School of Nursing ranked first in NIH funding for nursing schools

Emory Nursing December 19, 2016
School of Nursing Building

Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing ranks first among nursing schools for National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding. The school's research ranking with NIH has steadily risen in the last few years – from 38th in 2009 to 4th in 2015 to its current position as the nation’s top ranking nursing research program. The School of Nursing secured $7.8 million in research grants, fellowships, training grants, and other awards from NIH in FY 2016, representing the highest NIH funding total in the school's history.

"This new No. 1 ranking is a strong reflection of the breadth and depth of the School of Nursing’s research program and of our faculty’s dedication to the advancement of nursing knowledge and science," says Linda McCauley, PhD, RN, dean of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. "Our faculty’s innovative research is translating into better health and quality of life for individuals, families, and communities around the world."

The NIH is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world. The School of Nursing’s 20 NIH-funded research grants focus on several core research strengths of the school, including: health disparities and health equity; pregnancy outcomes, infant health/prematurity and healthy families; health promotion and disease management; as well symptom management and quality of life.

"NIH-funded research is a valuable part of the School of Nursing’s research enterprise," says Elizabeth Corwin, PhD, RN, associate dean for research. "The investment provides necessary support for experimental, fundamental research that leads to new understanding, innovation, and discovery. The research projects are also key in training our students and in attracting brilliant, young faculty to nursing research and Emory University."

The School of Nursing’s transformative research is reflected in several current projects, including:

  • The Center for Children’s Health, the Environment, the Microbiome, and Metabolomics (C-CHEM2) brings together an interdisciplinary team of researchers to explore how environmental exposures, such as dust and air pollutants as well as common chemicals found in consumer goods, personal care products, food products, and other sources, incurred prior to conception, during prenatal development, and post-natally may influence birth outcomes and neurodevelopment in African American babies in Atlanta.
  • Epigenetic Mechanisms of Inflammation and Fatigue in Head and Neck Cancer Patients is exploring the relationship between genetic and molecular changes, inflammation, and persistent fatigue in patients with head and neck cancer receiving chemo radiotherapy treatment.
  • Healing Hearts, Mending Minds in Older Persons With HIV researchers have developed a home-based aerobic exercise program to improve cognitive functioning in older adults (50 years of age and older) living with HIV/AIDS. The team is testing if cognitive improvements are associated with improved cardiovascular functioning and reduced inflammation.
  • The Impact of Early Childhood Environments on Neurocognitive and Metabolic Development in African American Youth: Focus on the Gut-Brain Axis Researchers are investigating how environmental risk factors, such as lead exposure and nutritional deficits, may impact biological processes, including the immune system, influencing the risk of children for obesity and autism.
  • Maternal Stress and the Gut-Brain Axis in African American Infants explores whether the composition of the gut microbiome correlates with exposure to prenatal and postnatal maternal stress and contributes to adverse neurocognitive and social-emotional outcomes for African American infants over the first 18-months of life   .
  • The Tele-Savvy Online Psycho-educational Program utilizes tablet and computer technology and online conferencing to provide distance dementia caregiver education though daily self-learning modules and weekly, hour-long group meetings with program facilitators.