College of Health Professions ranks fourth nationally in FY2020 in NIH research awards

Cindy Abole
April 09, 2021
A female research participant is part of a stroke recovery study at the College of Health Professions

MUSC’s College of Health Professions (CHP) was ranked fourth in the U.S. for total research funding awards for generating $11.9 million in federal fiscal year 2020 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).This represents the highest amount of NIH research funding in the college’s history and second highest for research ranking since 2015 when the college ranked third nationally.

The ranking places MUSC in the company of such prestigious research institutions as The Pennsylvania State University in State College; Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, located in New Brunswick; and the University of Delaware in Newark, respectively.

This achievement encompasses the college’s largest NIH research portfolio to date. It represents nine separate awards, including support for two centers in rehabilitation research led by Steve Kautz, Ph.D., distinguished university professor and chair of the Department of Health Sciences and Research; the national coordinating center for the Medical Rehabilitation Research Resources (MR3) Network and its six-center consortium led by Richard Segal, P.T., Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, and Randal Davis, director of strategic research initiatives in the college; six R01 research awards – the most ever in CHP’s history; as well as a research training grant.

It also represents the culmination of 10 years of research investment within the college that was originally initiated by previous CHP deans, such as now provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs Lisa Saladin, PT, Ph.D., and MUSC leadership who have supported the Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Stroke Recovery. This institutional commitment to research continues with current CHP dean Zoher F. Kapasi’s, P.T., Ph.D. The NIH awards include the areas of spinal cord injury research, nicotine addiction, speech-language pathology, COVID-19-related health services delivery and Alzheimer’s clinical trial research. The NIH funding of $11.9 million represents eighty-one percent of the $14.6 million CHP research portfolio, which places the CHP second behind the MUSC College of Medicine in total research funding.

“NIH funding is considered the gold standard for scientific discovery,” said Kapasi. “Our rise in NIH rankings signifies our faculty's cutting-edge work to advance research even as they engage in educating the next generation of professionals. We are growing across all our missions, including research, as reflected in the increased NIH funding.”

James Krause, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for Research at CHP also praised the colleges efforts. "Achieving a top-five ranking nationally in NIH funding reflects the hard work, dedication and innovation of CHP faculty and research staff. It provides the resources necessary for CHP investigators to conduct the highest level of research and to promote and improve health, function, well-being and longevity," he said.

To learn more about all of CHP’s research initiatives, visit