With respect to our research mission, we continue to build on our strengths in infectious diseases, cardiometabolic disorders, and cancer while growing major programs in neurosciences, pulmonary disease, aging, liver disorders, sports medicine, and others. We invested more in pilot grant and bridge funding. We have strategically developed collaborations including the Clinical Trials Unit by leveraging the NIH-funded Louisiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Award, a research development office, and scientific and training programs with the SPHTM, SSE, and TNPRC. In the last year, extramural grant and contract awards are up by nearly $6 million from last year. We have had at least 10 new investigator-initiated, prestigious R01 grant awards from the National Institutes of Health over the last 18 months. We have also recruited new talented investigators, and plan more in 2017.
For our education mission, we continue to have exceptional interest in our educational programs with over 10,000 applicants for 190 slots in our incoming medical school class. We increased our diversity and prepared to continue this trend. Nearly 500 residents and fellows are participating in one of Tulane’s 39 accredited training programs. We remain committed to fostering the next generation of scientific leaders with 75 doctoral students and 130 masters students in 7 programs. We are collaborating with other schools of the university to offer distinctive, high quality combined training programs such as the MD/MPH (the largest of its kind in the US) with the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the MD/MBA with the School of Business. In the New Year, we will continue to build on our strengths while staying focused on providing a high quality educational experience.
We are contributing to much needed clinical care for our patients within TMC, VAMC and UMC. Over the last year at Tulane University Medical Center, we remained committed to providing the highest quality patient care and have observed improvements in quality, increases in capital investment and performance, and increases in clinical revenues. At the school level, we are strategically expanding our primary care base and reorganizing to capture opportunities in surgery, neuroscience and oncology. In the last 3 years, we have recruited or named 8 new chairs and directors providing a revitalized leadership platform. In 2017, we will develop strategic partnerships with other hospitals, increase our presence at UMC and VA, invest in our infrastructure, and develop sound approaches with the university to provide wellness clinics and to foster the self-insurance program.