UNMC Earns Record Amount for Research

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August 3rd, 2016

The University of Nebraska Medical Center was founded in 1881, as Omaha Medical College. The college became affilated with the University in 1902. (Photo by Ryan Robertson, KVNO News)

The University of Nebraska Medical Center was founded in 1881, as Omaha Medical College. The college became affilated with the University in 1902. (Photo by Ryan Robertson, KVNO News)

In the 2015-2016 academic year, the University of Nebraska Medical Center brought in a record amount of research dollars


$115.1 million dollars. That’s how much money for research UNMC garnered over the last academic year.

The majority of that is from federal funding, specifically the National Institutes of Health, the rest comes from other state, federal, and commercial sources, as well as gifts and individual foundations.

It’s the most research money ever accumulated in an academic year, including the years of 2009-2015, when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act saw millions of stimulus funding flow to UNMC.

Dr. Jennifer Larsen, UNMC’s vice chancellor for research wants to make clear the money was not raised, it was earned.

Dr. Larsen said, “Using the term ‘raised’ kind of implies we  go out and just ask for it and they give it to us, but the process is a little more complicated than that. Individuals have to compete on a national stage where they submit applications, present ideas—sometimes in response to a specific question but often times based on the research direction that they’ve already established–and a review panel of their peers decides if we meet the cut.”

The $115.1 million will be used to fund a wide range of research projects, from how to care for people with Ebola, to ways to treat and prevent staph infections, even new ways of treating cancer.

Dr. Larsen said, “Our research is not only generated in part based on what we see as the most important issues in this region and in Nebraska, but they have a direct economic benefit to Nebraska. If we have more grant awards that means hiring more people, that means people coming to visit our university, it has a lot of economic benefits to our region and our state. Obviously if we are successful in commercializing some of these products, we’re hoping that they may be manufactured in our state as well; another opportunity for economic development.”

Larsen said she and her colleagues don’t plan to rest on their laurels and plateau at $115 million a year in research funding. Larsen said UNMC researchers are already setting their sights on bringing in $200 million a year.

For a full listing of all the projects funded through the National Institutes of Health, click here.

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