Each year, the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research monitors National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to Medical Schools as well as other health science schools and organizations. It compares universities — and the departments within them — across the United States by the amount of NIH funding they receive.

The 2020 results were recently announced, and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences’ national ranking rose three places: from 19 to 16 (out of 88 institutions that perform psychiatric research). “I am truly excited that this is the fourth year in a row the department’s Blue Ridge ranking rose,” said Department Head Sophia Vinogradov, MD. “This success is something that makes all of us proud.”

Sophia Vinogradov, MD

This metric of research success puts the department within striking distance of being counted as one of the top 15 psychiatric research departments across the country, Dr. Vinogradov (pictured at left) added. “I believe that our strong performance is the result of our commitment to our values — that the ultimate goal of research is to generate new knowledge and to enable those with mental health issues to live better lives,” she said.

In addition to the department’s ranking, three of its researchers were in the top 200 out of 1,249 psychiatric principal investigators in the nation relative to their NIH funding: Dr. Vinogradov ranked 20th, Dorothy Hatsukami, PhD, was 58th and Alik Widge, MD, PhD, was 160th.

The Blue Ridge Institute's ranking is the gold standard for medical school research metrics and is closely monitored by the U of M President and Board of Regents. And while the Medical School’s ranking fell one step from 27 to 28 this past year, the school’s overall funding increased by $26M for a total of $226M.