University of Florida faculty earned nearly $686 million in research awards in fiscal year 2017, including major grants to study Zika, citrus greening and special education training.
“Our faculty are world leaders in applying the tools of science to issues facing us all, from human health to food production and education,” said David Norton, UF’s vice president for research. “Florida’s citizens can be proud to have such a world-class research institution.”
The College of Medicine brought in more than $304 million. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, or IFAS, had $107 million in funding and the College of Engineering had almost $72 million.
Funding from federal agencies – the most competitive of the sources – reached $456.9 million, representing a $5.7 million increase over 2016. State and local government funding totaled $53.9 million and support from industries and foundations totaled $144 million.
Faculty submitted 3,075 peer-reviewed proposals, an 8.4 percent increase over 2016. In all 5,466 proposals were submitted, which resulted in 2,974 new research agreements.
Among the projects receiving the largest awards:
- A $10 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish a highly collaborative research program focused on stopping diseases such as Zika before they spread farther into the United States. The Southeast Regional Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Disease: The Gateway Program will be led by Rhoel Dinglasan, a faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Emerging Pathogens Institute. Dinglasan has enlisted faculty at the University of Miami, Florida International University and the University of South Florida to collaborate.
- A $4.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to use genetic engineering to develop new citrus tree rootstocks that are resistant to citrus greening. Jude Grosser, an IFAS professor of plant cell genetics, is leading a team developing trees that exhibit enhanced resistance to greening and reduced disease severity.
- A $5 million grant to UF special education Professor Mary Brownell from the U.S. Department of Education to help school districts transform their preparation of effective teachers and leaders serving students with disabilities. The CEEDAR Center helps states strengthen their standards and methods for preparing, licensing and evaluating their teachers and school leaders.