During 2003-2004, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center received $329 million in research funding, making Emory University (total funding $351.5 million) the leading research university in the state. This money does many things: It adds to Atlanta’s resources and economic development, helps Georgia in its mission to become a leader in biotechnology and technology transfer (Emory has launched 27 start-up companies over the past decade), gives patients access to clinical trials, helps train new scientists, and yields numerous advances in the treatment, early detection, and prevention of disease.
     Emory’s research successes help the world, but the dollars themselves help the Atlanta community in ways far beyond economic development. Emory’s ability to bring in federal, state, and foundation research money makes a great difference to the public hospitals and programs in which faculty work and to the community members served by those faculty. Research funds also help grow programs, services, and reputation.
     But as administrators know full well, research funding is a two-edged sword, usually costing the institution more in overhead expenses than the grants bring in. Last year, the total cash loss on unrecovered indirect costs for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center was more than $40 million. Research-related cash losses (for research, clinical trials, training and fellowships, and other expenses) for the schools of medicine, public health, and nursing and for Yerkes National Primate Research Center totaled $27.9 million, $8.2 million, $636,284, and $3.3 million, respectively.
     But, say administrators, it was worth every penny, for reasons such as the following:
     • Twice a month, dozens of scientists and clinicians gather at Emory for a lecture by a nationally recognized researcher, as part of the Drug Development and Pharmacogenomics Academy created by Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute and the medical school’s Department of Pharmacology. The goal is new, better, more effective drugs to tackle cancer. In a spirit of collegiality, Emory has opened the star-studded academy, without charge, to the entire scientific and medical community in Atlanta and the region.
     • Now at 600, the number of clinical trials under way at Emory rises almost weekly, joining the best science to the most attentive medicine and giving today’s patients access to tomorrow’s cures.


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