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Research Support Reaches New High at Wake Forest University School of Medicine

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Outside support for research and related activities at Wake Forest University School of Medicine reached $145.6 million in the year ending June 30, setting another record.

The total jumped from $132.8 million last year, an increase of nearly $13 million, which is equivalent to a good-sized company moving to Winston-Salem. The total represents a 9.6 percent increase over last year and more than a 20 percent increase over 2000.

Most of the outside support -- $130.5 million -- went for research; the rest to demonstration and service projects (such as patient care for people with sickle cell disease or hemophilia; the child guidance clinic; and outreach educational programs.)

"This rapid increase in research support is what led to our space crunch," said Richard Dean, M.D., president and chief executive office of Wake Forest University Health Sciences, the medical school''s parent organization. "It is this in addition to our commitment to lead a biotechnology-based economic resurgence that led us to consider expansion in the Piedmont Triad Research Park."

In August, Dean announced that the Wake Forest University Health Sciences was joining with others to pursue a 180-acre expansion of the downtown research park that would transform the city''s economy from one driven by manufacturing to one led by technology. The park will be anchored by a new "research campus."

"This significant increase in funding is a direct result of our outstanding entrepreneurial faculty," said James E. Smith, Ph.D., associate dean for research. "They continue to show high levels of initiative for advancing our knowledge base to ultimately increase the quality of care we deliver to our patients."

Of the $145.6 million total, the federal government financed for 78.9 percent; followed by 10.8 percent from industry and 8.1 percent from foundations and voluntary health agencies. Most of the federal funding comes the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The school ranked 35th in NIH support last year, based on the federal fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.

"The goal for the school is to be 30th in NIH funding five years from now," said Smith. "It’s a big goal, but I am really optimistic about the ability of this institution to move the research enterprise significantly forward in the next five years."

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