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Inside Pitt Research
Top Stories  

Pitt Clinical Artificial Intelligence, Robotics Expertise Drive Patient Safety Research

Jewish Healthcare Foundation logo on a serene Pitt blue background

Pittsburgh’s Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) has worked for more than 25 years developing patient safety interventions, and is now launching an ambitious plan to bring together regional medical, artificial intelligence and robotics expertise to develop autonomous patient safety technologies. The project aims to reduce medical errors and put Pittsburgh on the map as a global hub in a new industry.



First Slate of Awardees for the New Arts and Humanities Microgrants

A collage of images include people in studio arts, composition, literature and less-often taught languages

In the first year of programming, Pitt’s Arts and Humanities Microgrants are supporting up to twenty projects for individual faculty or teams. The $3,000 one-year microgrants are supporting high-quality, smaller-scaled research, scholarly, creative and artistic endeavors for faculty in the arts and humanities.

“The grants are intended to enhance and expand internal funding opportunities for arts and humanities faculty, as a resource to support existing projects, works-in-progress, or to test concepts where a smaller grant with fast decision-making could be transformative,” said Shelome Gooden, assistant vice chancellor for research in the humanities, arts, social sciences and related fields.


Large conference room at Pitt
On Campus  

New Staff Focus on Inclusion and Research Development

Headshots of three new staff members on a muted purple background

Chief of Staff
Holly Hauck is chief of staff to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research (SVCR), serving as a strategic advisor and key business partner to the SVCR, and assisting in managing internal and external relationships and objectives. Hauck brings more than 15 years of experience in strategic planning and operations, including serving seven years in higher education. She most recently served as assistant dean of strategic partnerships and projects at the University of Washington School of Nursing, working closely with the executive dean, faculty, staff, students, and key stakeholders on strategic organizational development projects and major change initiatives with far-reaching impact across the state of Washington and nursing profession.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Inclusion and Outreach Strategy
Jennifer Iriti is Pitt’s new assistant vice chancellor for research inclusion and outreach strategy. A research scientist at Pitt’s Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), Iriti leads boundary-spanning work at the intersections of evaluation, design thinking, equitable systems and learning sciences. She continues her post at LRDC, and will help large multidisciplinary research proposal teams (potentially multi-university) design their diversity, equity, inclusion, outreach and workforce development components. Iriti is Co-PI for a $10 million NSF INCLUDES Alliance, the STEM PUSH Network, intended to increase access for underrepresented minoritized populations in undergraduate STEM programs.

Assistant Director for Research Development
Tobias Rodriguez is Pitt’s new assistant director for research development, in the Office of Sponsored Programs, where he will lead the expansion of research development services and offerings for the Pitt research community. Rodriguez has a 16-year career in higher education. He completed his doctoral training at the University of Michigan, which was followed by a faculty appointment at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans where he taught, conducted research and led strategic planning, faculty development, and student research efforts. He then served as vice president of a higher education consultancy where he was responsible for leading institutional-level initiatives in research and program development for more than 100 higher education and corporate clients.


Celebration of Innovation Inspires

Make plans to attend Pitt’s Celebration of Innovation on Tuesday, April 25 at 5 PM, to learn which faculty members will receive recognition for outstanding innovator and volunteer mentor, along with awards for student mentor, and business achievements. The Innovation Institute hosts the 5th Annual Celebration of Innovation at the Petersen Events Center.


Six Pitt Faculty Members Win Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Awards

Two images with the junior category and senior category awardees for the Chancellor's Distinguished Research Awards at Soldiers and Sailors

The chancellor’s annual Distinguished Research Award celebrates the extraordinary scholarly accomplishments of Pitt faculty. Three recipients in the senior category were recognized for accomplishments in pursuits that include adaptive hypermedia, narrative nonfiction, and management of asthma and autoimmune diseases. Three in the junior category were recognized for pursuits that include diagnoses of cardiac conditions, health law and reproductive justice, and stability in human personality. They were recognized at the Faculty Honors Convocation last month, and received a $2,000 cash prize and a $3,000 grant to support their work.

Read More >> via Pittwire

Researchers In The News  

James Webb Telescope Research “Fun and Intense”

Equipped with four sensitive instruments at frigid temperatures about a million miles from Earth, the Webb Telescope is able to resolve objects that are faint in the eyes of predecessors like the Hubble Space Telescope. Rachel Bezanson, Pitt associate professor of astronomy, described the days following these observations as “fun and intense.” Bezanson and her team will continue to look deeper into space for more ancient galaxies.

Read More >> via Inverse


5x Stroke Survivor Gains Arm Mobility with Neurotechnology

A neurotechnology that stimulates the spinal cord instantly improves arm and hand mobility, enabling people affected by moderate to severe stroke to conduct their normal daily activities more easily, report researchers from Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University in Nature Medicine.

Read More >> via Swanson Engineering Newsroom

Top Stories
Image of keyboard keys with neon backlighting  

ARC23 Symposium: COVID-19 Wins and Losses

Friday, Apr. 21 | 8 AM to 5 PM (Hybrid)

Join the Center for Research Computing, Pitt IT, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and Pitt Research in April for a symposium looking back and looking forward at how computing-driven research responded to the myriad aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Celebrate achievements and lessons with colleagues and hear two national keynote speakers, along with researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon. ARC23 is free to all and includes breakfast, lunch and dinner for attendees on campus at the Pitt University Club.

Learn More and Register >>

Jonas Salk and a nurse administer the polio vaccine to a squirmy, young patient  

Jonas Salk Exhibit Unveiling

Friday, Apr. 28 | 4 PM (In-Person)

To celebrate 75 Years of Pitt Public Health, event features unveiling of new exhibit of artifacts from Jonas Salk's lab during the historic development of the polio vaccine. The program includes a panel of experts.

Learn More and Register >>

Film screening poster shows a solitary brain  

Seizing Hope: Ethical Issues in Using Neurotechnologies

Monday, May 1 | 3:30 PM (Virtual)

Following a multi-year neuroethics research project by Neuroethics Canada, Seizing Hope is a documentary developed for exploring ethics and deep brain stimulation. This virtual film screening will provide an opportunity to learn from four families of children with pediatric drug resistant epilepsy (DRE) and to hear from Judy Illes, director of Neuroethics Canada, what the film completion means for the work of her team.

Learn More and Register >>


PCIBMR Symposium: Cross-talk in Bone Biology

Friday, May 3 | 8 AM to 6 PM (In-Person)

Brendan Lee, the Robert and Janice McNair Endowed Chair and Professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, will keynote this symposium, hosted by the Pittsburgh Center for Interdisciplinary Bone and Mineral Research (PCIBMR). Join us for the one-day PCIBMR Symposium, funded through Pitt Momentum Funds, to hear about state-of-the-art bone biology research in metabolic disorders, cancer and regenerative medicine from leading investigators in the field.

Learn More and Register >>

Research Resources  

RESI Bookshelf

Read up on ethics with a curated bookshelf by the Research, Ethics and Society Initiative (RESI). Find detailed articles and books on conducting ethical research across all disciplines and fields of study. Community-based and community engaged research, as well as animal research and the history of research, are included in the collection.



New Faculty Essentials

The University Center for Teaching and Learning offers a New Faculty Essentials Monthly with tips, events and resources. This issue includes an overview of the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research and the offices to aid and enhance research and scholarship.


Top Stories


A Pitt researcher synthesizing insulin  

Synthesizing Insulin, Changing Life for Diabetics

Pitt scientists, led by Panayotis Katsoyannis, complete the first synthesis of insulin, the first time a true protein was synthesized. Prior to this, insulin for human use came from sheep and cows in a process that was messy, complicated and expensive.