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External funding and overall research expenditures are critical indicators of the research activity in academic orthopaedic departments nationally.

In 2022, AOC Connect will begin collecting detailed set of statistics on research programs in orthopaedics to help departments develop benchmarks for research productivity and success.

NIH Funding: Our “square one.”

The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research reports annually on NIH funding; this data is in the public record. The top NIH-funded departments and individual investigators for 2020 are listed here:

Top 15 Academic Orthopaedic Institutions Receiving NIH Funding in 2020

1 Washington University in St. Louis $8,354,386
2 Duke University $8,306,353
3 University of Pennsylvania $7,810,821
4 Johns Hopkins University $6,718,206
5 New York University School of Medicine $5,448,520
6 University of California San Francisco $5,127,654
7 University of Rochester $4,852,553
8 Thomas Jefferson University $3,693,462
9 University of Southern California $3,409,089
10 University of Utah $3,339,665
11 University of Michigan Ann Arbor $3,336,700
12 University of Maryland Baltimore $3,241,485
13 Stanford University $2,857,568
14 University of Pittsburgh $2,688,555
15 Columbia University Health Sciences $2,653,425

Top 15 Academic Orthopaedic Investigators Receiving NIH Funding in 2020

1 Xu Cao (Johns Hopkins University) $2,881,902
2 Steven Z. George (Duke University) $2,236,198
3 Matthew J. Silva (Washington University in St. Louis) $2,159,109
4 Louis J. Soslowsky (University of Pennsylvania) $2,041,958
5 Edward M. Schwarz (University of Rochester) $1,931,628
6 Chuanju Liu (New York University School of Medicine) $1,793,746
7 Francis Young-In Lee (Yale University School of Medicine) $1,503,068
8 Julie M. Fritz (University of Utah) $1,494,248
9 Gage D. Crump (University of Southern California) $1,443,271
10 Tamara N. Alliston (University of California San Francisco) $1,388,499
11 Niels Ringstad (New York University School of Medicine) $1,380,457
12 Stavros Thomopoulos (Columbia University) $1,334,643
13 Jie Shen (Washington University in St. Louis) $1,305,955
14 Farshid Guilak (Washington University in St. Louis) $1,296,511
15 Xinping Zhang (University of Rochester) $1,283,975

Digging deeper to help ALL orthopaedics researchers

Orthopaedic departments rely on many other federal and private sources of research funding. It’s our aim to survey orthopaedic departments and investigators nationwide to compile more detailed data on grant funding and expenditures. Through this ongoing initiative we hope to produce benchmarks around compensation, facilities, and more aspects that will empower departments to build their research portfolios. This information will also help us lobby federal agencies and private foundations for more funding for orthopaedic research.

The more we can understand, the more we can improve!

I look forward to working with research department chairs and individual investigators to move this initiative forward.

Farshid Guilak, PhD, AOC Connect’s Chief Scientific & Innovation Officer, is Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Washington University and Director of Research for Shriners Hospitals for Children in St. Louis.

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