January 16, 2019
LifeX to partner in ‘liquid biopsy’ cancer diagnostics
GeneNews Limited, which provides innovative solutions for early cancer detection, has announced a partnership with LifeX to develop strategies for incorporating several proprietary early-cancer diagnostics into healthcare settings to improve patient compliance with cancer screening, as well as to bridge diagnostic gaps in current screening procedures.
Early detection of cancer is known to improve outcomes. Toronto-based GeneNews has several tests proven to detect cancer at an early stage using a simple blood test, or “liquid biopsy.”
“Other liquid biopsy companies are focused on monitoring response to chemotherapy or detecting recurrence of tumors after initial treatment,” said LifeX founder Dietrich Stephan.
“GeneNews, one of the pioneers of the liquid biopsy principle, has developed the ‘holy-grail’ — a suite of tests that have the correct sensitivity and specificity to see tumors in Stage 1 and perform correctly as a screening tool at the population level. We look forward to bringing these solutions to the marketplace to make a tangible difference in global health by enabling cures when tumors are most treatable.”
LifeX, based on Pittsburgh’s South Side, develops first-in-class solutions to alleviate suffering and death from prevalent and intractable diseases. The LifeX team partners with innovator-entrepreneurs to unlock the potential of their technologies and deliver them to patients and their physicians across the globe. LifeX was founded with support from the University of Pittsburgh and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.
January 16, 2019
Katz accounting professor receives Lifetime Contribution Award
John H. Evans III, the Katz Alumni Professor of Accounting and professor of business administration at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, received the 2019 AAA Lifetime Contribution Award for his 40-plus years of research and teachings of key management accounting issues and other contributions to the profession.
Given by the American Accounting Association (AAA) and the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the award recognizes professionals who have made a significant contribution to management accounting education, research and practice. The award is given on behalf of the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation, which distinguishes a unique group of 150,000 management accountants worldwide who have reached the highest benchmark of quality and competency.
Evans has received numerous awards for his research, including the Outstanding Management Accounting Paper Award from the AAA in 2012 and the Best Paper Award for the Management Accounting Section from the Journal of Management Accounting in 2012. He is also recognized for his excellence in teaching. In 2011, he was honored with Pitt’s Provost Award for Excellence in Mentoring and has been named teacher of the year numerous times.
January 8, 2019
Campbell named director of rehabilitation nurses group
Grace Campbell, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, has been elected director of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses through fall 2021.
Campbell took office at the group’s REACH 2018 Educational Conference and Expo, last fall in West Palm Beach, Fla. She has been an active member of ARN for 20 years, having served as president, treasurer and secretary of the Southwest Pennsylvania Chapter as well as on various committees.
January 8, 2019
Six receive Mascaro Faculty Program in Sustainability awards
The program is designed to enhance the University’s mission of interdisciplinary excellence in research and education. Faculty from all Pitt schools and disciplines are eligible to apply as faculty fellows, faculty scholars or faculty lecturers.
- Receiving $20,000 awards as John C. Mascaro Faculty Fellows in Sustainability are Mike Blackhurst of the University Center for Social and Urban Research and Paul Leu of the Swanson School of Engineering Department of Industrial Engineering.
- Receiving $10,000 awards as John C. Mascaro Faculty Scholars in Sustainability are Justin Kitzes of the Dietrich School’s Department of Biological Sciences and Andrea La Nauze of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Department of Economics.
- Receiving $5,000 awards as John C. Mascaro Faculty Lecturers in Sustainability are Robert Kerestes of the Swanson School’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Ruth Mostern of the Dietrich School Department of History and World History Center.
Awards are for one year with the option for renewal for an additional year for the Mascaro fellowships and scholarships.
During the year, fellows are expected to contribute to intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and/or education as well as help to team-teach one sustainability course as part of the University’s undergraduate certificate in sustainability and master’s degree in sustainable engineering.
January 6, 2019
Historical marker on campus celebrates city’s early radium industry ties
A Pennsylvania Historical Marker commemorating Standard Chemical Company and its role in radium production has been dedicated outside Allen Hall.
Already famous for steel, Pittsburgh became the worldwide center for radium production in the early 20th century thanks to the entrepreneurship of brothers J.J. and Joseph Flannery, founders of Standard Chemical Co.
Their company, founded in 1913 and headquartered at Forbes and Meyran avenues in Oakland, was the nation’s first commercial producer of radium.
By 1920, Standard Chemical radium researchers Glenn D. Kammer and Henry J. Koenig, two 1912 graduates of Pitt’s School of Chemistry, were supervising the production of more than two-thirds of the world’s radium.
The company produced the gram of radium that was presented to French physicist Marie Curie in 1921 as a gift from the women of America. During her tour of the U.S., Curie asked to visit Standard Chemical’s headquarters and production facilities. She also was conferred an honorary doctorate by the University of Pittsburgh in a convocation at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall.
Flannery family members, including Sarah Flannery Hardon, great-great granddaughter of J.J. Flannery, were among the guests at the Nov. 12 marker dedication.
January 4, 2019
University of Pittsburgh Press publication in running for America Literary Award
Shauna Barbosa’s “Cape Verdean Blues” is a semi-finalist in the PEN Open Book Award category. This specific award honors “an exceptional book-length work of any genre by an author of color, published in the United States.” A collection of poetry, “Cape Verdean Blues” addresses Barbosa’s upbringing as a Cape Verdean living in Boston.
The PEN America Literary Awards honor “literary excellence and celebrate voices that challenge, inform, and inspire.” The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in February.
January 2, 2019
Natalie Leland named fellow of Gerontological Society
Leland's research focuses on understanding and improving care quality for older adults, with a particular interest in how occupational therapy can contribute to interdisciplinary patient-centered outcomes.
The society is the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging. The status of fellow — the highest class of membership within the society — is an acknowledgment of outstanding and continuing work in gerontology. Leland was one of 89 fellows selected for the class of 2018.
January 2, 2019
Brent Doiron joins NIH BRAIN Initiative as theoretical neuroscience investigator
Brent Doiron, a professor in the Department of Mathematics, will work with a team from Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute to develop mathematical models of the brain’s primary visual cortex.
The effort is supported by a five year, $16.75 million grant from the National Institute of Health’s BRAIN Initiative. Doiron will serve as a theoretical neuroscience investigator, receiving $1.7M for his investigations as part of the grant. Doiron, who’s also a member of the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, collaborates extensively with faculty in other departments to advance theoretical models of brain activity and cognition.
December 21, 2018
Retired UPJ professor honored by Geological Society of America
William Brice, retired Pitt–Johnstown geology and planetary sciences professor, has been honored by the Geological Society of America with the annual Mary C. Rabbitt History and Philosophy of Geology Award for 2018.
He joined the UPJ staff in 1971, remaining at that post until 2005.
“The nice thing about the Mary C. Rabbitt Award for history of geology is that it is from my peers,” Brice said. “These are people that I have worked with and known for many years. To have your work recognized by your peers is a wonderful feeling. It is the premier history of geology award in the United States. That’s the only way to put it.”
Brice has visited more than 50 countries and helped found Pitt–Johnstown’s geology program.
He currently edits the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences Annual Record.
December 21, 2018
Pitt–Johnstown professor appointed to school board
Pitt–Johnstown journalism associate professor Leland K. Wood was appointed to the Greater Johnstown School District board in December.
Wood also is the adviser for the school’s student newspaper, The Advocate. During his career, he has served as a daily newspaper reporter, bureau manager, correspondent business manager, and deputy metro editor.
Wood said he applied to become a member of the Greater Johnstown school board out of a desire to give back to the community, having been the product of several of the city’s public schools.
“I don’t have a specific agenda. It is pure public service,” he told The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown. “I think I’m well-versed in school district issues and activities and the issues that come up as part of local government. I think I have something to offer.”
December 21, 2018
Swanson School and General Carbide team up for 3D printing advancement
Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering is collaborating with General Carbide Corporation in Greensburg to research better base powders and 3D printing methods for more effective and economical use of tungsten carbide in additive manufacturing.
The project was financed in part by a $57,529 grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development and the first round of the PA Manufacturing Innovation Program. Cost share from Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering and General Carbide will provide a total funding of $145,000.
December 19, 2018
Office of Child Development donates books to children in Squirrel Hill
The University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development held a book drive to provide resources for children affected by gun violence in Squirrel Hill and the surrounding community.
Pitt students, staff and faculty have started delivering the nearly 3,000 books to approximately 200 schools and early childcare facilities, just in time for the holidays. They plan to finish their deliveries in January.
The Pitt community and people from across the country donated the books, which will be used to help local children heal and embrace diversity.
“The outpouring of donations and support we’ve received has been remarkable, and we are hopeful that the Office of Child Development can deliver even more resources to help children process fear and embrace diversity,” said Director Shannon Wanless.
The Office of Child Development and its partners in the Pitt Early Childhood Community, including Falk School, the University Child Development Center and early childhood programs in Pitt’s School of Education, are part of this ongoing effort.
December 14, 2018
Pitt’s Bike-Friendly Efforts Recognized
Each year, the League of American Bicyclists recognizes colleges and universities that support bicycling with its Bicycle Friendly University status. This year, Pitt earned the status with a bronze distinction, joining nearly 200 other universities on the overall list.
“This is the first year we applied for recognition on campus, but we have had the infrastructure and programs in place for quite some time,” said Jeff Yeaman, senior manager, Department of Parking, Transportation and Services. Yeaman cited specific examples like the bike rooms in Nordenberg Hall and fix-it stations around campus as evidence of Pitt’s commitment to being a bike-friendly campus.
The league’s bronze distinction recognizes institutions that have taken notable steps in supporting bicycling for recreation and tranporation, which can be seen in above-average numbers of students, faculty and staff riding bikes. The league scores institutions that apply for distinction across five categories, including engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation.
Read more information about the distinction process online.
December 12, 2018
Beth Piraino to receive Kidney Foundation's Lazarus Award
Beth Piraino, professor of medicine and associate dean of admissions and financial aid at the School of Medicine, will receive the J. Michael Lazarus Award by the National Kidney Foundation.
The award was established to honor Dr. J. Michael Lazarus for his contributions to the clinical science and care of dialysis patients, and to recognize individuals whose research has yielded novel insights related to renal replacement therapy.
Piraino is a pioneer in peritoneal dialysis (PD) clinical research, with particular focus on prevention of PD-related infections and improving outcomes for patients treated with home dialysis.
Piraino will receive the award at the National Kidney Foundation’s Spring Clinical Meetings in May 2019.
December 12, 2018
Natalie Leland named a Fellow of Gerontological Society of America
Natalie Leland, associate professor of Occupational Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, was named as a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. Leland's research focuses on understanding and improving care quality for older adults with a particular interest in how occupational therapy can contribute to interdisciplinary patient-centered outcomes
December 12, 2018
Utibe Eissien lead author of study on blood thinner use by race
Utibe R. Essien, assistant professor in the School of Medicine’s Division of General Medicine, was the lead author for study published in JAMA Cardiology that found striking differences in the use of blood thinners for stroke prevention by race, especially in the newer class of these medications. Black patients were far less likely to receive blood thinners, even after controlling for socioeconomic status.
The study used the Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation II (ORBIT-AF II) to source patient data for the study. He conducted the research during a fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Many factors, including limited access to specialists, out-of-pocket costs, medication adherence and implicit bias, have been suggested as possible reasons for the disparities in care for patients with atrial fibrillation, but further research is needed to address and correct these issues, according to a UPMC news release.
Utibe, who came to Pitt in September and also is a core investigator for the VA Pittsburgh Center for Health Equity and Research Promotion, co-authored the study along with physicians and academics from Harvard, Duke, Yale and UCLA.
December 12, 2018
Tao Han Elected Vice Chair at the American Physical Society
Tao Han, distinguished professor of High Energy Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been elected vice chair of the executive committee for American Physical Society’s Division of Particles and Fields.
The American Physical Society represents more than 55,000 physicists across the globe and uses advocacy, research journals, meetings and other forms of outreach to promote its work. Han will begin his duties in January 2019 and will assume as chair in 2021.
December 6, 2018
Viktoria Harms Honored by American Association of Teachers of German
Viktoria Harms, lecturer in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of German, has been selected by the American Association of Teachers of German and the Goethe-Institut as a recipient of their Certificate of Merit.
The award honors language educators for “achievement in furthering the teaching of German in the United States.”
Harms serves as the Department of German’s director of language studies and director of undergraduate studies within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. She was honored at the AATG and American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Convention and World Languages Expo on Nov. 17 in New Orleans.
December 4, 2018
Keisha Blain’s Book Named One of the Best History Books of 2018 by Smithsonian Magazine
Keisha N. Blain’s book "Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom" was named one of the best history books of the year by Smithsonian Magazine. Blain is an assistant professor in Pitt’s Department of History. To read the full list of best books, visit the magazine's website.
December 3, 2018
20 Pitt Researchers Named to ‘Highly Cited’ List
Twenty professors from varying fields at the University of Pittsburgh were named to Clarivate Analytics’ list of Highly Cited Researchers over the past decade.
The list “recognizes world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top one percent by citations for field and year in ‘Web of Science.’” To view the full list, visit their website.