NUCATS functions as an integrated hub supporting and accelerating clinical and translational science across Northwestern University (including six schools), our three nationally-renowned clinical partners, our Chicago community and stakeholders, and the broad consortium of CTSA-funded institutions. NU is a leading national research university affiliated with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, each of which is ranked in the top 10 among its peer hospitals nationally.
NU was founded in 1851 and is one of the premier undergraduate and graduate universities in the world. It is ranked 13th among US national universities by US News & World Report (ranked in the top 30 world-wide) and is ranked 14th worldwide for highly-cited researchers based on Thomson Reuters data. NU has notable strengths in medicine, public health, chemistry, nanotechnology, life sciences, engineering, communications, law and business/management, and in FY 2014, received $594 million in research grant funding, three-fourths of which was from federal sources, and which represented a 24.5% increase over FY09. NU is located in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois.
Northwestern University Clinical Partners
- Northwestern Medicine® is the collaboration between Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine around a strategic vision to transform the future of healthcare. It encompasses the research, teaching and patient care activities of the academic medical center. It is a trademark of Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, used by Northwestern University.
- Northwestern Memorial HealthCare (NMHC) is the corporate parent of four hospitals, two physician groups, and 60 ambulatory care sites comprising over 1400 employed physicians, over 4000 affiliated physicians and 20,000 employees. NMHC has 1.6 million outpatient visits across 68 sites per year. Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH), the academic flagship of this system, is one of the country’s premier academic hospitals and a national and international referral center. For the past 3 years NMH has been recognized by US News & World Report as one of 17 top ‘honor roll’ hospitals, and in 2014 US News ranked NMH number 10 in the United States. NMH has a total of 894 licensed beds and houses the NUCATS Clinical Research Unit (CRU), a developmental therapeutics institute, and actively enrolls patients in every clinical department of the hospital. Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital (NLFH) has been fully integrated into the health system and is a key partner in expanding clinical research. Clinical research studies at NMHC overall have grown from 2,100 in 2010 to 3,117 in 2014. The addition of Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital (NMCDH), Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital (NMDH), (formerly Cadence Health (including Central DuPage Hospital and Delnor Hospital and outpatient facilities and practices)) to the NMHC system promises to provide even greater opportunities for clinical and translational research, with an additional one million patient visits per year. The growth of research is one of 3 pillars of the NMHC strategic plan.
- The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, formerly Rehabilitation Institution of Chicago, is the nation’s leading provider of comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation. Since 1991, it has been designated the “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report. Open in 2017, the new hospital is designed explicitly for the practice of translational medicine. Research does not just co-exist with patient care, it is integrated full time, 24/7, into the clinical environment. Researchers and clinicians work side-by-side in the five ability labs which are organized by functional outcome (e.g., legs + walking; arms + hands, etc.), rather than by diagnosis (e.g., brain injury, stroke, etc.).
- Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (formerly the Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago) opened its new, state-of-the-art hospital adjacent to NMHC and Feinberg School of Medicine on the Chicago campus in 2012. It is currently ranked 8th by US News & World Report among pediatric hospitals. The Clinical and Translational Research (CTR) Program is one of six core programs supported by the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Lurie Children's Hospital and the Institute currently provides over $2.3 million annually to support clinical and translational research, an increase of nearly $600,000 since 2013. During FY 2014, Lurie Children's Hospital researchers received external funding of $29,237,598, an increase of 8% over the prior year, and clinical trial payments by themselves increased by 31% during this period.
- Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center, located on Chicago’s Westside, is a teaching and clinical research affiliate of Feinberg School of Medicine and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. This Veterans Affairs facility is comprised of a 188 bed acute care facility and four community based outpatient clinics. Faculty from Feinberg staff inpatient units and outpatient clinics and accrue patients to clinical trials as an affiliate site.
Participating Schools at Northwestern University
- The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine holds the No. 18 spot in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report ranking of top research-oriented medical schools in the country. Feinberg School of Medicine awards increased to $390 million in FY 2013, of which $258 million was from National Institutes of Health (NIH). In FY 2014 total Feinberg funding was $389 million of which, $242 million was from NIH. Between 2001 and 2013, Feinberg rose from 40th to 21st among the 130 institutions awarded grants directly from NIH, which is the largest increase in rankings of any institution during that period. Industry sponsored clinical trials in FY14 totaled $74.4 million, an increase of over 2.5-fold since 2010. Since 2009, Feinberg has invested over $120,000,000 in renovating almost 370,000 net square feet of owned and leased space, and will break ground in 2015 on a new research building which will double vivarium capacity and house laboratories for both Feinberg and our affiliate pediatric hospital, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. The initial phase of construction will involve 600,000 gross square feet, designed for future expansion to a total of 1.2M square feet. Feinberg Faculty on all professional tracks number over 2000, and the number on the Clinician Educator track who claim research as one of their chosen domains of activity has increased by 80% over the last three years.
- The Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science's departments of biomedical, chemical, and mechanical engineering host world-renowned faculty conducting cutting-edge research in biomaterials and regenerative medicine, imaging, biophotonics, and neural engineering. The school is ranked 22nd in 2014 US News and World Report. The Department of Biomedical Engineering is consistently ranked among the top PhD programs, and last year jumped five places from 18th to 13th in the US News and World Report rankings. McCormick supports this biomedical research with significant investment, as seen in the Willens Engineering Life Sciences Wing, a LEED Silver-Certified six-story, 50,000 square foot addition with 17,000 square feet of cutting-edge laboratory space and 8,000 square feet of offices for biomedical faculty, completed in 2012. There is very active collaboration between Engineering and Medicine at Northwestern, and McCormick faculty published papers with faculty from 24 different Feinberg School of Medicine departments in 2013, and over 30 McCormick faculty have appointments in Feinberg departments. There are also faculty searches currently underway for joint appointments in McCormick and Feinberg. Overall, McCormick School of Engineering as of FY 2014 has 1,662 undergraduates, 908 Master’s students, and 868 PhD students.
- The Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most comprehensive of NU's undergraduate schools. Weinberg has over 600 faculty members, 1,340 graduate students and 4,300 undergraduate students in 26 departments. Weinberg faculty received external research awards totaling $59,990,996 in FY 2014. Translational research is interspersed throughout the College but primarily conducted in the Departments of Chemistry, Molecular Biosciences, Linguistics, Neurobiology and Psychology. Since 2009 on the Evanston campus, Northwestern University has invested, in conjunction with Weinberg College, over $191,000,000 in new space totaling 257,000 gross square feet, the majority of which supports translational research.
- The Kellogg School of Management was ranked 6th in the 2015 US News and World rankings of the nation’s Business Schools. The Kellogg School faculty is an esteemed group of scholars and practitioners, and members provide a rich source of international experience in professional management problems and practices. Faculty members combine real-world and academic knowledge of management problems to augment their theoretical training. Kellogg School of Management offers a Health Enterprise Management Program designed for students interested in becoming well-rounded strategic leaders in the healthcare sector. In 2004, Kellogg School of Management Professor Daniel Diermeier and Professor David Kelso (McCormick School of Engineering) co-founded the Global Health Initiative (GHI), a collaboration among private industry, non-profit donors and academia to develop products that address health issues facing underserved communities around the world. In August of 2006, Northwestern University received a $5 million Grand Challenges in Global Health grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the purpose of financing these efforts. To further advance the GHI mission, the founders created the Northwestern Global Health Foundation.
- The Northwestern University School of Communication offers students an education that combines a solid foundation of intellectual skills and a broad knowledge of the arts and sciences with in-depth training in professional skills. Their comprehensive and interdisciplinary programs prepare students to lead in the arts and culture, scholarship, politics, health care, and business. Faculty and alumni are leaders in their fields, whether they are award-winning directors and writers, theatre and media historians, media artists, or scientists researching human communication processes. Their research is used as the basis of further study in their disciplines; their creative endeavors light up screens and stages around the world. Today, the School has more than 1,200 undergraduates, 700 graduate students, and 170 faculty members, and six majors in five departments. Most relevant to clinical and translational science is the Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders -- home to undergraduate, professional, and doctoral research programs that explore the science of human speech, hearing, and learning and seek new and more effective ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat related communication disorders.
- The Northwestern University School of Law is the oldest in Chicago. The Law School is ranked 12th in the 2015 US News and World Report Law School rankings. The Law School has over one hundred faculty, offers a number of classes relevant to clinical and translational science, including a new Master of Science in Law for STEM-trained students, and also participates in NUvention, a six month, four NU school, program on Medical Device Innovation- from needs finding through prototype development, patent filing and incorporation. NUvention has received national attention in Inc. and Fortune magazines.
Northwestern University Institutes and Centers Collaborating With, and Supported By, NUCATS
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (RHLCCC) conducts its clinical programs through affiliations with four teaching hospitals throughout the Chicago area—Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and the Jesse Brown Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center—and their associated faculty practice groups. The clinical enterprise treats more than 10,000 new cancer cases annually through its primary and tertiary programs and is among the largest in the Midwest. RHLCCC's basic and translational research programs in hormone action/signal transduction, angiogenesis, gene regulation, biologic therapies, and nanotechnology are nationally and internationally recognized. With nearly 300 outstanding clinicians and scientists as members, the RHLCCC is one of only 41 “comprehensive cancer centers” in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Annually, the RHLCCC and its members are awarded more than $182 million in extramural funding for cancer-relevant research from entities such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the American Cancer Society. Approximately $42 million of these funds are awarded annually by the NCI. The center has 125,300 net-square-feet of space dedicated to laboratory research and administrative support and provides investigators access to the shared resources of 15 core research facilities, including those focusing on cell imaging, flow cytometry, pathology, genomics, clinical research, and bioinformatics.
The Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Institute (NMDTI) was founded in 2012 with the mission of bringing innovative breakthrough discoveries from the laboratory to our patients as quickly and as safely as possible. Operating under the leadership of its founding director, Dr. Francis Giles, NMDTI is uniting the talent and resources of a world-class academic and medical staff within a comprehensive program dedicated to patient care and researching cancer and other life threatening disorders that share targets with cancer. NMDTI’s close collaboration with the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University has enabled the launching of several first-in-human clinical studies of novel treatments for cancers such as acute leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by capitalizing on NU’s cutting edge technology.
The Chemistry of Life Processes Institute (CLP) fosters the transdisciplinary collaborations among physical and life scientists and clinicians that are required to address the complexity of the “big questions” underlying human health and disease. The Institute’s forty‐nine faculty members are renowned for team‐based, multidisciplinary approaches to biomedical research. CLP has created a fast paced, dynamic ecosystem for basic and translational research and education that transcends disciplinary boundaries.
- The Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology (SQI) (formerly Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine) mission is twofold: 1) to combine nanoscience, nanotechnology, and engineering with medicine to enhance human health, and 2) to discover and develop new bio-inspired technologies that will promote a secure and sustainable energy future. In 2014 SQI managed approximately 17,300 square feet of prime research space on the Chicago campus, supported the work of at least 100 researchers in 10 resident faculty groups, operated three Core Facilities, and encompassed two research centers. The Center for Regenerative Nanomedicine (CRN) fosters bold new research in regenerative medicine using nanotechnology strategies. The Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science (CBES) aims to discover and develop bio-inspired systems that reveal new connections between energy and matter.
- The Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM) includes all public health activities at Feinberg School of Medicine. NU does not have a separate school of public health, but IPHAM fulfills all of the same functions with the added benefit of residing within Feinberg. Thus, IPHAM greatly facilitates interdisciplinary research at the interface of public health and medicine much more fluidly than a siloed school of public health. IPHAM’s twelve Centers create an organizational structure with areas of focus, spanning the spectrum from communities to the individual, and from patient-centered outcomes to health behaviors and genetic determinants of disease. Membership in IPHAM includes a NUCATS Institute membership to insure access to biostatistical, epidemiologic, and study design resources as well as the NUCATS research career development programs, among other NUCATS offerings. IPHAM relies heavily on NUCATS for research infrastructure, resources and services, and shares leadership across the Center for Community Health in NUCATS.
Shared and Core Facilities at Northwestern University
Shared and Core Facilities are fee-for-service laboratories that are open to all researchers at subsidized costs. There are currently over 60 such facilities located in departments and centers across both campuses (Chicago and Evanston).