Md. lags behind other states in money from NIH Research grants crucial for biotech

February 02, 1993|By Liz Bowie | Liz Bowie,National Institutes of HealthStaff Writer

While Johns Hopkins University receives more research money from the National Institutes of Health than any other institution in the country, Maryland continues to receive substantially less than states it is competing against in the biotech business world.

NIH gave Maryland research institutions and companies $456 million in 1992, while Massachusetts got $771 million and California received $1 billion.

The amount of research the state's institutions get from NIH is considered crucial because it could form the basis for a life sciences industry that would rejuvenate the region's lagging economy.

Business leaders in the state often hold up Hopkins and the University of Maryland as two reasons why a life sciences industry could be drawn to the state. The hope has been that much of what lies in Hopkins' laboratories can be turned into commercial products and new companies.

Hopkins pulls in tremendous sums of money from the nation's top medical research granting institution, making Maryland a major recipient of NIH grants. But other states have more numerous medical schools and research institutions and thus received more money than Maryland.

What is important is not the numbers but the concentration of research in one place, said David Gillece, who works for the Greater Baltimore Committee to attract high-tech business to the city.

"I think you need to have a critical mass of research," he said. "I don't think the challenge is to be No. 1 in NIH grants. I don't think we ever will be."

The NIH, which is based in Bethesda, is itself a draw for the state.

Many of the companies founded in the Rockville and Gaithersburg area say they are there because of the proximity to the research at NIH.

The institutes make up a national center for medical research. In addition, they are responsible for doling out billions of dollars to medical researchers across the nation and have been credited for ensuring the country's competitive position in the biotechnology industry.

In 1992, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine received $157 million from the NIH. That represented about 75 percent of the money it received from outside institutions.

It was also more than medical schools at Yale, Stanford, Columbia and University of California at San Francisco.

Hopkins officials also pointed out that, most importantly, it was able to attract a growing percentage of total NIH dollars.

In 1983, Hopkins received 3.2 percent of all NIH awards to medical schools. By last year, it was 4.2 percent.

During the same time, Stanford and Columbia's share of the NIH pot decreased.

Hopkins officials credited the increase to the quality of its faculty and a $200 million expansion of research facilities in the 1980s.

NIH GRANTS

Biggest grants in 1992

Johns Hopkins University.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. $208.9 million

University of Washington.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. $166.4 million

University of California San Francisco.. .. ... $165.8 million

Harvard University .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..$132.6 million

Yale University .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. $131.9 million

Biggest grants in Maryland, 1992

Johns Hopkins University.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .$208.9 million

University of Maryland at Baltimore.. .. .. .. .. $41.6 million

Westat Inc .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. $34.6 million

Advanced Bioscience Laboratories Inc.. .. .. .. ..$16.6 million

Prospect Associates Ltd... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..$10.7 million

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