Oregon’s health research funding shifted into a bit of a down-cycle last year.

The five Oregon institutions with the most National Institutes of Health funding in fiscal year 2015 netted in a combined $262.2 million from 595 grants.

That may sound like a lot, but it’s actually $19.8 million – or 7 percent – less than they received in fiscal year 2014. And their combined grant count was down 12.

The top five are the same as last year but three of them traded places. Only one of them, a prominent public university gained health research dollars, receiving seven more grants and increasing funding by 14 percent.

The top five made up 87 percent of all 2015 fiscal year funding, with the No. 1 recipient accounting for a huge 65 percent slice. Overall, funding to Oregon NIH grant recipients fell 4.7 percent in last year to $302.2 million. The total number of grants fell 1.6 percent to 676.

At the same time, total NIH funding nationwide rose 3.7 percent to $23.1 billion, so it’s not like the pot of money got smaller. Oregon’s portion was just 1.3 percent.

Still, a few Oregon firms collected new grants last year.

Portland’s Elex Biotech, which develops cardiac compounds to prevent arrhythmias, landed $1.2 million from two grants. Digital workplace wellness programmer Provata Health, featured in last week’s Faces of The List, pulled in $714,294.

Portland’s National College of Natural Medicine received 576,546 from two grants.

The five groups that top our List:

#5. Oregon Research Institute, Eugene (No 4. last year)
Top Executive: Byron Glidden
Description: Nonprofit research center dedicated to understanding human behavior and improving the quality of human life
Total NIH funding, 2015: $11.3 million (-19% change from 2014)
Number of NIH grants, 2015: 21 (-19% change from 2014)
Year founded: 1960

#4. Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland (No. 3 last year)
Top Executive: Mary Durham
Description: Research includes genetics, cancer, chronic pain, diabetes, evidence-based medicine, health disparities/economics, mental health, obesity, oral health, informatics, vaccine safety/effectiveness and women’s health
Total NIH funding, 2015: $13.6 million (-15% change from 2014)
Number of NIH grants, 2015: 20 (-5% change from 2014)
Year founded: 1964

#3. Oregon State University, Corvallis (No. 5 last year)
Top Executive: Edward Ray
Description: State public university providing undergraduate and graduate education and research
Total NIH funding, 2015: $14.4 million (+13% change from 2014)
Number of NIH grants, 2015: 44 (+19% change from 2014)
Year founded: 1868

#2. University of Oregon, Eugene (No. 2 last year)
Top Executive: Michael Schill
Description: State public university providing undergraduate and graduate education and research
Total NIH funding, 2015: $27.8 million (0% change from 2014)
Number of NIH grants, 2015: 78 (+24% change from 2014)
Year founded: 1876

#1. Oregon Health & Science University, Portland (No. 1 last year)
Top Executive: Joseph Robertson
Description: State public university, teaching hospital and research center providing medicine, nursing and dentistry programs
Total NIH funding, 2015: $195 million (-8% change from 2014)
Number of NIH grants, 2015: 432 (-6% change from 2014)
Year founded: 1887

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Brandon Sawyer
Research Director
Portland Business Journal
Apr. 22, 2016