Work of Impact: Research

  • Research in Motion

    Professor Timothy Sell, pictured with doctoral student Heather Bansbach, is developing a start-up called accelMOTION around a portable platform for collecting body-motion data that communicates wirelessly and allows for remote or automated analysis.

  • Innovative Entrepreneurs

    After completing courses in commercialization at Pitt and partnering with team members James Eles (ENGR ’15G) and Zhanhong Du (ENGR ’15G), Noah Snyder (ENGR ’15G) and team won several competitions, including Pitt’s Innovation Challenge, prompting them to launch Interphase Materials.

  • Quantum Leap

    Nanoelectronics research by Jeremy Levy is advancing the quest for ultra-fast quantum computers, one of science's holy grails. Levy is a Distinguished Professor of Condensed Matter Physics.

  • Human Engineering

    Graduate students Jonathan Duvall (left) and Nathan Hogaboom are conducting research at Pitt's Human Engineering Research Laboratories on technologies to assist people with disabilities.

The University received more than $475 million from the National Institutes of Health. This total is 10 percent greater than the year prior, and it ranks Pitt 5th in the United States in terms of annual NIH research funds received.

W. Vincent LiuPitt physicist and professor W. Vincent Liu, in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, has received a $1.42 million award from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research to predict and understand topological phases of quantum atomic matter, which relates to the department’s efforts to advance quantum computing. 

The Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance is a Pitt-UPMC-Carnegie Mellon collaboration that develops technologies for a wide range of health issues, such as improving cancer diagnoses and advancing approaches to personalized medicine.

Department of Chemistry assistant professor Renã Robinson is exploring novel ways of efficiently and powerfully measuring the effects of amyloid beta protein production—the focus of most Alzheimer’s disease research—in organs outside the central nervous system with a $1.7 million award from the National Institutes of Health.

Innovation Commercialization Funds were created to assist Pitt innovators in commercializing their research discoveries. Coordinated through the Innovation Institute, these funds help Pitt students and faculty identify unmet market needs, develop prototypes, connect with commercial partners, and form new enterprises.

Firmly positioning Pittsburgh as a key player in the race to modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure, the Energy Grid Research and Infrastructure Development—or GRID Institute—enables Pitt researchers to tackle major issues affecting the nation’s electrical power supply, and to address the risks and challenges posed by outdated transmission and distribution systems. 

This year, the University initiated plans to build a collaborative innovation center on a 2.1 acre land parcel—One Bigelow—that sits at the heart of the Pittsburgh campus. This site will become a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, and a place of learning where students will see research translation in action—all of it embodying Pitt’s thriving entrepreneurial spirit.

The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine is developing biodegradable alloys for new types of orthopaedic devices and is restoring lost or damaged muscle in combat-injured U.S. military veterans.

Shaun EackShaun Eack (pictured at left) and Nancy J. Minshew have launched an innovative study to develop more effective nondrug treatments to help individuals with autism succeed in adulthood. The study is funded for $3.2 million and will test two new treatments that are showing promise for helping adults living with autism. Eack is the David E. Epperson Professor in the School of Social Work. Minshew holds the University of Pittsburgh Endowed Chair in Autism Research and is a professor of psychiatry and neurology in the School of Medicine. 

Pitt launched The Center for Medicine and the Microbiome, bringing together scientists and clinicians to explore how the microbiome—the vast world and interplay of microorganisms—affects health and disease and how it can be harnessed to develop new health-related therapies.

Karen ParkKaren Park, an assistant professor of linguistics, has received funding as part of a University of Oxford-led research program, "Creative Multilingualism." The £4 million project is funded under the Arts and Humanities Research Council of Great Britain’s Open World Research Initiative. Park’s work will engage with an international network, using bird migration and the study of human language to better understand aspects of biodiversity, human culture, and more. 

The ANSYS Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory supports cutting-edge manufacturing practices to advance a wide range of research topics—everything from the mechanics of jet engines to the science of personalized medicine.