Kansas University’s School of Pharmacy ranked fourth in the nation in funding from the National Institutes of Health among schools of pharmacy.
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy reported that KU received more than $18.4 million in NIH funding in the 2010 fiscal year.
The University of California-San Francisco's pharmacy school was ranked at the top of the list.
KU also ranked in the top 10 for percentage of full-time faculty members who receive NIH funding. In fiscal year 2010, 45 percent of KU’s 40 pharmacy professors received funding.
“It’s about four decades we’ve been ranked now,” said Ken Audus, KU’s dean of its School of Pharmacy, and KU has been among the top 10 for the last 10 years.
Jeff Aube is a professor of medicinal chemistry who leads research teams on two major grants that bring in millions of dollars of annual funding.
Still, he said, looking simply at the total dollar amount funded might not be the best way to judge a school’s performance.
“Just because research is more expensive, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better,” he said.
But looking at NIH funding is still a good indicator of success, he said, largely because of stringent peer-review panels.
Today, about 10 percent of all proposals receive NIH funds.
“You basically have to be at the top of the game and have ideas that are really relevant and be able to communicate that in a very effective way and convince your peers you’re worthy of funding,” Audus said.