Continuing on its path as a rapidly growing research enterprise, Arizona State University reported $545 million in research expenditures for fiscal year 2017, up from $518 million in FY16, according to a recent report by the U.S. National Science Foundation. ASU is holding its rank at No. 44 for total research expenditures in the U.S., remaining ahead of the California Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago. Among institutions without a medical school, ASU moved up one spot to No. 8, ahead of Princeton University and Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, ASU announced that its research expenditures for FY18 now total more than $600 million — a first for the university. The NSF’s FY17 Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) rankings, its most recent report based on FY17 expenditures, has ASU holding a strong lead among all reporting institutions, including a No. 1 ranking in anthropology expenditures, ahead of Harvard and Stanford universities. ASU ranks No. 2 in geological and earth sciences, ahead of Stanford University, MIT and Penn State; and ranks No. 3 for transdisciplinary research expenditures, ahead of Ohio State, MIT and Michigan State University. ASU also made significant gains in rankings for expenditures in metallurgical and materials engineering, physics, and visual and performing arts, according to the HERD report. Along with expanded research space, ASU also is adding star researchers to its faculty. Kathleen Merrigan, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and a leader of sustainable food systems, was named the first executive director of ASU’s Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems in fall 2018. Merrigan brings decades of experience in agriculture, sustainability and food systems to ASU, which will strengthen ASU’s global impact on research, policy and education. “I joined ASU because of its commitment to inclusivity and collaboration,” Merrigan said. “Soaring rankings and research prowess stem from our dedication to public values. Together with our students, we are designing solutions to society’s most pressing challenges. The work is important and energizing. We are solving problems.” Read the full story on ASU Now.