2017 nih numbers350Click the graphic above to view a larger version.Long recognized as a leader in biomedical engineering research, the UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering took a big step forward in 2016, ranking in the top five BME departments nationally in the amount of funding it receives from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

With $4.3 million in funding for fiscal year 2016, the department ranks fourth behind the BME departments of Stanford, Johns Hopkins University, and Oregon Health & Science University. The rankings are published by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, which lists all NIH funding for U.S. medical schools.

The UAB BME Department is included in that medical-school listing for the first time, after becoming a joint department in the UAB Schools of Engineering and Medicine in 2014. Although the department is 11th in NIH funding in the UAB School of Medicine, it is the only UABSOM department that ranks in the top 10 nationally against its peers.

That high ranking is due in large part to department chair Jianyi “Jay” Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., who brought substantial funding when he was hired in 2015. In the past year, he recruited more faculty, such as Prasanna Krishnamurthy, MVSc, Ph.D., Margaret Liu, Ph.D., Gangjian “GQ” Qin, M.D., and Kevin Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. Those hires helped increase research funding further while boosting the total number of BME faculty to 20 full-time members.

“The department’s receipt of NIH funds in 2016 was largely the result of BME faculty winning new UO1, RO1, and R21 grants,” said Zhang, who also holds the Michael and Gillian Goodrich Endowed Chair of Engineering Leadership. “Additionally, by recruiting four new faculty with NIH funds, we continue to improve the quality of our department as we strengthen our research. I congratulate all of our faculty for their recent achievements and I extend our sincere appreciation for their tireless efforts and continued support.”