- Our Program
September 22, 2022
Pittsburgh Project Paves Way for Revolutionizing Treatment of Fatal Brain Diseases
A collaborative group of neuroscientists from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine received a $6.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (...
January 25, 2022
MSTP Skating Event
The MSTP students took the afternoon off to gather for an afternoon of ice skating. The weather was chilly but spirits were high and fun was had by all.
September 15, 2021
Save The Date & Call for Abstracts for APSA NERC 2022
The Local Chapter of the American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is hosting the 2022 APSA Northeast Regional Conference (NERC) on ...
September 1, 2021
G2, Olivia Parks, was awarded the Achievement Rewards for College Scientist Foundation (ARCS) for her work titled Age-dependent differences in the immune response to human metapneumovirus
The Achievement Rewards for College Scientist Foundation (ARCS) is a national women’s organization, operating in 14 independent chapters across the country. The ARCS Foundation provides financial...
July 30, 2021
Welcome to the rising MS1 class "Science Superheros"
Last night at the retreat the rising MS1 class introduced themselves as the "Science Superheros!" We are so excited to welcome you to the Pitt/CMU MSTP and we can't wait to see what you accomplish...
July 26, 2021
Evaluation of Therapies for Peripheral and Neuraxial Opioid-induced Pruritus based on Molecular and Cellular Discoveries by Eileen Nguyen
Opioids are a mainstay of treatment for pain worldwide. Pruritus, a common side effect of opioids, is a patient dissatisfier that limits their use in many clinical settings. Both parenteral and...
July 20, 2021
Strategies for Achieving Gender Equity and Work–Life Integration in Physician-Scientist Training by Shohini Ghosh-Choudhary
Substantial gender inequities persist across academic medicine. These issues are not new: Recent evidence still points to a chilly climate for women in academic medicine, including those in...
July 10, 2021
MSTP Student Picnic
What a weekend! We finally were able to convene as an MSTP with a beautiful picnic outdoors at the wonderful Mellon Park @TheFrickPgh! It was great to see so many new and familiar faces! We look...
July 7, 2021
Michael Granovetter is awarded the American Epilepsy Society's Early Career Fellowship
Congratulations to Michael Granovetter for receiving the American Epilepsy Society Predoctoral Research Fellowship!
July 6, 2021
Joshua Tashman PhD Thesis Defense titled Moving FRESH Towards the Clinic: In-Process Quality Control of Patient-Specific ECM Scaffolds
Tissue engineering utilizes our understanding of biomechanics, biomaterials, and biology to build tissues and organs from scratch for diagnostics and therapeutics. This approach has been leveled...
July 6, 2021
Compensatory hepatic adaptation accompanies permanent absence of intrahepatic biliary network due to YAP1 loss in liver progenitors by Laura Molina
Molina et al. demonstrate that loss of Yap1 in developing livers leads to absence of intrahepatic bile ducts, preventing bile secretion from liver to small intestines. Yap1 knockout mice are small and jaundiced and exhibit adaptation via altering bile acid transport and metabolism, but they eventually die around 8 months of age.
June 28, 2021
Edgar Aranda-Michel's Defends his thesis
Please join Pitt/CMU MSTP for Edgar's Thesis Defense titled "Towards patient specific direct cardiac compression" on June 28th at 1pm.
Join Zoom Meeting...
October 1, 2020
Graft IL-33 regulates infiltrating macrophages to protect against chronic rejection by Gaelen Dwyer in The Journal of Clinical Investigation
From the article in The Journal of Clinical Investigation: Alarmins, sequestered self-molecules containing damage-associated molecular patterns, are released during tissue injury to drive innate...
September 24, 2020
Congratulations to Eileen Nguyen!
Eileen Nguyen took 1st place in the Society of Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology 2020 Virtual meeting in Best Basic Science Category. Congratulations, Eileen!
September 21, 2020
Maria Ly's Artwork is on the cover Human Brain Mapping
August 5, 2020
Beyond lidocaine selective voltage-gated sodium channel blockade for vaginal pain by Ruby Holland in Pain
July 27, 2020
Clinical Investigation: Only Economic Analysis of Mandated Protocolized Sepsis Care in New York Hospitals By Donald Bourne in Critical Care Medicine
Initial evidence suggests that state-level regulatory mandates for sepsis quality improvement are associated with decreased sepsis mortality. However,...
July 1, 2020
Co-Director, Russell Schwartz,PhD, Named Head of CMU’s Computational Biology Department
PITTSBURGH— Martial Hebert, dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, has named Russell Schwartz the new head of the Computational Biology Department, effective July 1....
June 17, 2020
Divergent Neural Pathways Emanating from theLateral Parabrachial Nucleus Mediate DistinctComponents of the Pain Response by Michael Chang in Cell Press
From the Article In Cell Press: The lateral parabrachial nucleus (lPBN) is a majortarget of spinal projection neurons conveying noci-ceptive input into supraspinal structures. However,the...
May 24, 2020
Behavioral economics-A framework for donor organ decision-making in pediatric heart transplantation by Alison Bulter in Pediatric Transplantation
From the article in Pediatric Transplant: The high discard rate of pediatric donor hearts presents a major challenge for children awaiting heart transplantation. Recent literature identifies...
May 20, 2020
Maxwell Wang receives The Hertz Fellowship
Maxwell Wang was selected for one of the most prestigious awards of its kind, the Hertz Fellowship. This Fellowship supports five years of graduate research and the freedom to pursue innovative...
April 3, 2020
Philip Mannes received the 2020 Medical Student Research Grant: Discovering Molecular Imaging
Congratulations to Philip for being awarded the 2020 Medical Student Research Grant: Discovering Molecular Imaging funded through the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.
March 23, 2020
Oyin was awarded the American Society of Hematology award "Minority Hematology Graduate Award Program - 2020"
Congratulations to Oyin for this impressive achievement.
March 17, 2020
Tolani Olonisakin Defended her Thesis
Congratulations to Tolani for successfully defending your thesis!
March 6, 2020
Uncharacteristic Task-Evoked Pupillary Responses Implicate Atypical Locus Ceruleus Activity in Autism by Michael Granovetter in The Journal of Neuroscience
From the article in The Journal of Neuroscience: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized partly by atypical attentional engagement, reflected in exaggerated and variable responses to...
February 26, 2020
A neural network for online spike classification that improves decoding accuracy by Deepa Issar in Journal of Neurophysiology
From the article in Journal of Neurophysiology: Separating neural signals from noise can improve brain-computer interface performance and stability. However, most algorithms for separating neural...
February 24, 2020
Congratulations to Maria Ly
Maria Ly successfully defended her Thesis on February 24, 2020. Congratulations Maria!
February 19, 2020
Engineering Bromodomains with a Photoactive Amino Acid by Engaging ‘Privileged’ tRNA Synthetases by Philip Mannes in Chemical Communications
From the article in Chemical Communications: Site-specific placement of unnatural amino acids, particularly those responsive to light, offers an elegant approach to control protein function and...
January 25, 2020
Gabby Gilmer presents her poster at PRiSM
Gabby Gilmer presented her poster titled "Evaluation Of Serum Relaxin Concentrations And Knee Valgus After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction" at the 7th Annual PRiSM Meeting in Glendale,...
January 23, 2020
Metabolic Regulation of Cell Fate and Function by Shohini Ghosh-Choudhary in Trends in Cell Biology
Increasing evidence implicates...
January 1, 2020
Co-director, JoAnne Flynn, published a groundbreaking study about TB in Nature
The tuberculosis vaccine has been around for nearly 100 years, but isn’t predictably effective against the deadly disease as currently administered....
December 17, 2019
Treg-inducing microparticles promote donor-specific tolerance in experimental vascularized composite allotransplantation by James Fisher in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States
Vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) is an emerging field that is particularly beneficial for select amputees and patients with devastating soft tissue loss that is not amenable to...
November 19, 2019
Intestinal IL-17R Signaling Constrains IL-18-Driven Liver Inflammation by the Regulation of Microbiome-Derived Products by Patricia dela Cruz in Cell Reports
From the article in Cell Reports:...
September 10, 2019
Decoding the role of SOD2 in sickle cell disease by Oyin Dosunmu-Ogunbi in Blood Advances
From the article in Blood Advances: Sickle...
August 2, 2019
Septic coronary embolism in a deceptive case of presumed isolated tricuspid valve endocarditis in Journal of Cardiac Surgery by Edgar Aranda-Michel
From the article in Journal of Cardiac...
August 1, 2019
Liver 'organ on a chip' in Experimental Cell Research by Colin Beckwitt
From the article in Experimental Cell Research: The liver plays critical roles in both homeostasis and pathology. It is the major site of drug metabolism in the body and, as such, a common target...
July 23, 2019
The Zebrafish Cytochrome b5/Cytochrome b5 Reductase/NADH System Efficiently Reduces Cytoglobins 1 and 2: Conserved Activity of Cytochrome b5/Cytochrome b5 Reductases during Vertebrate Evolution in Biochemistry by Matthew Amdahl
From the article in Biochemistry: Cytoglobin is a heme protein evolutionarily related to hemoglobin and myoglobin. Cytoglobin is expressed ubiquitously in mammalian tissues; however, its...
July 19, 2019
Cutaneous TRPV1+ Neurons Trigger Protective Innate Type 17 Anticipatory Immunity in Cell by Jonathan Cohen
From the article in Cell: Cutaneous TRPV1+ neurons directly sense noxious stimuli, inflammatory cytokines, and pathogen-associated molecules and are required for innate immunity against some skin...
July 8, 2019
Markers of glutamate and GABA neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenia subjects: Disease effects differ across anatomical levels of resolution by Samuel Dienel in Schizophrenia Research
From the article in Schizophrenia Research: Cognitive dysfunction in individuals with schizophrenia is thought to reflect, at least in part, altered levels of excitatory and inhibitory...
July 8, 2019
Financial Implications of 12-Month Dispensing of Oral Contraceptive Pills in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System in JAMA Internal Medicine by Colleen Judge-Golden
From the article in JAMA Internal Medicine: Based on the outcomes of this model, adoption of a 12-month dispensing option for oral contraceptive pills may support reproductive autonomy and improve...
July 3, 2019
Predictors of increased costs following index adult cardiac operations: Insights from a statewide publicly reported registry in Journal of Cardiac Surgery by Edgar Aranda-Michel
The aim of this study was to identify hospital‐level predictors of increased cost following index adult cardiac operations in a statewide registry.
June 27, 2019
FGFR4 overexpression and hotspot mutations in metastatic ER+ breast cancer are enriched in the lobular subtype by Kevin Levine
From the article: Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is an understudied subtype of breast cancer that requires novel therapies in the advanced setting. To study acquired resistance to endocrine...
June 18, 2019
Endovascular management of spontaneous rupture of the left subclavian artery by Edgar Aranda-Michel
From the article: Spontaneous rupture of the left subclavian artery is a rare condition that requires immediate surgical intervention. A 21‐year‐old man with a history of membranoproliferative...
May 1, 2019
Hypoalbuminemia in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement: culprit or surrogate? in Journal of Thoracic Disease by Edgar Aranda-Michel
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is an area of rapid advancement in cardiac surgery. Through subsequent randomized controlled trials, its indications have broadened and its use...
April 8, 2019
Aperture and Suspensory Fixation Equally Efficacious for Quadriceps Tendon Graft Fixation in Primary ACL Reconstruction: A Systematic Review by Raphael Crum
From the article: This review is aimed to compare suspensory and aperture quadriceps tendon autograft femoral and tibial fixations in primary anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL-R), and...
March 18, 2019
Temporal Dynamics of Shape Processing Differentiate Contributions of Dorsal and Ventral Visual Pathways by Elliot Collins
From the article: Although shape perception is primarily considered a function of the ventral visual pathway, previous research has shown that both dorsal and ventral pathways represent shape...
March 15, 2019
Is Schimmelpenning Syndrome Associated with Intracranial Tumors? A Case Report. by Michael Chiang
In the article: Schimmelpenning syndrome is a rare, well-defined constellation of clinical phenotypes associated with the presence of nevus sebaceous and multisystem abnormalities most commonly...
February 19, 2019
mTOR inhibition affects Yap1-β-catenin-induced hepatoblastoma growth and development by Laura Molina
From the article: Hepatoblastoma (HB) is the most common pediatric liver malignancy. Around 80% of HB demonstrate simultaneous activation of β-catenin and Yes-associated protein 1 (Yap1). The...
February 13, 2019
Baseline and follow-up activity and functional connectivity in reward neural circuitries in offspring at risk for bipolar disorder by Heather Acuff
From the article: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a serious psychiatric illness with demonstrated abnormalities in reward processing circuitry. Examining this circuitry in youth at familial risk for BD...
January 22, 2019
Bridging large-scale neuronal recordings and large-scale network models using dimensionality reduction by Ryan Williamson
From the article: A long-standing goal in neuroscience has been to bring together neuronal recordings and neural network modeling to understand brain function. Neuronal recordings can inform the...
January 15, 2019
White matter – emotion processing activity relationships in youth offspring of bipolar parents by Heather Acuff
Early detection of Bipolar Disorder (BD) is critical for targeting interventions to delay or prevent illness onset. Yet, the absence of objective BD biomarkers...
December 1, 2018
Exclusive use of fixed pressure valves for cerebrospinal fluid diversion in a modern adult cohort by Michael Chiang
There is extensive debate on the role of fixed pressure shunts in the adult population. Most studies assessing fixed pressure valves do not consider the...
November 22, 2018
Electrophiles modulate glutathione reductase activity via alkylation and upregulation of glutathione biosynthesis by Soma Jobbagy
From the article: Cells evolved robust homeostatic mechanisms to protect against oxidation or alkylation by electrophilic species. Glutathione (GSH) is the most abundant intracellular thiol,...
November 20, 2018
Statin drugs to reduce breast cancer recurrence and mortality by Colin Beckwitt
From the article: Epidemiologic studies have, variably, shown the concomitant use of statin drugs to be beneficial to cancer outcomes. Statin drugs have been FDA approved for three decades for the...
October 1, 2018
Statins attenuate outgrowth of breast cancer metastases by Colin Beckwitt
Metastasis in breast cancer foreshadows mortality, as clinically evident disease is aggressive and generally chemoresistant. Disseminated breast cancer cells...
September 5, 2018
The Association between Mental Health Disorders and History of Unintended Pregnancy among Women Veterans by Colleen Judge-Golden
Women Veterans have high rates of mental health disorders and other psychosocial factors which may render this population particularly vulnerable to negative...
September 2, 2018
Evolving systems biology approaches to understanding non-coding RNAs in pulmonary hypertension by Lloyd Harvey
From the article: Our appreciation of the roles of non-coding RNAs, in particular microRNAs, in the manifestation of pulmonary hypertension (PH) has advanced considerably over the past decade....
August 31, 2018
Targeting the EMT transcription factor TWIST1 overcomes resistance to EGFR inhibitors in EGFR-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer By Zachary Yochum
From the article: Patients with EGFR-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have significantly benefited from the use of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). However, long-term efficacy of...
August 31, 2018
Mitochondrial metabolism in pulmonary hypertension: beyond mountains there are mountains by MIranda Culley
From the article: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a heterogeneous and fatal disease of the lung vasculature, where metabolic and mitochondrial dysfunction may drive pathogenesis. Similar to the...
August 1, 2018
Hepatocyte-Derived Lipocalin 2 Is a Potential Serum Biomarker Reflecting Tumor Burden in Hepatoblastoma by Laura Molina
From the article: Hepatoblastoma (HB) is the most common pediatric liver malignant tumor. Previously, we reported co-activation of β-catenin and Yes-associated protein-1 (YAP1) in 80% of HB....
July 30, 2018
Aiming for the target: Mitochondrial drug delivery in traumatic brain injury by Andrew Lamade
From the article: Mitochondria are a keystone of neuronal function, serving a dual role as sustainer of life and harbinger of death. While mitochondria are indispensable for energy production, a...
June 30, 2018
Distinct neural processes for the perception of familiar versus unfamiliar faces along the visual hierarchy revealed by EEG by Elliot Collins
From the article: Humans recognize faces with ease, despite the complexity of the task and of the visual system which underlies it. Different spatial regions, including both the core and extended...
June 22, 2018
Alterations in cortical interneurons and cognitive function in schizophrenia by Samuel Dienel
From the article: Certain clinical features of schizophrenia, such as working memory disturbances, appear to emerge from altered gamma oscillatory activity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Given...
April 27, 2018
Cell‐Lineage Tracing in Zebrafish Embryos with an Expanded Genetic Code by Wes Brown
From the article: Cell‐lineage tracing is used to study embryo development and stem‐cell differentiation as well as to document tumor cell heterogeneity. Cre recombinase‐mediated cell labeling is...
March 1, 2018
Fighting Bacterial Pathogens in the Lung: Platelets to the Rescue? by Tolani Olonisakin
From the article: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an extracellular Gram-negative, bacterial, opportunistic pathogen that exploits immunocompromised hosts. Although it is notorious for its ability to...