Last year, the University of Virginia announced it will invest $100 million per year in the transformational ideas of its faculty and in initiatives that enhance quality and access for students. Since then, UVA has invested $13 million in the big ideas of its biomedical engineering faculty.
UVA "SIF" Investments in BME
The University of Virginia is investing $5 Million from its Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) to build an engineering-in-medicine ecosystem at UVA, with another $5 Million in matching funds from the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Medicine, for a total investment of $10 Million over the next 5 years.
A new Center for Engineering in Medicine, launched as part of the award, will be led by biomedical engineering professor Jeffrey Holmes. He and his team will oversee a seed grant program and other initiatives designed to build and sustain new collaborations between co-investigators across Grounds.
This is the second UVA Strategic Investment Fund grant led by faculty members in biomedical engineering. Professors Shayn Peirce-Cottler and George Christ lead UVA's new $3 Million Center for Advanced Biomanufacturing.
Faculty Spotlight on Jeff Holmes
UVA investments in the Biomedical Engineering Department are on the rise—evidenced by the $10 million Center for Engineering in Medicine and $3 million Center for Advanced Biomanufacturing.
Also increasing are grants and awards from external sources like the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Heart Association, Department of Defense, private foundations and industry.
In 2016-2017, the average annual external research funding per faculty member was $480,000.
Take Professor Jeffrey Holmes, MD, PhD as an exemplar. Just a few months in to the academic year 2017-2018, Holmes has already led the proposal for the new Center for Engineering in Medicine and been awarded a new $1.9 million National Institutes of Health award with co-PI associate professor Jeffrey Saucerman for a grant titled Systems Pharmacology Model for Spatial Control of Cardiac Fibrosis.
Holmes is also one of two investigators nationwide selected for a $1.5 million grant from a new joint funding venture between the American Heart Association and The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group. He and his team will study how information storage and retrieval in the heart’s extracellular matrix changes with aging, with an aim to develop better therapies for chronic diseases.