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UCI School of Medicine Funding Jumps 23%

UCI Health’s School of Medicine garnered $155 million in fiscal 2018-19 funding, a 23% jump from the prior year.

Large recipients of funding included the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, which brought in $25 million—a 21% jump from last year—for research, patient care and clinical trials; while the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders reaped $30 million, a 39% increase.

Leslie Thompson and Magdalene Seiler of the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center received $10.3 million in research funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. With a $5.6 million grant, Thompson continues to advance stem cell-based therapies for Huntington’s disease, while Seiler, with a $4.7 million grant, will explore methods of generating stem cell-derived retinas to treat eye degeneration diseases.

Other studies included a $15 million grant to Dr. Tallie Baram for early pediatric psychiatric screening, and a $1 million Prentiss Foundation grant awarded to Elizabeth Thomas, Ph.D., and Douglas Granger for co-investigating a psychiatric lithium study.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse awarded $2.2 million grant to Dr. Daniele Piomelli to research the effects of cannabis on the adolescent brain.

The School of Medicine will be looking for a new exec to help lead funding efforts going forward.

Richard Gannotta is stepping down as CEO of the university’s health system at the end of next month. He’s accepted a new position at Irvine-based medical device maker Masimo Corp. (Nasdaq:MASI), where he’ll be its chief healthcare administrative officer.

A nationwide search will be conducted for his replacement, UCI said.

Federal Focus

The School of Medicine generated the most funding of any school or department at UCI, 35% of the record total of $441 million in research funding for 2018-19 (see chart). The previous record was $395 million in fiscal 2015-16.

Other areas that received notable funding included the School of Education, which received $27 million.

About $267 million, or 60%, of the total funding came from federal sources, such as the National Institute of Health, which gave $157 million, up 20%.

Another $61.7 million, or 14%, came from nonprofit organizations, a 15% increase from a year ago. For-profit entities, who often fund trials, gave $56.8 million, or nearly 13%.

Other donors included the state, $24.2 million; the UC system, $19.3 million; and other government entities, $12.8 million.

The bulk of the funding purposes went to basic research, $330.8 million; followed by clinical trials, $45.2 million; and applied research, $14.7 million.

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