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Michigan Medicine increased research output during pandemic year

In early 2020, as Michigan Medicine faculty, learners and staff turned their attention to halting the spread of COVID-19 and providing much-needed care for patients, they also ramped up research efforts to include studies dedicated to understanding the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV2 and the effects of COVID-19.

As a result, even with a brief pause in research activities, Michigan Medicine saw an increase in research awards in FY 2021 to $720 million, up from $662 million last year. $138 million of those awards came from industry collaboration, representing an investment into diversifying support for biomedical research efforts and moving fundamental discoveries into real-world practice more quickly.

“There is much reason for optimism, as our research at Michigan Medicine continues to impress and make a positive impact,” said Steven Kunkel, Ph.D., Executive Vice Dean for Research and Chief Scientific Officer for Michigan Medicine.

Overall, Michigan Medicine accounts for approximately 42 percent of the research volume for the University of Michigan. U-M’s academic medical center ranked tenth for NIH-funding for federal fiscal year 2020.

“Our research community has remained highly productive and innovative throughout the pandemic, continuing to bring new discoveries to light that impact health care and care delivery at Michigan Medicine. The pandemic has highlighted even more significantly the value ad importance of research in addressing the constantly evolving needs of our patients and the health care industry,” said Marschall Runge, M.D., Ph.D., Dean of the University of Michigan Medical School and CEO of Michigan Medicine.

Michigan Medicine researchers generated nearly 9,000 publications during calendar year 2020, ranking the number three healthcare institution for high-quality research in the world. These studies explored a range of scientific questions—from using high-throughput sequencing to develop images of genetic expression, to exploring how bias can affect the accuracy of pulse oximetry, to the optimization of telehealth to expand access to healthcare during the pandemic and beyond.

View the full FY2021 Michigan Medicine Research Annual Report

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