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Inside Pitt Research
Top Stories  

NSF Awards Pitt Twice for Collaborative Research "Chips and Science Act" Projects

Computer chips


The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) has received two awards from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) "Chips and Science Act of 2022" — to enable rapid progress in new semiconductor technologies and manufacturing.

“This is a great pair of wins for Pitt. Not only is the technical work by colleagues in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering exciting, but it also demonstrates that Pitt is recognized as a strong contributor to the new national effort to better support the U.S. semiconductor ecosystem,” says Rob A. Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research.



Exploring the Gifts of Horror

Adam Lowenstein


Film director George Romero's body of work, beginning with the 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead, is an essential part of Pittsburgh’s identity. Romero's legacy lives on with the help of English, film, and media studies professor Adam Lowenstein, who directs Pitt's Horror Studies Working Group and played a big role in acquiring Romero’s personal collection for Pitt’s Horror Studies Archive

“We are the first and only university-based horror studies program of its kind. Having George Romero’s personal collection puts Pitt in a class by itself,” says Lowenstein.

Read More >> 


Pitt Ranks No. 16 in U.S. Utility Patents by National Academy of Inventors

Pitt ranks no. 16 in U.S. utility patents by National Academy of Inventors


In the National Academy of Inventors’ (NAI) new Top 100 U.S. list for patents, Pitt ranked 16th for having 105 utility patents in calendar year 2022. The NAI has published the Top 100 Worldwide list for patents annually since 2013 and has introduced this new list to provide a more focused view of the innovation landscape within the U.S. and to celebrate the contribution of U.S. academic institutions that power commerce.

“This new ranking reaffirms Pitt’s standing in the world and the U.S. as a major player in innovation,” says Evan Facher, vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship. “Pitt innovators can now disclose inventions with a streamlined webform process designed to make invention disclosures easier, and ultimately, bringing more Pitt innovations to market.”



Pitt-Bradford Immunologist Publishes Research with Undergraduate Students

Lanre Morenikeji and students at Wilson Farms


Pitt-Bradford is the top public college in Pennsylvania on Washington Monthly’s list of Best Bang for the Buck Schools in the Northeast, an indicator of the value of the degree earned and earnings post-graduation. Lanre Morenikeji, assistant professor of biology, champions the inclusion and acknowledgement of undergraduates in the research process.

Last year, he published research papers with three of his students. Most recently, Morenikeji took a group of undergraduate students to Wilson Farms to gather bovine cells to analyze back at the lab. This project gave them valuable field experience while engaging in the local community.

“Incorporating science with agriculture is important research,” Morenikeji said. “And including undergraduate students in the research process and publication positions them well for future careers in science and other areas of study.”


Cesar Escobar-Viera and members of his Pitt Momentum Funds research team
On Campus  

Carnegie Mellon Invests in Pittsburgh Quantum Institute with New Co-Director

Benjamin Hunt and Michael Hatridge


To continue solidifying Pittsburgh’s leadership in quantum information science and engineering, the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Duquesne University jointly announce the appointment of Benjamin Hunt, CMU associate professor of physics, to the newly created role of co-director of the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute (PQI).

Hunt joins Michael Hatridge, Pitt associate professor of physics, as co-director. Hatridge was appointed earlier this year, and is the inaugural director of Western Pennsylvania Quantum Information Core (WPQIC), an initiative made possible through an $11.6 million loan from Pitt's Strategic Advancement Fund. He also runs The Hatlab, one of the shared Pitt facilities for PQI members.


Researchers In The News  
Pills and a stethoscope on top of blank medical form

New Guideline for Pain Treatments in Dentistry

In 2020, the Pitt Dental School received a grant to develop a guideline for pain management medications in children undergoing dental procedures, such as tooth extraction, in place of common pain treatment opioids, including codeine and tramadol. The new guideline specifies that acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, are the first line of defense for treating pain in children under 12 after undergoing oral surgery and can be used together or separately with a low risk of adverse reactions.

Read More >> via News-Medical Life Sciences

Super Quantum Computer

Hickton, Cunningham Pen Op-Ed Urging Congress to Act

As the reauthorization deadline of the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) loomed in September, Rob Cunningham, vice chancellor for research infrastructure, and David Hickton, founding director of the Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security, wrote an opinion piece in The Hill to urge Congress to follow through and continue making progress in this important, emerging field with many real-world applications and commercial opportunities. Since Pitt created one of the first undergraduate majors in quantum computing, other universities have followed.

Read More >> via The Hill

Teacher with a student at Maple Unified Student Academy

Research from The Pittsburgh Study Makes a Difference

The Pittsburgh Study (TPS), led by the Department of Pediatrics in Pitt’s School of Medicine, established a new set of 3R’s, updated from the 3R's developed in the 19th century, for an inclusive educational experience: Reading, Racial Equity, and Relationships. After a kick-off visit in June, the Maple Unified Student Academy in Homestead implemented the new set of 3R’s and training from TPS to help provide support to teachers facing staff shortages and increasing book bans. Students were given books at the end of the program to expand their bookshelves to include more stories on race and equality.

Read More >> via NEXTpittsburgh

ReelAbilities Film Festival Pittsburgh 2023 Promo

'Bumps in the Road' Encourages Disability Inclusivity

With one in four people in the U.S. living with a disability, and less than five percent of movies and TV shows featuring people with disabilities, the ReelAbilities Film Festival held at The Pittsburgh Playhouse brings awareness to this important disparity. Rory A. Cooper, assistant vice chancellor for research for STEM-Health Sciences collaborations, spoke with the executive director of Film Pittsburgh on Pittsburgh Today Live about the release of his documentary, Bumps in the Road, which gives audiences an inside look into the Human Engineering Research Laboratories and Cooper’s life.

Watch the Recording >> via KDKA-TV

Electricity in a storm

SHURE-Grid Pilot Gives Students Research Experience

This year, selected undergraduate students took part in a pilot program called the SHURE-Grid Project, a collaboration of the Frederick C. Honors College, Swanson School of Engineering, and the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research. Applying as a freshman engineering major, Isabella Hsia was excited to gain real world experience in her field when she was chosen as one of eight students to work with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Lab, analyzing the electric grid for cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and gaining hands-on research experience. 

Read More >> via

Olivera Finn

Cancer Immunologist Develops Breast Cancer Vaccine

In the early days of her career at Stanford, Olivera Finn, now distinguished professor of immunology and surgery at Pitt, entered the field of cancer immunology, but it wasn’t yet accepted as science. Cancer hides from the immune system, as Finn and her colleagues have found in Finn's four decades of research and vaccine development for early stage breast cancer. With incoming funding from Glimmer of Hope, a nonprofit in the Pittsburgh area, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Finn and her colleagues will be able to enroll up to 50 participants in a vaccine study.

Read More >> via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili

Murtazashvili Talks to The World Radio about the Taliban

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, founding director of Pitt’s Center for Government and Markets, spoke to The World about Taliban authorities in Afghanistan moving forward on the construction of a canal in its northern region that began in the 1970s. Murtazashvili points out that this project will bring water to drought-stricken areas, providing relief from famine-like conditions. However, northern neighbors of the Central Eurasian state, such as Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, have concerns because this canal diverts water from a river that sustains their populations.

Listen Now >> via The World

Top Stories
Pitt Public Health building  

Forging Advances in Health Equity and Health Disparities Research

Friday, Oct. 20 | 1:30 to 3 PM (Hybrid)

Invited panelists from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and the American Public Health Association will discuss the current state of advancements in health equity and health disparities research in a talk moderated by Maureen Lichtveld, dean of Pitt Public Health. This event is eligible for Public Health 2022 Grand Rounds, a program that provides graduate public health students networking and socialization opportunities in public health. 

Learn More and Register >>

Laptop with Pitt script logo  

IRB Individual Investigator Agreements

Thursday, Oct. 26 | 12 to 1 PM (Virtual)

The Office of Research Protections is holding a webinar to help Pitt investigators include external collaborators that are not already affiliated with an Institutional Review Board (IRB) on their own. An Individual Investigator Agreement (IIA) extends Pitt IRB coverage so non-Pitt/UPMC investigators can contribute to human subject research studies. Participants will learn how to start an IIA process and why, as well as when an IIA is appropriate for a particular study.

Learn More and Register >>

The Aging Institute Offices  

Aging Institute Research Day 2023

Wednesday, Nov. 1 | 12 to 6 PM (In-person)

The Aging Institute within Pitt’s School of Medicine is hosting its 14th Annual Research Day on the topic of Healthy Aging. Starting with a poster session, the afternoon programming includes a keynote from George Kuchel, professor of medicine at University of Connecticut, research spotlights from Pitt faculty and their research-based perspectives on aging, many opportunities to ask questions, and a panel discussion on Healthy Aging for the Public. The event concludes with a wine and cheese reception.

Learn More and Register >>

Research Resources  

Research Training Table List

This webpage of training requirements, created by the Office of Research Protections, is designed to give investigators and their research team members a snapshot of required and research-specific training to complete depending on research subject, role on the research team, and notes on recertification. At the bottom of the table, access or create a new Collaborative Institutional Training Institute (CITI) account for trainings using the CITI platform.

Learn More >>


Text for Acknowledging CRC Resources

The Center for Research Computing (CRC) has upgraded resources, thanks to two large grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF). Proper citation plays a crucial part in the University being able to secure future grants of this nature. For all publications that use research conducted at the CRC after July 2022 please follow the instructions found on the CRC website.

Learn More >>

Top Stories


Chester Mathis and William Klunk  

Finding Alzheimer’s Disease in a Living Brain

Scientists at Pitt develop a radioactive compound for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB), developed by a team of researchers led by Chester Mathis and William Klunk, binds to brain cell-killing beta-amyloid plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and not present in other forms of dementia. PiB can be injected into the bloodstream so that positron emission tomography (PET) can locate the plaque. Prior to the development of PiB, Alzheimer's disease could only be confirmed by an autopsy.