SLU Family and Community Medicine Ranks in Top 20 for NIH Funding
Saint Louis University’s Department of Family and Community Medicine ranks in the top 20 in the nation in National Institute for Health (NIH) funding, according to data compiled by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. This is the third time the department has ranked in the top 20 and has steadily increased its annual NIH funding over the last 10 years.
Jeffrey Scherrer, Ph.D., professor of family and community medicine and research director for the department, explained that the robust research program, strong culture of development and mentorship, and support of Joanne Salas, director of biostatistics at the AHEAD Institute, has led to funding success.
Scherrer said the research division is heavily interested in mental health and the impact of pain on a person’s health outcomes. Its goal remains to increase recruitment and engagement of research staff — allowing the department to help structure support for clinical faculty to pursue their research interests.
The department’s research culture led to two clinician-investigators obtaining their first NIH grants in 2022. Sarah Gebauer, M.D., and Jennifer Bello-Kottenstette, M.D., were recognized for their first NIH awards at the 2023 Grant Winner Reception, hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Research.
Gebauer is using geospatial information science and electronic medical records to study how neighborhood walking can impact osteoarthritis. She received a five-year grant totaling $777,525 that will fund research in knee osteoarthritis and how barriers to low-cost intervention can impact patients.
Bello-Kottenstette is studying the effectiveness of a motivational interviewing intervention to address substance use prior to pregnancy. The five-year grant totals $866,710 and will fund her adaptation and testing of the evidence-based pre-pregnancy intervention, CHOICES, for use among incarcerated women with illicit polysubstance use.