Women were behind six of the top 10 research health science grants awarded to UC San Diego this year. And while 2017’s stats may be an exception to the rule, UC San Diego reported a steady increase in the number and cumulative dollar amount of large research grants headed by women since 2013.
Christina Chambers, a professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego’s School of Medicine and director of clinical research for the Department of Pediatrics, led four of the top 10 projects this year, which pulled in altogether over $25 million. She and her fellow researchers from around the world study the impact of drugs, alcohol and other environmental factors on pregnant women and their newborns.
“It’s not so much a single investigator doing incremental science in the lab. It’s people working in a consortium with multiple sites who need to work together in a collaborative way,” Chambers said. “I have lots of male colleagues who work really well in groups, but this is a natural strength that women possess that I think lends itself well to this funding environment.”
An analysis of the top 40 research awards since fiscal year 2013 on the main campus and in health sciences showed women were the principal investigators of six research awards totaling $24 million in 2013, nine awards totaling $42 million in 2015, 12 awards totaling $48 million in 2016, and 18 awards totaling $89 million in 2017, according to UC San Diego.