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Madison, Wis. — The Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health ranks seventh in the nation for research funding, according to new National Institutes of Health rankings recently released.

Surgery faculty members received $8.8 million in grant funding from the NIH in 2012. The recent ranking marks a milestone for the UW department, which has been steadily climbing in rankings of academic surgery departments. Last year, the department ranked 12th in the nation, with $5.8 million in NIH funding. In 2008, the department ranked 22nd and received $4.4 million in funding.

“This is a tribute to the quality of our faculty and the robustness of our research effort,” says K. Craig Kent, MD, chairman and professor of surgery. “We can all be proud of the high-quality research produced by our faculty and the contributions that our investigations have made to Wisconsin and beyond.”

By collaborating with talented campus engineers, biochemists, biologists and epidemiologists, the department’s surgeons and researchers have expanded research efforts to encompass speech and communicative disorders, vascular biology, transplantation, cancer care, pediatric surgery, surgical outcomes, and simulation. Recent grants support a global health research effort in Ethiopia and a $2 million grant to study transplant immunology.

Faculty researchers are supported by an infrastructure of experts in grant development, biostatistics, data analysis, research histology, and clinical research. Four NIH Training Grants support postdoctoral, graduate, and medical students who are pursuing research in surgery. A recent grant from the Doris Duke Foundation funded five Wisconsin minority high school students for a six-week research experience in the Department of Surgery.

Because of its academic strength and national reputation, Kent says the Department of Surgery is a destination for surgeons and post doctoral researchers from around the world who want to train with its nationally acclaimed faculty.

Kent noted that the ranking doesn’t include all NIH funding, such as federal subcontracts and career development awards (also known as K awards), which increase the total amount of federal funding to almost $11 million. It also doesn’t include awards from other federal agencies, such as the $2 million the Department of Defense recently awarded to surgeon Carla M. Pugh, MD, PhD, FACS, to study how to increase the skills and productivity of surgeons in the field who care for service men and women.

To learn more about research and training at the Department of Surgery, please click here.

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