A paid lobbyist is being used for the first time to help the University of Tennessee Health Science Center increase the number of federal research grants it is awarded.
The Memphis school is paying $100,000 a year to American Defense International, comprised mostly of former military officers and former congressional aides, to help garner biomedical defense contracts from the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.
The group registered as a lobbyist for the UT Health Science Center on June 30.
Last year, the school was 65th among all medical schools and 102nd among research centers in NIH grants and fellowships, bringing in about $43.6 million. It was ranked slightly better in both categories in 2001.