoma (46th).

Among the biggest NIH-funded projects that KU pharmacy school researchers worked on during FY 2003 was the $9.57 million grant to help establish the KU Combinatorial Methodology and Library Development Center of Excellence, or KU-CMLD. The center will bring the research of 15 investigators together as they assemble extensive "libraries" of molecules that scientists use to develop new drugs. Jeff Aubˇ, professor and chair of medicinal chemistry, directs the research.

Another grant involves Robert Hanzlik, professor of medicinal chemistry. His $10.1 million award from the NIH establishes a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence and will bring together scientists from across Kansas to work in the growing field of proteomics, which is the study of cellular proteins and their structures, functions and interactions.

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy compiled the statistics used for the rankings.

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