VUIIS Research Lands Vanderbilt University at #14 Nationwide for NIH Funding in Radiology

The Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences is extremely proud to share that the extraordinary research of the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science (VUIIS) has landed Vanderbilt University at #14 on the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research’s annual rankings of NIH funding for 2023. This ranking is an improvement from last year, when VU came in 16th place in the nation for radiology.

While Vanderbilt’s coveted ranking is the result of all our dedicated researchers’ hard work, two standout principal investigators appeared in the rankings: Charles Caskey, PhD, Associate Professor, who came in at #9 in the nation ($5,176,687), and VUIIS Director and University Distinguished Professor, John Gore, PhD, who ranked at #36 ($2,562,880). The full list features nearly 800 investigators.

“It is great to see the annual results of the Blue Ridge Rankings,” says Daniel Brown, MD, FSIR, Interim Chair and Professor of the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences. “VUIIS has consistently scored at a high level under Dr. John Gore’s direction. Dr. Charles Caskey is a major contributor to our success as a department. I am grateful to them and our other funded VUIIS faculty for their contributions to this outcome.”

“It is encouraging to see our faculty continue to be successful when there is intense competition for research funding,” says John Gore, PhD, who in addition to leading VUIIS, also holds the title of Radiology’s Vice Chair of Research. “It is rewarding that we are on the right trajectory to return to the higher rankings we enjoyed previously.”

Much of this success comes from the efforts surrounding Dr. Caskey’s research with Li Min Chen, MD, PhD (and a variety of other collaborators), wherein they are developing ultrasound-based pain relief therapy, meant to target specific brain circuits. The implications of such treatment could have massive effects on chronic pain management and addressing the opioid crisis in America. The research is groundbreaking—and Dr. Caskey is just happy to be part of it. He takes the recent win with humility and gratitude.

“Being ranked as an individual is a nice accolade, although our recent good fortune is the result of so many people’s efforts that it feels like a misattribution,” Dr. Caskey says. “This success is the result of people in all areas who are dedicated to doing excellent work. That includes the whole spectrum of people in the VUMC research enterprise: collaborating investigators, researchers, and members of the team who enact the administrative components of grants.”

He continues: “It’s a privilege to work alongside these dedicated individuals in a supportive environment, and I’m honored to contribute to VUMC’s overall mission to improve health care. Recently funded projects will enable us to continue developing new technologies to explore and treat the brain that are less invasive than previously possible. I am especially enthusiastic about the opportunity provided by one of these projects to translate work developed in the lab to humans.”

VUMC Radiology is grateful to our Grants team for their continued hard work in a challenging, yet gratifying year. This team includes Heather Selke, Administrative Officer of Research, Financial Analyst Victoria Cole, and Radiology Grants Managers Tracy Cruse and Lauren West.

“We are thrilled to receive the exciting news of our remarkable ranking nationwide,” Heather Selke says. “Our grants team faced many trials and transformations this past year and knowing our hard work helped support our faculty members makes this news vastly fulfilling. We are very proud!”

Congratulations to the entire team involved in the success of our researchers. When we work together, we can continue to change the future of medicine and improve the lives of patients.