Press Release

Keck School’s Ophthalmology, Physiology/Neuroscience departments top NIH funding list

February 19, 2020

Orthopaedics Lab

Seven departments at Keck School of Medicine USC are in the top 10 nationally in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, according to the rankings of medical schools released for the 2019 federal fiscal year.

Two departments rank No. 1 in the country: Ophthalmology, and Physiology and Neuroscience. The latter program rose from No. 2 last year, while Ophthalmology retained its top ranking.  

The rankings are based on data compiled by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research in Horse Shoe, North Carolina, and are eagerly anticipated by medical schools and researchers each year.

KSOM researchers were awarded a total of $186.3 million in funding for the fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, 2018 and ended Sept. 30, 2019. Last year KSOM brought in $182.9 million.

KSOM is second in the country among medical schools in average NIH funding per principal investigator, at $975,484, behind only NYU School of Medicine ($987,256). NYU has 318 P.I.’s, compared with 191 at KSOM.

Among the ten USC departments that made the top 20, several improved their ranking from last year: Orthopedics went from 10th to 8th; Urology from 13th to 9th; Otolaryngology from 12th to 10th; dermatology from 27th to 20th; and molecular microbiology and immunology from 24th to 20th.

“It’s great to see two new programs in the top 10,” Tom Buchanan, MD, professor of medicine and vice dean for research at the Keck School, said of Urology and Otolaryngology. “Keck School of Medicine continues to build its reputation as a strong research institution.”

Here’s a rundown of the USC departments that made the top 20: