WHSC Units Earn Top Research Rankings

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February 18, 2022

WHSC Units Earn Top Research Rankings

The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research has confirmed its 2021 rankings of schools and departments by NIH funding, and Emory once again scores among the nation’s most elite academic health centers. In 2021, Emory received $479.5 million and maintained its ranking of 18th in the nation.

The schools of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) all ranked in the top 20 in their categories:
• School of Medicine (SOM): 16th with $382.7 million
• School of Nursing (SON): 3rd with $10.5 million
• School of Public Health (RSPH): 7th with $52.8 million

At the department level, the SOM has 10 departments in the top 20, including four in the top 10: biomedical engineering (3), neurology (5), pathology and laboratory medicine (5), and pediatrics (4). Five other departments rank in the top 15: medicine (12), surgery (12), microbiology and immunology (13), pharmacology (14), and rehab medicine (15).

Winship Cancer Institute scientists also contribute significantly to the NIH research funding totals, and when we add Yerkes to that equation—with the largest research funding base of all the National Primate Research Centers in the US—it’s no wonder WHSC is at the very forefront of innovation and discovery.

I’m grateful to our research faculty, their team members, and all the administrators who support our research enterprise. These rankings help to cement WHSC’s place as one of the most comprehensive, trusted, and successful academic health systems in the nation. Congratulations to all!

Please direct questions and comments to evphafeedback@emory.edu.

Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, FACR
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Emory University
Executive Director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
CEO and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare

Christy Norman (left) and Carlos del Rio (right)

WHSC Leaders Earn Prestigious DEI Awards

Two leaders within WHSC have been honored with prestigious awards for their groundbreaking DEI efforts.

Christy Norman, vice president of pharmacy services for Emory Healthcare, has been named the second recipient of the University of Georgia’s (UGA) William Robie Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award and Lecture. Named for William T. Robie III, the UGA College of Pharmacy’s first African American student and graduate, the award was created last year in conjunction with UGA’s recognition of the 60th anniversary of desegregation at the institution. The award and lecture honor excellence in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Carlos del Rio, Leon L. Haley Jr. MD Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the SOM, executive associate dean for Emory at Grady, professor of global health epidemiology at RSPH, and co-Director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research, has been named the Winter 2021 Health Equity Champion by the CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity. The award honors achievement in reducing health disparities and attaining the highest level of health for all people.

In Brief
Landmark $100 million gift to RSPH

The O. Wayne Rollins Foundation has committed $100 million to RSPH. The transformative gift, which is the largest in the school’s history, will establish two endowed funds: the Rollins Fund for Faculty Excellence and the Rollins Fund for Student Success. In the photo above, leaders from Emory and the Rollins Foundation pose for a photo at a special event announcing the gift. Read more.

New Office of Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice

WHSC has established the Office of Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (IPEC), which will foster collaboration among interprofessional, interdisciplinary teams working across education, research, and clinical care to treat and prevent disease. The office will be led by co-directors Jodie Guest, RSPH vice chair of epidemiology (above left), and Beth Ann Swan, SON associate dean and vice president for academic practice partnerships (above right). Read more.

New palliative care advance practice provider fellowship

Emory is starting a palliative care advance practice provider (APP) fellowship, with the first cohort set to launch June 27, 2022. The 12-month fellowship program will include inpatient and outpatient palliative care, as well as inpatient and home hospice, and includes rotations in oncology, anesthesia pain, and critical care. Read more.

Environmental health nurse scientists

Emory is partnering with Castner Inc., Washington State University, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville to provide environmental health research training. The initiative includes a train-the-trainer program called the Environmental Health Research Institute for Nurse and Clinician Scientists. Read more.

New NETEC website

The National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC) has launched a new website designed to meet the needs of health care professionals to safely and effectively manage special pathogens. NETEC draws on expertise from Emory's Serious Communicable Disease Program. Aneesh Mehta, chief of Infectious Diseases Services, is a co-PI.

Endowed professorship honors Lawson

Winship has received a gift from longtime volunteer and philanthropist Brenda Nease (above right) to establish the David H. Lawson Professorship in Cancer Research in honor of one of Winship’s most eminent physicians. Read More.

Health in Aging pilot projects

The newly relaunched Emory Center for Health in Aging has announced four pilot projects for research related to the health and well-being of older adults. The awardees hail from disciplines across the WHSC. Deepta Ghate (ophthalmology), Soroosh Kiani (cardiac electrophysiology), Jane Lowers (palliative care), and James Rilling (psychiatry) are the 2022 pilot project awardees. Read more.

Can AI help unravel the mysteries of sepsis?

A research team led by Rishikesan Kamaleswaran (biomedical informatics) is investigating the use of artificial intelligence to forecast therapeutic effectiveness and outcomes for patients with sepsis, a syndrome that claims more than a quarter million people in the US each year. The team hopes to use routinely collected physiological data in intensive care units to generate machine learning algorithms that can predict the onset of sepsis and inform treatments. Read more.

Nduom helps President Biden relaunch Cancer Moonshot

Emory neurosurgeon-scientist Edjah Nduom was tapped to introduce President Joe Biden at a ceremony to relaunch the Cancer Moonshot initiative that began five years ago under President Barack Obama’s administration. The announcement highlighted the initiative’s new goals to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years and improve the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer. Read More.

Custom caging to enhance animal welfare

Yerkes Primate Research Center recently renovated two nonhuman primate housing areas with a novel facility design and equipped with a customized caging system that offers additional outdoor access, socialization, and enrichment opportunities for animals assigned to infectious disease studies, awaiting biomedical research assignment, or in quarantine. These efforts were highlighted in Laboratory Animal Science Professional which featured Yerkes vet Rachelle Stammen on the cover.

González named Winship chief diversity officer

Ildemaro J. González has been named chief diversity officer for Winship. González will oversee Winship's DEI strategies, ensuring coordination with Emory Healthcare and Emory University. Read more.

Smith named vice chair of DEI for surgery

Randi N. Smith has been appointed the inaugural vice chair of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for the Department of Surgery. Read more.

Health Services Research Center 2021 Annual Report

The HSRC's first annual report documents its efforts during another tumultuous year to advance health care access and outcomes for all patients and populations through advocacy, collaboration, research, and training. Read more.

Department of Surgery's 2021 Annual Report

The Department of Surgery's 10th annual report highlights stories that encapsulate our legacy of providing the best care, conducting innovative research, and training tomorrow’s best and brightest. Read more.

Hanjoong Jo, distinguished faculty chair at Emory and Georgia Tech’s Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been elevated to the rank of fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the highest distinctions in the scientific community. Read more.

Sagar Lonial has been named editor of Blood Cancers Today, a new publication from the Society of Hematologic Oncology.

Tian Liu has been elected a fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

Rong Ma, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Khalid Salaita, received a Michelson Prize for her proposal to harness the mechanical processes of cells as a new approach in the long-running quest to develop cancer vaccines. Read more.

Erin Peone, senior manager of clinical services and operations at Winship's Clifton campus infusion center, has received a Daisy Award, which honors nurses who define patient family care.

Sharon Vanairsdale, program director for the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit, has been accepted as a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academies of Practice in the Class of 2022. Read more.


March 22: Business Case for Nursing Summit presented by SON and Goizueta Business School, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. More information here.

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