Boston Leads the Nation in NIH Funding

Forty-seven hospitals, educational institutions, organizations, and companies in the city received 3,626 awards from NIH last fiscal year.

Boston skyline

Photo by Greg DuBois

For the 19th consecutive year, Boston leads all other cities in the U.S. in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. It should be no surprise with our plethora of teaching hospitals, labs, and biotech companies.

A new report produced by the Research Division of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), highlights the 47 hospitals, educational institutions, organizations, and companies in Boston that received 3,626 awards from NIH last fiscal year, totaling $1.72 billion.

According to the report released by the BRA, eight area hospitals and research institutions garnered more than $100 million in NIH funding. Those facilities are: Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University School of Public Health, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Boston University School of Medicine.

“I’m extremely proud of our city’s continued success in attracting these very competitive funds over the last two decades,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “Our ability to achieve year after year is a testament to the incredible mix of talent and resources that Boston possesses.”

But this news comes at a somber time for science funding. It’s been widely reported that cuts to NIH funding is a cause for concern. NIH director Francis Collins tells USA TODAY that budget pressures force the NIH to “reject half of worthwhile research proposals, putting scientific progress at risk and leading many of the USA’s brightest minds to consider careers overseas.”

“While the scientific opportunities have never been more exciting than right now, the stress on the biomedical community in the United States has never been more severe,” Collins told the USA TODAY Editorial Board Wednesday. “Many young investigators are on the brink of giving up because of the difficulty of getting support.”

According to the BRA’s report:

Hospitals in Boston received the vast majority of awards, taking in over $1.1 billion or nearly 65% of the city’s total NIH funding in FY13. Academic institutions, which received over $529 million or 30.7% of the funding, were the next leading category of award recipients. Research institutes, non-profits, and for-profit companies took in the remaining share.

The report’s release comes as representatives from the newly formed Life Sciences Corridor, which consists of Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, Somerville, and Braintree, arrive in San Diego for the 2014 BIO International Convention. Created in May by Mayors Martin J. Walsh, David Maher, Thomas Koch, Joseph Curtatone, and Joseph C. Sullivan, the partnership is focused on promoting the robust life sciences sector that exists along the MBTA’s Red Line, home to over 450 life sciences companies, a highly skilled labor force, and world-renowned medical and academic institutions.New York City ranked second among cities nationally, followed by Seattle, San Diego, and Philadelphia to round the top five.

“What’s even more exciting than any individual accolade is the advantage we’ll be able to harness through the Life Sciences Corridor partnership,” Mayor Walsh said. “Competition in this sector plays out on a global scale, and we stand a better chance at winning as a region when we work together.”

A full copy of the report is available on the BRA’s website.