NEWS | August 31, 2020

School of Medicine, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing help propel record-high research funding for UC Davis


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Reflecting UC Davis’ leadership in addressing global crises such as COVID-19 and climate change, the university set a new record for external research funding in fiscal year 2019-20, receiving $941.2 million in awards.

A $40 million increase in funding for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis over the previous year was a major factor, as was the School of Medicine’s role in meeting the challenges of the pandemic and cultivating innovative cross-disciplinary projects. EXPLORER (the world’s first full-body PET scanner), for example, received a $3 million grant from the NIH National Cancer Institute.

“This new record validates how UC Davis is sought more than ever to find solutions for the world’s most critical issues,” said UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May. “During these historic times, our collaborative research community is eager to make breakthroughs in health, environmental sustainability, education and so much more.”

Given the urgency of COVID-19, more than two dozen grants totaling $2.4 million had already been awarded by June 30 (end of fiscal year 2019-20). In addition to funding multiple clinical trials, the awards support research on a variety of COVID-related topics – from vaccine strategy to tracking virus mutations – which draw upon the university’s strengths across diverse disciplines.


Cutting-edge technology such as EXPLORER, the world's first full-body PET scanner, has been advanced by research funding.

“Right from the onset of the pandemic, we witnessed an inspiring level of collaboration across different areas of expertise, including between the School of Medicine and researchers on the campus in Davis,” said Prasant Mohapatra, vice chancellor for research at UC Davis.

School of Medicine Dean Allison Brashear highlighted the school’s leadership in COVID-19 clinical treatment and vaccine trials and innovations on high-capacity testing – while underscoring the highly collaborative nature of the university’s response to the pandemic.

“The leading-edge research being done here at the School of Medicine and across UC Davis is a testament to the depth and breadth of our expertise across disciplines,” Brashear said. “The School of Medicine’s prolific interdisciplinary investigations are improving our community’s health through the synergy of research and bedside care.”

Pioneering advancements in patient care is one goal of a new fellowship program at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, which received a $37.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. It aims to nurture and advance early-career nursing scholars who have the potential to accelerate nursing-science research, practice, education, policy and entrepreneurship.

“The grant for the Betty Irene Moore Fellowships for Nurse Leaders and Innovators presents an opportunity to increase awareness of Betty Irene Moore’s vision for health and to grow the School of Nursing’s reputation further,” said School of Nursing Dean Stephen Cavanagh. “We are proud to be educating the next generation of nursing leaders prepared to address some of the most complicated challenges for nursing and health care.”

To see additional research-funding highlights from across UC Davis, see the full article UC Davis Sets Record With $941 Million in Research Funding.