This list of affiliated investigators can help you identify potential research mentors at the University of Pittsburgh. PSTP students can, and do, work with mentors not on this list, but the investigators featured below have expressed interest in hosting PSTP students in their laboratories.
Brain tumors, hydrocephalus, Chiari malformations, trigeminal neuralgia, and traumatic br
Neural mechanisms of visual and auditory perception.
The Brain Tumor Biology and Therapy Laboratory studies pediatric and adult high-grade gliomas (HGG)—focusing on brain tumor signing, glioma metabolism and using genomics to identify novel and effective therapies.
Cellular and Molecular Basis of Neurodegeneration
Cellular and Molecular Basis of Neurodegeneration
HIV infection and therapeutics
Endocytic pathways and stretch-regulated endocytosis/exocytosis in bladder
Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, emphasis upon clinical application; Cell:biomaterial interactions; Epimorphic regeneration in mammals
Identify phosphorylations, dephosphorylations and acetylations that regulate ATM activity in vivo
Neurophysiology of sensory-motor coordination, brain-machine interfaces
Investigation of the molecular mechanisms that regulate the pathogenesis of genetic and acquired cardiomyopathies
The Billiar Lab focuses on the immune responses to acute systemic stresses of major clinical relevance including trauma and surgical sepsis
The mechanisms of cross-priming of antigens during immune responses to cancer, viruses and autoimmunity
Demand adapted hematopoiesis in infection and inflammation
Protein “quality control”, diseases associated with misfolded proteins, and drug treatments for these diseases
Tumor microenvironment, Cancer stem cells, novel therapeutics for cancer
Development of targeted therapies for KRAS mutant NSCLC; Reactivation of OIS and apoptosis; Mechanisms of acquired resistance to targeted agents
The Byersdorfer lab seeks a deeper understanding of In vivo T cell metabolism, in order to develop therapies that separate pathologic effects from physiologic and beneficial responses following allogeneic blood and marrow transplantation.
Gene therapy, viral vector engineering, genome editing, inherited retinal degeneration, genetics of eye disease
Reconstitution of multi-protein complexes (MPCs) for biochemical and X-ray crystallographic studies
Improving recovery from brain injury after cardiac arrest
Understanding how memory T cells are generated in transplantation
Basic science and translational research studying the molecular mechanisms of pulmonary vascular disease and pulmonary hypertension
The study of human tumor viruses
Development, plasticity and regeneration of neural circuits
The Chen lab is interested in the pharmacological studies of visual disorders caused by protein misfolding. The lab's current three projects include pharmacological studies of rhodopsin metabolism, roles of purine metabolites in photoreceptor degeneration, and drug discovery of myocilin-associated glaucoma.
Machine learning approach for OCT biomarkers identification in age-related macular degeneration
Redox signaling & autophagy in neuroprotection and neurodegeneration; Mitochondrial phosphoproteomics; Genetic & toxin models of Parkinson’s disease
Models of muscle disease causing muscular dystrophy and muscle atrophy; Translational research for treatment of muscle disease
Big data analytics, predictive modeling, and dynamic modeling of disease
Stomal Interactions critical to the survival, growth, and spread of ovarian cancer
The intersection of neural engineering and biomaterials with specific focus on neural electrode-tissue interface, neural tissue engineering, biosensor and drug delive
Our research focuses on the development and use of novel systems approaches to analyze high-dimensional immunological datasets, and elucidate mechanisms of immune regulation and dysregulation. Our previous work has utilized systems approaches to analyze Mendelian mutations in the context of three-dimensional protein-protein interaction networks, to understand molecular mechanisms of corresponding disorders. We have also developed network analyses frameworks to characterize the evolutionary dynamics of these protein networks. Another dimension of our past work has been the use of statistical methods for the analyses of high-dimensional data and machine-learning approaches to elucidate correlates of natural and vaccine-mediated immunity in HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
Our group combines experimental and theoretical approaches to reverse-engineer the inherently mechanical processes of cell and tissue development.
Cellular and molecular mechanisms of central and peripheral nervous system development and plasticity
HGF-MET-PI3K signaling in liver development, growth, regeneration and cancer. She has identified a novel regulator of the catalytic subunit of PI3K (p110) called PI3K interacting protein 1 (PIK3IP1)
Steroid hormone action in neural stem cells and cancer
The metabolic regulation of T cell function, with a specific focus of those T cells that infiltrate the nutrient-poor tumor microenvironment
HSV gene expression in productive and persistent infections
Research in the Dermody laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms of Mammalian Orthoreovirus (reovirus) and Chikungunya virus infections
Decision processes in late-life suicidal behavior and in borderline personality
The molecular pathogenesis of neurodegeneration and aging
Developing a better understanding of cutaneous biology and skin immune function, and leveraging that evolving understanding to develop new skin-targeted strategies to modulate local and systemic immune responses
Respiratory assist and blood processing devices for critical care medicine; Cardiovascular and pulmonary transport phenomena
The neurobiology of schizophrenia and neurophysiological abnormalities during wakefulness and sleep in early course psychosis
Mechanisms of immune escape and clinical translation to therapeutic cancer immunotherapy trials
Intersection of mitochondrial function, metabolism and aging
Functional consequences of altered connectivity in schizophrenia; The early secretory pathway’s role in neurodevelopment and synaptogenesis
Immunology and Pathogenesis of Tuberculosis
The production and signal transduction properties of oxidizing and free radical mediators in metabolic, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases
Dopaminergic signal transduction in the central nervous system, dopamine role in regulating peripheral pancreatic insulin secretion
The study of the basic mechanisms of apoptosis, as mediated by the caspase apoptotic family in neurologic diseases
Roles of signal transduction pathways, transcription factors, and chromatin epigenetics in pathological changes in osteoclasts and osteoblasts in cancer-induced bone disease and Paget’s disease of bone
Exome and genome sequencing in newborns and genome sequencing in the Western Pennsylvania Amish and Mennonite communities
Adult and pediatric epilepsy surgery; movement disorder surgery; neuro-oncology; general neurosurgery
Neurophysiology of basal ganglia system related to psychiatric disorders
Understand the causes of diseases with disruptions between immune system and the microbiota, such as Crohn’s Disease and Environmental Enteropathy
Oxidative mechanisms associated with neurodegeneration
Dr. Nadine Hempel's research interests center on understanding molecular mechanisms that regulate metastasis and tumor recurrence of ovarian cancer, with the ultimate goal of identifying novel targets for therapy of advanced-stage disease.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing public health burden that results in significant morbidity and increased risk of mortality for individual patients
The biochemistry, molecular/cell biology, and physiology/pharmacology of adenosine
The Johnson lab studies the physiology, biophysics, structure, pharmacology, and regulation of glutamate receptors
Signal Transduction; The role of the Akt kinase in NF-kB and T cell activation; Role of TIM proteins in T cell activation
Role for nerves in the skin as modulators of immune responses
Long-term outcomes following sepsis using a Drosophila as well as murine model of sepsis
The role of intracellular lipid metabolism and adipose tissue biology in normal metabolism and disease using basic and translational approaches
Develop & translate state of the art noninvasive imaging technologies to improve disease diagnosis, guide therapy, and evaluate therapeutic efficacy
Cellular, structural and molecular studies of epithelial ion channels
Our laboratory is interested in the interplay of mitochondrial dysfunction and cellular senescence in lung epithelial and innate immune cells in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis to improve therapeutic options for patients.
Our research focuses on deciphering mechanisms involved in lung repair and regeneration, with the aim to identify novel therapeutic targets relevant for age-related chronic lung diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Our translational research program focuses on the comprehensive characterization of primary lung epithelial (stem) cells from experimental models and human tissue samples from patients with chronic lung disease. we aim to identify and investigate target signaling pathways that impact cellular mechanisms we identified the developmental WNT signaling pathway as a potent contributor to impaired lung repair and epithelial cell reprogramming, which is amenable to therapy and have further characterized features of epithelial cell reprogramming, such as cellular senescence. We further pioneered and apply patient-derived 3D Lung Tissue Cultures that allow to further validate and test potential novel drugs in an individualized fashion.
Our research is focused primarily on stem cell biology and cell-based therapy for a variety of diseases including cancer and organ failure
Innate and adaptive immune response to transplanted organs and the mechanisms of transplantation tolerance
Molecular profiling (genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic) of women’s cancers, mouse modeling, and predictive biomarkers for targeted therapy
Alzheimer's; Neurodegenerative diseases
Functional architecture of the prefrontal cortex and schizophrenia
Our lab is focused on the host protective immune responses to M. tuberculosis, a major factor in outcome of infection.
Drug Delivery, Biomimetics, Immunotherapeutics, Tissue Engineering, Biomaterials, Synthetic Systems
The cellular and molecular pathways leading to chronic renal fibrosis, and exploring novel strategies for therapeutic interventions
The Lohmueller lab works on developing genetic engineering approaches to augment adoptive cell therapy (ACT) for the treatment of cancer.
Brain basis of cognitive maturation through adolescence to adulthood
Molecular Regulation of Genomic Imprinting in Gametes and Early Embryos
Vascular pathways involved in cerebral vascular dysregulation and therapeutic strategies that improve neurological outcome after pediatric asphyxial cardiac arrest
Tissue engineering (peripheral nerve and soft tissue), wound healing, and adipose stem cell therapies
Understanding how cytokines and proteases controlling normal liver growth become deviant, leading to the development of cirrhosis and liver cancer
We are interested in the molecular mechanisms of psychiatric disorders with a particular focus on the role of the circadian clock in these disorders.
Investigates how pregnancy modulates innate immunity and defines relevancy to infectious pathogenesis
Mechanisms of HIV-1 persistence at the single cell level and evaluating strategies to cure HIV-1 infection, including latency reversing agents, monoclonal antibodies, cellular immunotherapy and therapeutic vaccines
Focuses on mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the neuromuscular system in both normal and disease conditions
Human immunology: Innate and adaptive immune responses to latent viruses and to allo-antigens after organ transplantation
Liver regeneration and carcinogenesis, exploring the effects of growth factors and associated signaling pathways
Use of novel regenerative materials in repair of pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence
Aimed at elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms of liver pathophysiology
The study of human tumor viruses
Autoimmunity & the control of T cell immune responses; Systems biology approaches to immune response to infectious organisms
The role of donor- and recipient-derived antigen-presenting cells (i.e. dendritic cells) and extracellular vesicles (i.e. exosomes, microvesicles) during allo-sensitization, graft rejection, and induction of donor-specific immunosuppression / tolerance, following transplantation
HIV-associated lung disease; HIV-associated emphysema; Role of Pneumocystis in COPD
Research interests include knee and shoulder biomechanics, specifically rotator cuff tears
GH, insulin-like growth factors and a novel mitochondria-associated peptide on glucose homeostasis, energy metabolism, cardiovascular health and aging
The mechanisms of hemostasis and coagulation following trauma and hemorrhagic shock
Genetics of schizophrenia/bipolar disorder; functional genomics using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) based models; gene/environment interactions
The association between states of over nutrition and resulting metabolic disturbances, most notably obesity, NAFLD, and Type 2 Diabetes
Hormone response and treatment resistance in breast and ovarian cancer, including the analysis of aberrant genetic and epigenetic changes
Mechanisms for preserving telomeres in healthy cells to delay aging-related diseases including cancer, or that conversely deplete telomeres in cancer cells to stop their proliferation
Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) and male germ lineage development
Oxidative mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis, acute lung injury, inflammation, and pneumonia; The laboratory also studies the role of RAGE in the lung.
Molecular mechanisms underlying various neurological disorders using human genetic approaches as well as research on animal and cell culture models
NADPH oxidase (Nox) & reactive oxygen species in signaling, vascular dysfunction and cardiopulmonary disease; Nox drug therapy development
Molecular mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Neuroimaging biomarkers of antidepressant treatment response in humans; Molecular bases of depression
Identification of neural correlates that underlie the symptoms of specific abnormalities in emotion processing in people with mood disorders
Stroke, motor control, proprioception, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), biomarkers
Molecularly targeted therapeutics for childhood and adult brain tumors and identifying and counteracting mechanisms of glioma treatment resistance.
Metabolic, molecular and biochemical changes in animal models of pediatric and adult liver cancers and how best to capitalize on these for therapeutic purposes
The goals of the Rich Lab are to identify novel therapeutic paradigms in the treatment of advanced cancers, primarily malignant brain tumors, through the prism of stem cell biology to identify core regulatory pathways amenable to pharmacologic targeting.
Immunometabolism at the host:pathogen interface using Staphylococcus aureus as a model pathogen
Our current work addresses preeclampsia and it pathophysiology in high and low resource
Understanding how endothelial cells integrate molecular and biomechanical signals to determine cell behavior during vascular development and disease
Brain adaptation, neuroepidemiological approaches to the causes, biomarkers and consequences of brain aging, advanced data reduction analyses
Understanding the functional organization of spinal microcircuits using molecular genetic, electrophysiological, optogenetic & behavioral approaches
The living human retina and visual system in health and disease through the development and application of advanced ophthalmic imaging technologies
Immunoregulation: Focusing on regulatory and inflammatory B cells in transplant and autoimmune models, and their use as biomarkers in transplantation; as well as pathways by which regulatory T cells can be enhanced relative to Teffector cells
Understanding the functional organization of spinal microcircuits using molecular genetic, electrophysiological, optogenetic & behavioral approaches
Endogenous danger signals promoting recovery following ischemic muscle injury; Inflammatory biomarkers in patients with venous disease
Our lab focuses on molecular mechanisms underlying placental development and its function in supporting fetal growth and maternal-fetal communication.
Two related aspects involved in interferon production in the context of infectious disease and cancer: Modulation of IFN induction during RNA and DNA virus infections; Mechanisms and consequences of interferon induction in specific tumors
Lipid signaling mediators associated with inflammation
Innate immune responses to sterile injury and infection with a focus on inflammasome activation and immune activation by endogenous danger signals
Studying Epstein-Barr virus molecular pathogenesis in the nasopharynx using 3-D cell air-liquid interface culture models.
Dr. Shea utilizes microfluidic models and other flow-based assays to study hemostasis in the context of trauma and transfusion medicine. Dr. Shea is also interested in arterial thrombosis and thrombolysis.
Understanding the mechanisms by which mitochondrial function is regulated, particularly by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and the contribution of these mechanisms to cardiovascular health and disease pathogenesis
My lab is interested in the establishment of long term B cell immunity and in pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune diseases and graft vs host disease.
Cardiac structure-function: contractile/regulatory proteins, post-translational regulation, dyssynchrony
Understanding of biological and clinical significance of tumor innervation and revealing neuroimmunological pathways controlling tumor spreading and metastasis formation
Non-receptor protein-tyrosine kinase structure, regulation and signal transduction in cancer, AIDS, and embryonic stem cell biology
Mechanisms and functional role of endocytic trafficking of EGF receptor in cancer cells and the dopamine transporter in the brain
Biomarker discovery, beneficial effects of mechanical loading, & implementation in targeted exercise therapies for musculoskeletal conditions
Characterizing the underlying pathobiology of vascular disease, concentrating on defining the mechanisms that drive vascular and valvular calcification and remodeling during aging and disease states
We leverage molecular biology, human genetics, animal models, stable isotope tracers, imaging mass spectrometry, and human translational studies to discover cellular, molecular, and metabolic determinants of diseases of aging ranging from diabetes to cancer.
Mechanisms of white blood cell differentiation & its inhibition in leukemias; Mechanisms of stem cell differentiation & growth control
Image-guided surgery, medical image analysis, medical robotics, haptics, augmented reality, devices for visually impaired, music engineering
Angiogenesis and vascularization events in liver regeneration and remodeling
The Straub laboratory investigates redox cell signaling mechanisms that control endothelial and smooth muscle biology in the microcirculation.
The control of voluntary movement by the cerebral cortex; The functional organization of the basal ganglia and cerebellum; Unraveling the circuitry of the central nervous system
Understanding the role of ion transporter proteins (sodium-potassium-chloride cotransporter, sodium/proton exchanger, and sodium/calcium exchangers) in ionic dysregulation and neurodegeneration associated with stroke and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
Central neural control of the autonomic nervous system and cardiovascular function; neurobiology of nicotine pharmacology
Loss and altered plasticity of auditory cortex synapses in schizophrenia; Mediators of vulnerability to psychosis in Alzheimer disease
Neural control of low urinary tract and neuromodulation of bladder dysfunction
Regulation of the immune response; role of dendritic cells and T cells in tolerance induction; mechanism of action of novel immune suppressants
Clinical applications of nitric oxide and carbon monoxide in the setting of vascular therapies
We study synaptic mechanisms and their role during normal and pathological sensory processing (tinnitus).
The focus of the Urish laboratory is on understanding implant biofilm dynamics during an infection and identifying new treatment strategies.
Repair of DNA damage in nuclear and mitochondrial genomes; Structure and function of nucleotide excision repair proteins
The Van Tyne Lab studies how bacteria evolve to become superbugs, using comparative genomics and functional analysis. Our research falls into two main areas. First, we work to understand how bacteria evolve during human infection to resist antibiotics and host immune defenses. We sequence bacterial strains from human infections and use functional genomics to identify and characterize novel resistance mechanisms. These include the ability of bacteria to resist the host immune system, or to persist in the face of antibiotic pressure. Second, we help develop new approaches to treat resistant bacterial infections more effectively. We help characterize new types of antibiotics, and establish how novel compounds kill bacteria. We are also exploring how bacteriophages could be developed into next-generation antibacterials.
Brain imaging of neuronal, metabolic and vascular function and dysfunction
The development of medical diagnostic and therapeutic strategies that are based on ultrasound and ultrasound contrast agents (microbubbles)
Computer-aided diagnosis and patient-specific prediction, genomic and precision medicine, clinical decision support, research data warehouse
The Vlad lab focuses on the development of new combination therapies for ovarian cancer and identification of new mechanisms of treatment response or resistance.
Dr Vo’s research program aims at studying the biology of aging of the spine and its contribution to low back pain. His research focus areas include: 1) interaction of autophagy and cellular senescence in spinal aging, 2) lactate metabolism and epigenetic regulation in spinal aging, 3) development of therapeutic interventions, including senolytics and gene therapy, for treating age-related spine degeneration and low back pain, and 4) Deep phenotyping of chronic low back pain through biomarker profiling.
Structure/function relationship in the acyl-CoA dehydrogenases (ACDs)
My long-term research goals are to obtain high-dimensional, dynamic data on the etiology and progression of various inflammatory processes and diseases in samples derived from cells, animals, and people; to create computational models based on these data as well as on key principles of immunology; and to modulate the inflammatory response in an optimal spatial, temporal, and individual- / disease-specific manner.
Abnormalities that underlie the devastating clinical features of schizophrenia using molecular biology techniques
Vascular bioengineering in the context of vascular tissue engineering, aortic aneurysm, and regenerative medicine
Cardiovascular engineering with projects that address medical device biocompatibility and design, tissue engineering, and imaging
Regulation of mammalian sperm
Basic science laboratory dedicated to the study of sarcomas--cancerous tumors that arise in the musculoskeletal tissues
Regulation of protein traffic in polarized epithelial cells
Integrative biology of wound healing and tumor metastasis, from molecules and cells through tissues and animals to humans
Investigates the signaling of electrophilic fatty acids in transformed stable cell lines while collaborating with clinicians to study the formation and signaling of electrophilic fatty acids in healthy controls, mild to moderate, and severe asthmatic subjects
Focuses on asthma phenotypes and the molecular mechanisms, particularly in the airway epithelium that control them
The cell entry, immunity, and pathogenesis of human metapneumovirus (HMPV)
Drug discovery and drug development, employing organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry and molecular modeling to develop new therapeutic agents for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases in a highly collaborative environment
Designed receptors as therapeutic targets for pain; Mechanisms of low-affinity drug action; Mapping of unconscious brain; Stem cell therapy for stroke
Pathways that control the maintenance of genome integrity across generations using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans
Genetic basis of differential sensitivity to anticancer drugs; Genetic alterations that cause drug resistance; Mechanisms of drug-induced apoptosis