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Inside Pitt Research
Top Stories  

Kaufman Foundation Awards Pitt Teams for Work in Quantum Computing and Genetics

Andrea Berman, Michael Hatridge, Alex Jones, and Judith Yanowitz

Two teams of faculty were each awarded $300,000 grants from the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation’s New Initiatives for collaborative projects -- looking back in time at the evolution of a cellular trait shared by worms and humans, and looking forward to a future of immense speed and power.

Michael Hatridge, associate professor of physics in the Dietrich School, and project lead Alex Jones, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Swanson School of Engineering, are developing an interdisciplinary collaboration to design more efficient and accurate methods in quantum computing. Read more at Making a Quantum Leap Forward ( at the Swanson School Newsroom.

Judith Yanowitz, associate professor of OBGYN and Reproductive Sciences in the School of Medicine, and Andrea Berman, associate professor of biology in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, are exploring the molecular functions of a unique protein shared in worm and human mRNA. The team hopes to create insights into the protein’s potential function in activating or deactivating cells, the fundamental molecular mechanism behind cancers.

Read more about how collaborative research can work >>

August Wilson Archive Grand Opening Celebration
On Campus  

Help Develop Research Security Training for U.S. Research Community

Pitt is a member of a consortium of academic institutions selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide training modules to the federal government on key issues in research security. Recent changes in federal law mandate that future recipients of federal research funding receive such training on an annual basis.

The consortium of institutions is seeking Pitt participants for a virtual focus group to provide insights. Focus groups will allow the team to gauge current knowledge and practices in assessing and managing collaborations and protecting unpublished information, data, and intellectual capital and property; tools and resources utilized; and awareness of potential security risks and measures to mitigate risk. Feedback from these focus groups will be critical to developing effective training for the U.S. research community.

Volunteers at all academic levels at Pitt -- from graduate students to professors, as well as research administrators -- are invited to participate. To express interest in this virtual focus group, please complete this registration form.

Pitt is collaborating with University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Van Andel Institute to create the training module focused on Risk Management and Mitigation. The module will examine actions researchers and their institutions can take to assess, reduce and manage security risks to ongoing, planned and unpublished research data.


Disclosure Certification Period Begins March 15

The Annual Disclosure Certification period begins on March 15, 2023. Certifications are due by April 15, 2023. Supervisor reviews are due by June 15, 2023.

Faculty and staff with some job functions are required to make annual conflict of interest and/or commitment disclosures. If you are required to complete an Annual Disclosure Certification, you will receive an email notification from MyDisclosures between March 15 and March 18. Do not complete your Annual Disclosure Certification until you receive the email notification from MyDisclosures! Certifications completed before March 15, 2023 do not satisfy the 2023 annual disclosure requirement.

Training videos for disclosers, supervisors and administrators are available here. Step-by-step instructions on how to complete disclosures, supervisor reviews and access MyDisclosures reports are available here. Guidance regarding disclosure requirements is available here.

If you have questions, please contact the University Conflict of Interest Division at


James Barr von Oehsen Named PSC Director

James Barr von Oehsen has been selected the director of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), a joint research center of Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, and concurrently, the vice chancellor for research computing at Pitt effective May 1, 2023. He will also hold appointments on the research faculty of Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Pitt’s Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Informatics.

A leader in the field of cyberinfrastructure, von Oehsen comes from Rutgers University, where he served as associate vice president for the Office of Advanced Research Computing. There he provided strategic leadership that propeled the university’s research and scholarly achievements through next-generation computing, networking and data science, and he developed and executed a cyberinfrastructure strategy, centralizing research computing.

"His breadth of experience with cyberinfrastructure that supports scientific research will make him an excellent leader to continue and advance PSC’s legacy in high performance computing, and Pitt’s commitment to support research computing comprehensively across the full spectrum of scholarly activities, from digital arts and humanities, to STEM, to clinical and health science users," said Rob A. Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research.

Researchers In The News  

World History Gazetteer Awarded Digital Humanities Advancement Grant

Ruth Mostern, left, and Karl Grossner, right, awarded $350,000 for World History Gazetteer

Pitt’s World Historical Gazetteer (WHG) – a two-way platform for scholarly communication – has been awarded a $350,000 Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Gazetteer is a unique web-based digital humanities project of tools, platforms, content and community about the history of place at the global scale, containing an index of 1.8 million historical place records as well as capabilities for search, visualization, research, publication and teaching about historical places.

Professor of History and World History Center Director Ruth Mostern serves as the project PI, and Dr. Karl Grossner serves as the project’s Technical Director. The grant, Mostern says, will allow the project team to develop infrastructure, content and community for Version 3. The index will more than double in size; the suite of tools will evolve to better support teachers, contributors, and end users; and the team will expand opportunities to involve diverse and global communities of board members, scholars, learners, and developers.

Pitt Engineers Developing Tool to Model Climate-Related Disasters

Engineers Developing Tool to Model Climate-Related Disasters

Researchers in the Swanson School of Engineering, Xu Liang, professor, and Jeen-Shang Lin, associate professor, are developing a digital tool, Cyberwater, to better model climate related disasters, such as landslides, which could help local governments to be better prepared. The first phase of Cyberwater will conclude this winter, and the second phase is set to begin in the coming months with $1.8 million in funding from the National Science Foundation.

Liang and Lin will collaborate with researchers from other institutions to create a software infrastructure that could be used across scientific disciplines to more accurately model landslide risk in the event of heavy rainfall, for example. "How, specifically and locally, would climate change actually affect landslides, water resources, floods and so on?" said Liang, professor of civil and environmental engineering. "We want to develop modeling tools to help the research and science communities to study this."


Pitt-Greensburg Unveils New Life Sciences Building

Pitt-Greensburg Unveils New Life Sciences Building

Last month, Pitt-Greensburg celebrated the long-awaited grand opening of the new Life Sciences Building, which features lab and technology upgrades.

“The new Life Sciences Building will greatly expand our teaching and research capabilities in the sciences,” said Robert Gregerson, president of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. “We are excited to see our programs continue to grow—and to fulfill an important need for our campus, our region, and the state.” Gregerson noted that approximately 500 students each year major in the sciences and health-related disciplines at Pitt-Greensburg.

A $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation provides scholarships over six years to 48 low-income students with academic promise that are also majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines, the building offers a hub for these endeavors for students, faculty and research staff.



Dean Valerie Kinloch A Top 200 Education Scholar

Valerie Kinloch, Renée and Richard Goldman Endowed Dean and professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, was recognized as one of the nation’s most impactful education scholars in the newly released 2023 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings.

The ranking recognizes 200 university-based scholars for having the biggest influence on educational practice and policy in the past year. Kinloch was selected from a pool of more than 20,000 university-based faculty who are conducting educational research in the U.S.


Social Work Faculty among Top 100 Contributors to Social Work Journal Scholarship

Social Work Faculty among Top 100 Contributors to Social Work Journal Scholarship

Recently, Research on Social Work Practice published the article, “Who are the Top 100 Contributors to Social Work Journal Scholarship? A Global Study on Career Impact in the Profession” and two faculty members at Pitt’s School of Social Work made the list: Professor Christina Newhill and Professor Emeritus Gary Koeske.

Newhill came to Pitt in 1990 with a research focus on clinician safety training after nearly a decade in psychiatric emergency and mobile crisis service environment. As part of her research at Pitt, she trained clinicians through workshops locally and nationally, and is currently writing a concise guide to social worker safety under contract with the National Association of Social Workers’ press.


Top Stories

What Makes Your Research Trustworthy? Learn on 3/1 from RESI.  

What Makes Your Research Trustworthy? Threats and Opportunities

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Annual Research Ethics Day Conference

This year’s conference will focus on the importance of optimizing and signaling the trustworthiness of research. Trustworthiness is necessary in order to maintain the trust of colleagues, participants, those who apply our research, and the wider public. National leaders will discuss the expectations of all these collaborators and audiences, including research funders, partners, participants, trainees, and journals.

Learn more and register >>


Community Engaged Scholarship Forum  

Community Engaged Scholarship Forum

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Engaging with the community is second nature at Pitt with a long history of finding and uncovering insights that propel all of us toward a better, safer world. Problems being tackled include climate change, social justice and education.

Learn more and register >>

Research Resources  

Apply for $5,000 AWS Cloud Credits for Your Research Projects from CRC

In collaboration with Pitt Information Technology and Amazon Web Services (AWS), Pitt’s Center for Research Computing (CRC) offers up to $5,000 in seed funding and consultative services to Pitt faculty, as well as postdocs and graduate students with approval from their supervisor.

Cloud computing offers great benefits for researchers – virtually unlimited resources, no queues, cutting-edge applications, no hardware to buy or manage and the freedom to compute from any device, anywhere.

But researchers wanting to use cloud computing typically run up against barriers of funding, training and support. This joint effort aims to to remove those barriers and help ease Pitt researchers seamlessly into the cloud ecosystem.

Read more and submit a proposal >>


Inventor’s Guide from Pitt's Innovation Institute

Have you invented something new while at Pitt? The Innovation Institute at Pitt negotiates licensing agreements and assists faculty throughout the process of commercializing new discoveries gleaned from research. This step-by-step guide can help you determine if you’re ready to take your work to market and how to start that process.


Top Stories


William Hunter Dammond  

Safety Innovator Fights for Recognition

William Hunter Dammond, the first African-American graduate of the University Pittsburgh (then the Western University of Pennsylvania) and one of few Black engineers in the United States at that time, patents an electric railroad signaling device that improves manually operated systems, and in 1906 patents a safety signal system. Dammond later designs bridges and other structures in England, Massachusetts and New York. His signaling inventions became industry standards, but he was forced to fight in court for recognition until his death in 1956.