The University of Louisville is a public university in Louisville, Kentucky, a member of the Kentucky state university system. 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". UofL enrolls students from 118 of 120 Kentucky counties, all 50 U.S. states, and 116 countries around the world.The University of Louisville School of Medicine is touted for the first fully self-contained artificial heart transplant surgery as well as the first successful hand transplantation. The University Hospital is also credited with the first civilian ambulance, the nation's first accident services, now known as an emergency room, and one of the first blood banks in the US.Between 1999 and 2006 UofL was one of the fastest growing medical research institutions according to National Institutes of Health rankings. As of 2006, the melanoma clinic ranked third in among public universities in NIH funding, the neurology research program fourth, and the spinal cord research program 10th.
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