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Penn received $11.3 million from the NIH in fiscal year 2019. Credit: Khristian Monterroso

For the third year in a row, Penn Nursing leads the nation in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, Philadelphia Business Journal reported.

In fiscal year 2019, Penn received $11.3 million, followed by the University of Washington School of Nursing with $11 million. Other schools with top NIH funding included the University of California San Francisco, Columbia University Health Sciences, Emory University, and the University of Pittsburgh.

NIH’s mission is “to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.” 

“Our research helps shape policy, promotes better healthcare, helps prevent disease, improves quality of life, eliminates health disparities, and develops new knowledge that drives practice,” Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel told Penn Nursing in 2017. 

Past research projects funded by NIH pertain to health and social issues that impact the health of individuals, families, and communities. Examples of Penn Nursing’s funded research includes reducing HIV vulnerability for adolescent men; determining the neural mechanisms responsible for nausea, vomiting, and energy balance dysregulation; improving prognoses for children with acute respiratory distress syndrome; and examining neural responses to food after cognitive behavioral therapy for binge eating disorder. 

“Although rankings are not the only measure of our research success, they are a national reflection of our commitment to our mission and progress in advancing the health and well-being of the public,” Villarruel told Philadelphia Business Journal. 

Penn Nursing received $13.4 million from the NIH in 2018 and $9.3 million in 2017 for research funding. Penn Nursing also placed first in NIH funding in 1991and 2010.

“We identify problems, and we are part of creating unique, efficient, and innovative solutions,” Villarruel added. 

Penn Nursing's other accolades include behavioral health sciences professor Kathryn Bowles’ induction into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame in 2017 and Penn Nursing’s top ranking in the QS World University Rankings in 2018.

“Penn Nursing conducts research that focuses on those most vulnerable among us across the lifespan and are committed to developing and testing novel interventions that solve important problems,” Associate Dean for Research & Innovation Therese Richmond told Penn Nursing last year.