Photo illustration of interconnected lines and dots making up a human back and spine

Joint MetroHealth-School of Medicine department tops nation in NIH funding

Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation transforms lives of those with musculoskeletal, neurological challenges

The Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) at MetroHealth Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University ranked first in the country in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding in 2022, according to data released last week.

“This recognition confirms what many of us have known for years,” said Stan Gerson, dean of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the university’s senior vice president for medical affairs. “This team’s talent, innovation and dedication continues to transform the lives of people with musculoskeletal and neurological challenges.”

Since 2006, the nonprofit Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research has issued annual rankings based on publicly available NIH data. In addition to individual departments, the institute also provides data on medical schools overall, other health sciences schools and researchers within department disciplines. 

Kevin Kilgore, a MetroHealth staff scientist and medical school professor, ranked second in the country for 2022 NIH funding in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Hunter Peckham, a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus and co-leader of MetroHealth’s Rehabilitation Institute, ranked fifth in funding this year. Xin Qi, professor of physiology, was 7th in the country in physiology.

“Our community should be extremely proud of the world-class research taking place at MetroHealth and Case Western Reserve University,” said MetroHealth President and CEO Airica Steed. “As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to lifting up research that will shape the future of medicine and improve peoples’ lives.”

The Department of Biomedical Engineering, which is part of both the university’s School of Medicine and Case School of Engineering, ranked seventh in the country, while pathology and biochemistry were 13th and 14th respectively, and physiology ranked 17th.

The School of Medicine itself, which includes Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, ranked 22nd this year, up one position compared to 2021’s list.