Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in browser.

Inside Pitt Research
Top Stories  

Digital Innovation Uncovers Libraries within Libraries in Hebrew Text

Adam Shear

Following the steps of an ancient text from print to bookshelf across the globe requires many inputs and gives historians and book collectors a way to visualize trends in what book owners were reading over time. Footprints is an open-source, all access database for mapping the journey that Hebrew books printed prior to 1800 have taken. Adam Shear, associate professor and chair in the Department of Religious Studies, collaborates on the project with colleagues from Columbia University, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the University of Pennsylvania. The project earned a 2023 Digital Innovation Award by the Renaissance Society of America for its contributions to the study of the Renaissance.


Fernando Tormos-Aponte

Sociologist Identifies Pathways to Improve Science Advocacy

Fernando Tormos-Aponte, assistant professor of sociology, and a team of researchers propose that scientists can defend and promote science for the public good by diversifying their advocacy efforts. “Science is under attack and scientists are becoming more involved in efforts to defend it,” states Tormos-Aponte and members of the Science Advocacy Working Group in a paper in Science Advances. “The rise in science advocacy raises important questions regarding how science mobilization can both defend science and promote its use for the public good while also including the communities that benefit from science.”

“We propose steps that scientists can follow to build reciprocal relationships with communities and explain why these coalitions are so important," Tormos-Aponte added.

Read More >> via Science Advances

Blue and gold cubes forming a larger cube
On Campus  

Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award Nominations Requested

The 2024 Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Awards are now open with nominations due by Friday, October 13, 2023. There are six awards in total, split evenly between the Senior Scholar and Junior Scholar career stages. Each winner will be recognized publicly for their accomplishments at the Faculty Honors Convocation in March 2024. Any group of three or more faculty members may submit through InfoReady in three broad categories of research interests: (1) Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Related Professions; (2) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; and (3) Medicine and Health Sciences. Each awardee receives a cash prize of $2,000 and a grant of $3,000 to support their teaching and research efforts. For questions about nominations, contact Mandy Singh ( or Shari Manges (  

Learn More >>


Pitt Momentum Funds Application Cycle Open

The Pitt Momentum Funds 2023-2024 funding cycle is under way. Applications for the annual research competition opened Tuesday, September 5. Teams of faculty are invited to develop a project that requires collaborating across schools, departments and fields of study. Awardees will be announced in the Spring 2024 semester and honored for their efforts in the Internal Funding Showcase next fall. Each year the Office of the Provost selects a theme for the year. Project applications that align with this year’s theme of the Year of Discourse and Dialogue are encouraged. Online info sessions will be held on Monday, September 11 at 11 AM and Tuesday, September 12 at 1PM.

Apply Now >>


Fall Workshops and Drop-In Hour Announced for Digital Scholarship Services

The Digital Scholarship Services team at the University Library System is again offering workshops for the Pitt community. Talks and trainings range in topics from data science and data sharing and management to learning how to use a 3D scanner to generate highly precise 3D models from a handheld camera. Offerings are a mix of in-person, online, and hybrid formats. The R and RStudio Drop-In Hour will continue weekly on Tuesdays.



Chandan Sen Appointed McGowan Institute Director

Chandan K. Sen, associate vice chancellor for life sciences innovation and commercialization for Pitt Health Sciences, has been appointed Director of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. McGowan’s strategic direction will push scientific boundaries to seed the future of healthcare and continually contribute to the innovation economy in the region. 

Sen, who joined Pitt in July, is known for the development of innovative nanotransfection technology that transforms skin tissue into other types of tissue, which can then be used for healing burns, treating injuries, replacing damaged or diseased tissues, and other therapies. 


Researchers In The News  
Patricia Documet

Patricia Documét Discusses Health Equity Research

When language barriers prevent vulnerable populations from accessing critical healthcare resources in their communities, care for the family unit becomes more difficult. Patricia Documét, director of Latino research and outreach for the Center for Health Equity in Pitt’s School of Public Health, focuses her research on how to make healthcare more accessible for people in the Latino community. “When people can feel understood in a healthcare setting, trust and healthcare outcomes improve,” says Documét. “In one study I’m working on, we’re looking at how language services can benefit the Latino community in Pittsburgh and expand our collective understanding of healthcare in immigrant and Spanish-speaking populations.”

Read More >> via New Pittsburgh Courier

Carla A. Mazefsky

Autism Symptoms Can Be Masked for Decades

Carla A. Mazefsky, the Nancy J. Minshew, M.D. Endowed Chair in Autism Research, spoke to Nightline about the prevalence of delayed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adults and the unique barriers to diagnosis later in life for women and people of color in what has historically been labeled a ‘male’ disorder. “It’s not uncommon for adults to explore autism as a potential diagnosis when their children are diagnosed,” says Mazefsky. Additionally, delayed diagnosis can happen due to average or above average intellectual ability, allowing symptoms to go unchecked and more and more individuals that struggle with emotional regulation and sensory challenges to fall through the cracks. 

Mazefsky is one of the creators of the Emotion Dysregulation Inventory, which is used around the globe and is funded by a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development R01 award for measuring emotional dysregulation in ASD.

Read More >> via ABC News

Solar Farm Located Near Pittsburgh International Airport

Solar Farm Goes Live Near Pittsburgh International Airport

Created through a partnership with Pitt and Vesper Energy, a renewable energy developer from Dallas, the largest solar power project in southwestern Pennsylvania is online. Staff from both parties, local and state representatives, and local landowners gathered to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the 68-acre solar farm located near the Pittsburgh International Airport. The Gaucho Solar project will use 55,000 panels to produce 35,700 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, powering 18% of the Pittsburgh campus. The solar farm is a large step towards the University’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2037, as detailed in the Pitt Climate Action Plan.

Read More >> via Solar World

Top Stories
Pitt Sustainability Challenge Finalist Pitch Event  

Pitt Sustainability Challenge Finalist Pitch Event

Thursday, Sept. 14 |  9 AM to Noon (In-person)

Join us on September 14 when the Pitt Sustainability Challenge will award $300,000 for implementation of a proposal that is impactful, durable, and feasible to advancing carbon neutrality in the Pitt community. Five finalists for the Challenge will publicly pitch their solutions, and a winner will be selected! 

Learn More and Register >>

Allegheny Observatory  

Open House at Allegheny Observatory

Friday, Sept. 22 | 7 to 10 PM (In-person)

This once-a-year invitation by Pitt’s department of physics and astronomy in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences offers an evening tour of the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh with a demonstration of the new Keeler telescope. A phone call to the Observatory is required for registration.

Learn More and Register >>

An Asian man thinking deeply  

A Preliminary Model of Moral Disengagement and Reengagement of AI Developers

Tuesday, Oct. 3 | 12 PM (Virtual) 

Pitt’s Research Ethics in Society Initiative presents a virtual seminar with guest speaker, Mildred Cho, research professor of medicine at Stanford University. Cho will share insights from a study of 40 machine-learning developers with evidence of moral conflicts and recognition of the impact of design decisions on protected healthcare information and data. 

Learn More and Register >>

Research Resources  

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Research Spotlight

In Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), patients’ immune systems attack a critical nerve cell protein, causing muscle weakness and degeneration. But not always — some patients lack antibodies to this protein, the calcium channel. Using the Monte Carlo Cell (MCell) simulation software developed in collaboration with PSC, running on PSC’s Bridges-2 system, a team from the University of Pittsburgh and PSC identified several factors that may contribute to LEMS. The results may help explain the historically limited success in treating LEMS and point to possible better treatment strategies.

Learn More >>


Membership for Pittsburgh Quantum Institute

Faculty focusing on engineering and quantum sciences can join the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute (PQI) to collaborate, network and share insights from current research projects. Membership includes access to events and shared resource labs.
Learn More >>

Top Stories


John A. Swanson  

Engineering Insight and a Generous Gift

John A. Swanson, who earned a PhD at Pitt’s School of Engineering in 1966, pursues his dream to create 3D modeling for stress analysis in rockets. The company he founds in his house in Pittsburgh to develop and market his simulation software becomes Ansys, home to technology that allows engineers and designers to predict how products will function under real conditions. Ansys software becomes the global industry standard while the company keeps its home in the Pittsburgh region. In 2007, Swanson donates $41.3 million, at the time the largest gift from a single donor. Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering is named in his honor.