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Discovery


At Emory, research does more than advance knowledge and healing. We promote creativity and power innovation, providing a critical building block in the quest to address some of society’s greatest challenges

Cancer immunotherapy? Political effects of regime change? Expansion of the battlefield to cyber and outer space? Unraveling the intricacies of the human brain or identifying the ethical dimensions associated with feeding civilization? Where there are big questions, Emory researchers are there, ready to tackle them.

As one of the nation’s top-tier research universities, that’s what we do, generating discoveries that improve and save lives, create understanding, and make the world a better place.

Emory is a member of the Association of American Universities, the top 62 research universities in the U.S. and Canada.
Emory is one of only 115 Carnegie-classified R1 research universities in the United States.

Increasingly, the world is taking note. Our research funding from external agencies has steadily risen during the past decade of breakthrough study, leading to transformative impact. And our reputation as an R1 institution attracts the best minds in their fields, from the humanities to public health, thereby creating an academic community of choice.

More than 90 percent of U.S. HIV patients, and many around the world, take at least one of the drugs invented by Emory researchers Ray Schinazi, Dennis Liotta, and Woo-Baeg Choi.

Whether it’s developing new biostatistical techniques to help doctors interpret brain scans, using market research to achieve stronger communities, uncovering a link between antidepressant treatment resistance and inflammation, or using ancient DNA to study the biological effects of colonization, Emory researchers are fearless in their pursuit of knowledge and innovative in their collaborations with experts across countries, institutions, and disciplines.

The work we do in myriad fields of academic research also serves as a catalyst of economic growth—in Atlanta and across the globe—that far surpasses the initial investment.

That’s why governments, businesses, and individuals depend on Emory’s community of research professionals to deliver answers that produce a brighter future.

A Thriving Research Enterprise


External research funding at Emory has exceeded $500 million for each of the past nine years and continues to grow—a testament to the expertise of acclaimed faculty researchers and the promising potential to improve society and further knowledge.

The Emory-led Consortium for Innovative AIDS Research received a 35.6 million dollar grant from the NIH.
The university is one of six NIH-funded Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance.

In 2018 alone, Emory experts received $734 million in external research awards, a 17 percent increase over the previous year, marking the largest amount of total research funding in our history.

Of that, health sciences researchers received $685.8 million—including $402.5 million in federal funding from such agencies as the National Institutes of Health—supporting research in Emory’s schools of medicine, public health, and nursing, as well as Winship Cancer Institute, and Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

More than 400 Emory researchers and clinicians from different areas collaborate to advance treatments for stroke, dementia, movement disorders, depression, epilepsy, sleep disorders, and PTSD.
Scientific research space at Emory spans two million square feet, the equivalent of about 46 acres.
Emory leads the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance Network, funded by the Gates Foundation.

Laney Graduate School’s more than 1,800 students pursue research in more than 50 degree programs that range from anthropology and microbiology to mathematics and religion. Emory’s vibrant culture of interdisciplinary learning encourages students to refine a variety of high-demand skills; for instance, the Molecules to Mankind doctoral pathway provides training and mentorship in both laboratory science and population science to forge a novel approach to biomedicine. And our innovative Biochemistry, Cell, and Developmental Biology program involves faculty from 15 departments who equip graduates to better impact human health.

Just as we continuously seek ways to collaborate across disciplines, Emory reaches beyond our campus to forge research relationships with other universities and organizations around the world. We’ve joined with the Georgia Institute of Technology to co-found centers for nanotechnology, regenerative medicine, and immunoengineering, as well as a biomedical engineering PhD program in partnership with Peking University in Beijing. The Emory-led Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance—which includes Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Tech, and University of Georgia—focuses on transforming the quality and value of clinical research and translating research results into improved outcomes for patients.

Emory international engagement facts
International Engagement: 900+ faculty have international expertise; 6,714 articles published with international coauthors (2018); 26,320 citations of articles published with international coauthors (2018); 200+ MOUs with international partners; 160+ international institutional partners
Emory and Georgia Tech together spend 1.4 billion dollars on research annually.

Our schools and faculty within the Woodruff Health Sciences Center have longstanding research partnerships with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, American Cancer Society, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and the University of Queensland in Australia, among many others.

Emory continues to reach abroad, working with Addis Ababa University to develop Ethiopia’s first PhD program in nursing and with the Shanghai Mental Health Center to operate the Collaborative Center for Global Mental Health. In addition, we helped establish the Center for the Control of Chronic Conditions at the Public Health Foundation of India and have pioneered alternatives to stem cell research through cellular reprogramming alongside researchers at Yonsei University in South Korea. Simply put, our research is a fuse, lighting up dynamic partnerships that yield groundbreaking discoveries.

The Emory Vaccine Center is one of the world's largest academic centers for vaccine development, focused on influenza, malaria, AIDS, Ebola virus disease, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis.

As one of the country’s foremost research universities, Emory continues to attract the best minds from around the globe, which is reflected in top-flight rankings for our schools. The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing ranks fourth in the nation, while the Rollins School of Public Health is fifth, and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering PhD program—a joint effort between Emory’s Laney Graduate School, Emory School of Medicine, and Georgia Tech—enjoys a number three ranking nationally, all according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 edition of the “America’s Best Graduate Schools” guide.

Twenty-two members of the Emory faculty have been honored with membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), and 32 have been selected for the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). President Claire E. Sterk was named a member of the AAAS in 2019 and a member of the NAM in 2018.

And our researchers’ triumphs have been many. Emory Vaccine Center Director Rafi Ahmed’s study of antigen-specific immunity has led to 143 patents worldwide, which have been licensed by a major pharmaceutical company. As one of the world’s top macroeconomists, Tao Zha was named a fellow of the select Econometric Society, a group that includes a number of Nobel laureates. Psychology professor Rohan Palmer has been awarded a five-year, $2.34 million grant to study how genetic differences contribute to a vulnerability to drug addiction. And Emory College of Arts and Sciences, guided by Dean Michael Elliott and with $1.2 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is positioning itself as a national leader in the future of scholarly publishing as it pursues a multiyear initiative to support long-form, open-access publications in the humanities in association with university presses.

In the area of technology transfer, Emory has 1,600+ active technologies, 1,200+ pending patent applications, 350 active licenses, and 90+ startups.
Emory faculty and staff published 111 books in 2018, including two faculty members, Carol Anderson and Tayari Jones, who were longlisted for National Book Awards.

From life-changing medical advances to important studies in the humanities to trailblazing research in the social sciences, Emory is hard-wired for the bold pursuit of discoveries that aid human understanding and improve our world.


Read On


Our immersive stories take you more deeply into the excitement and dedication that underlies our research culture, which flourishes because it is built on an uncommon combination of campus-based resources as well as local and global partnerships.

Driving Discovery: Record-Setting Research Funding Fuels Emory’s Impact around the World

Understanding and preventing the deaths of young children in developing countries. Uniting Georgia scientists to translate research results into better outcomes for patients. Creating new ways to do chemistry that could lead to breakthroughs in fields from agriculture to electronics. Emory is at work in all these areas.

Read More: Research for a Better World
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Frontiers of the Brain

How do you help a young athlete who is otherwise healthy but sleeps all the time? Why did a radio reporter suddenly lose his ability to talk? How does chronic inflammation contribute to depression? Emory researchers and clinicians are developing new strategies to keep people’s brains healthier and happier.

Read More: Research for Brain Health
Illustration of neurons

Chemical Catalyst Turns ‘Trash’ to ‘Treasure’

In a paper in the journal Nature, Emory chemists outline a route for solving the decades-old problem of breaking carbon-hydrogen bonds in the quest to develop new compounds.

Read More: Research to Advance Chemistry
Kathryn 'Katie' Chepiga working in a laboratory

Moving the Needle on Opioid Addiction

Roughly 25 percent of emergency overdose cases at Grady Memorial Hospital are due to opioids. Emory President Claire E. Sterk, who is also Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health, has kicked off a discussion about the epidemic, and the Rollins School of Public Health is pursuing research on it.

Read More: Research on Drug Addiction
Rohan Palmer

Georgia Climate Research Roadmap Identifies State’s Top 40 Climate Research Questions

A multidisciplinary team of experts from across the state has developed the Georgia Climate Research Roadmap, a first-of-its-kind list of 40 key research questions that can help policymakers and practitioners better understand and address climate change in Georgia across themes such as water, the coast, agriculture, health, and energy. Several questions address issues related to equity and at-risk communities. The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has awarded a $650,000 grant to Emory to advance the Georgia Climate Project.

Read More: Research on Climate
Driftwood in beach surf at sunset on Georgia's Jekyll Island