February 14, 2019

Department of Family Medicine ranks 8th nationwide for research competitiveness

Wayne State University's Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences now ranks 8th in research competitiveness out of the 150 Family Medicine departments at United States medical schools, according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research's 2018 report. The nonprofit research institute tabulates and ranks departments receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health.

In 2016, the department was in 25th place, and in 2017, it ranked 20th.

"Our faculty, staff and research leadership in the department, the School of Medicine and the Office of the Vice President for Research should all be proud of this accomplishment. I am thrilled by the news of this outstanding ranking and hope to remain in the top 10 in future years as our research faculty build on their successes," said Professor and Chair Tsveti Markova, M.D., F.A.A.F.P.

Dr. Markova credits the meteoric rise in ranking to strategic recruitment, strong leadership, enhanced community engagement and increasing collaborative opportunities available at WSU's Integrative BioSciences Center, which opened in late 2015.

"The ranking demonstrates the department's continued commitment to research excellence and the outstanding efforts of its investigators, despite a challenging and competitive funding climate. The department's remarkable growth in research funding is yet another sign that we are a nationally recognized destination for outstanding research and education," she added.

She is grateful to the department's investigators and staff for their hard work, as well as the continued support of School of Medicine Dean Jack D. Sobel, M.D.; the School of Medicine's Research Administration Services; and Vice President for Research Stephen Lanier, Ph.D.

Departmental research encompasses a number of disciplines, including psychology, epidemiology and primary care clinical science. The department's portfolio emphasizes research that meets the university's mission to conduct health equity and disparities research that improves health outcomes for resident of Detroit. Research themes include social, behavioral and health care determinants of health; behavioral interventions to address chronic conditions; primary care research and education scholarship; and occupational and environmental health.

"There is substantial overlap in work in these areas, particularly with regard to health equity and disparities, partnering with departments across the School of Medicine, the wider university and various community organizations. Our faculty serve as principal investigators and co-investigators on large nationally-funded research grants, as well as smaller state and foundation grants and contracts," Dr. Markova said.

In addition to NIH funding, departmental funding sources include the American Cancer Society, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, the Patient Center Outcomes Research Institute, the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration, the National Institute of Justice, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and others.