Collins, a guest of Sen. Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate Republican leader, noted that NIH funding this year supports about 2,000 jobs in Kentucky and that the agency has awarded $143 million to the commonwealth, with $48 million coming to Louisville.

Coincidentally, Collins’s visit came on the same day that the Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article on the top 100 universities in biggest gains in federal funding for research and develop in sciences and engineering for the period 1999-2009.

UofL ranked fourth on that list with an increase of 263.1 percent over the decade. The university had $20 million in federal funds for science research in 1999 and $72.7 million in 2009.

“You should be proud of the trajectory those research dollars are on,” Collins told President James Ramsey and others from the university at the event.

The increase in securing the federal science funding is a testament of the university’s leadership, he said.

Collins also said he was impressed by UofL’s focus on translational research – that is, getting discoveries from the lab to the bedside.

UofL was one of 28 colleges and universities to double federal sciences monies in 10-year period, according to the Chronicle.