University's sponsored research funding increases 6 percent in 2012

The University of Chicago received $466 million in sponsored research funding and 1,846 awards in fiscal year 2012 (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012), an increase of 6 percent from the previous year.  

Three quarters of total funding was from federal agencies; the remainder from non-federal sponsors (corporations, foundations, other non-profit organizations, and state and local governments). Non-federal funding increased by more than a third from 2011, led by a 69 percent increase in corporate support and a 10 percent increase in foundation support. Federal funding decreased slightly from the previous year.

Seventy percent of the University’s total federal funding was from the Department of Health and Human Services, primarily the National Institutes of Health. That funding decreased 8 percent, or $22 million from the previous year. The University received 719 NIH awards in fiscal year 2012. Among them:

Andrzej Joachimiak, senior fellow of the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology and the Computation Institute, received $13.1 million for the Midwest Center for Structural Genomics for initiatives that will examine proteins potentially responsible for the virulence of three of the world’s most dangerous bacteria: staphylococcus, tuberculosis and salmonella.

Anthony Kossiakoff, the Otho S.A. Sprague Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, received $3.2 million to build a high throughput pipeline to generate high performance recombinant antibodies to all the human transcription factors.

Eduardo Perozo, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, received $4.5 million for the creation of the Membrane Protein Structural Dynamics Consortium, a highly interactive, tightly integrated and multidisciplinary effort focused on elucidating the relationship between structure, dynamics and function in a variety of membrane proteins.

Ginny Fleming, professor of medicine and director of the Medical Oncology Breast Program, received $5.5 million for research performed by the Cancer and Leukemia Group B, a national clinical research group sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, headquartered at the University of Chicago. Founded in 1956, the Group B brings together clinical oncologists and laboratory investigators to develop better treatments for cancer.

Julian Solway, the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and associate dean for translational medicine, received $8.1 million from the NIH for the University’s Clinical and Translational Science Award program. Solway aims to prepare the next generation of clinical and translational researchers to reduce health disparities in the community by making widely available effective and personalized therapies.

Kevin White, the James and Karen Frank Family Professor of Ecology and Evolution, and director of the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, received $2.8 million to support the center’s study of how networks of genes work together to enable cells and organisms to respond to environmental and genetic change.

Michelle Lebeau, the Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor of Medicine and director of the University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, received $4.1 million for the center’s members to explore and develop innovative ways to prevent and reduce the devastating effects of cancer.

Olaf Schneewind, the Louis Block Professor, chair of microbiology, and director of the Great Lakes Regional Center of Excellence, was awarded $7.5 million for the development of new vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics to counteract diseases caused by bio-threat agents.

National Science Foundation awards:

The National Science Foundation provided approximately one-fifth of total federal funding to the University. National Science Foundation funding, $64 million in fiscal year 2012 vs. $50 million in 2011, increased by 28 percent. The NSF awarded 218 grants to the University. Among them:

Gregory Voth, the Haig P. Papazian Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry and director of the Center for Multiscale Theory and Simulation, received $1.5 million for the center’s work to develop a new multi-scale theoretical and computer simulation capability. The project is aimed at bridging behavior at the molecular scale to that of complex, collective processes at the cellular scale.

Ka Yee Lee, professor of chemistry, and director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, received $3.3 million to support the center’s innovative research to produce design principles for the next generation of materials.

Mark Oreglia, professor of physics, received $5 million in support of elementary particle physics research programs at the University’s High Energy Physics group.

Melvyn Shochet, the Kersten Distinguished Service Professor of Physics, received $2.9 million to develop ultrafast tracking electronics for the ATLAS detector trigger, which selects interesting collisions in real time for later study. The ATLAS detector is searching for new discoveries in the head-on collisions of protons of extraordinarily high energy.

Michael Turner, the Bruce & Diana Rauner Distinguished Service Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics and director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, received $4.5 million for the Physics Frontier Center, which seeks to push cosmology to the edge—to reveal and clarify the new physics underpinning it or to find the flaw within the current paradigm.

Foundation grants and other awards:

Betty Farrell, executive director of the Cultural Policy Center, a joint center of the Harris School of Public Policy and NORC at the University of Chicago, received $643,000 from the Harris Foundation for the center’s work to inform policies that affect the arts, humanities and cultural heritage.

Elaine Allensworth, interim executive director of the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, received $1.2 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the consortium to examine the ways in which middle school academic records can be used to predict student success in later years.

Howard Nusbaum, professor of psychology, received $4.9 million from the John Templeton Foundation for the University’s Defining Wisdom Project. The project is focused on stimulating new distinctive scientific and scholarly contributions to wisdom research, and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and understanding to lay the foundation for a field of wisdom science.

John List, the Homer J. Livingston Professor of Economics, received $1.7 million from the John Templeton Foundation for his Science of Philanthropy Initiative, a research and outreach project that utilizes rigorous quantitative methods and partnerships with the philanthropic community to explore the motivations behind charitable giving.

Robert Fogel, the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of American Institutions, received $1.8 million from the National Institute on Aging to study the marked decline in U.S., age-specific morbidity and mortality rates over the 20th century.

Sydney Hans, the Samuel Deutsch Professor in the School of Social Service Administration, received $495,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration, to support evidence-based home-visiting programs focused on improving the well being of families with young children.

Victor Friedman, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Linguistics, and Anthropology, received $367,000 for the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, for its work coordinating instruction and facilitating research.