The University of Louisville is a university in Louisville, Kentucky. When founded in 1798, it was the first city-owned public university in the United States and one of the first universities chartered west of the Allegheny Mountains. The university is mandated by the Kentucky General Assembly to be a "Preeminent Metropolitan Research University". U of L enrolls students from 118 of 120 Kentucky counties, all 50 U.S. states, and 116 countries around the world.
The University of Louisville Health Sciences Center participated in the development of a highly effective vaccine against cervical cancer in 2006, the first fully self-contained artificial heart transplant surgery, the first successful hand transplantation, and the development of the Pap smear test. The University Hospital is also credited with the first civilian ambulance, the nation's first accident services, now known as an emergency room (ER), and one of the first blood banks in the US.
Since 1999, U of L has made the largest gains of any university in National Institutes of Health research ranking, with its NIH funding increasing 277 percent and its rank increasing 30 places. As of 2006 among public U.S. universities, the melanoma clinic ranks third, the neurology research program fourth, and the spinal cord research program 10th in NIH funding.
U of L is also known for the success of its athletics programs, several of which are among the best in the country. Since 2000 the Cardinals have made appearances in the men's basketball Final Four in 2005 and 2012, football Bowl Championship Series Orange Bowl in 2007 (champions), the College Baseball World Series, the women's basketball Final Four in 2009 (runner-up), and the men's soccer national championship game in 2010. U of L's women's volleyball program has three-peated as champions of the Big East Tournament (2008, 2009, 2010), and its women's track and field program has won Outdoor Big East titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and an Indoor Big East title in 2011.
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