University of California, San Francisco

Payton Chung, Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0

#2 - University of California, San Francisco
Fiscal 2013 NIH funding:
$501.65 million
Fiscal 2012 NIH funding: $500.43 million
Change in funding: $1.22 million
Number of awards in 2013: 1,174
Number of awards in 2012: 1,093

The University of California, San Francisco not only attracts major government dollars, but its renown as a top medical research institution also has the eye of Big Pharma. In March 2013, Pfizer ($PFE) sought out UCSF as a partner for its already robust Centers for Therapeutic Innovation program to develop new small-molecule drug candidates. Under the agreement, UCSF will receive funding from Pfizer to support preclinical and clinical development of small-molecule research programs. If drug candidates meet certain objectives, Pfizer would help move the drugs into clinical trials. UCSF will receive milestone payments and royalties if a product created through the collaboration is commercialized.

In June, researchers at UCSF uncovered a genetic mechanism that may explain why some patients with multiple sclerosis progress more rapidly to a severe stage of the disease than others. In a mouse model of MS, the researchers found that early onset of a more serious form of the disease was connected to the absence of the gene Tob1 in CD4+ T cells, a type of immune cell. The findings, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, could eventually be a useful diagnostic to detect the course and severity of MS in different patients, ultimately helping physicians tailor personalized therapies.

In other notable research last year, scientists at UCSF found that they could halt and reverse tissue scarring in the liver, kidneys and lungs of mice by targeting a family of proteins on the surface of certain cells. The approach could be used to treat the same kind of scarring in humans--called fibrosis, which is related to chronic diseases and a major contributor to nearly half of all deaths in developed nations. 

For more:
Pfizer taps UCSF for small-molecule drug discovery
Lack of gene could predict earlier onset, severity of multiple sclerosis
Compound mimicking gene deletion stops tissue scarring in mice

University of California, San Francisco
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