Department of Medicine News
How vinyl chloride, chemical released in the Ohio train derailment, can damage the liver – it’s used to make PVC plastics
DOM faculty member Juliane Beier, PhD, provides expert insight about the dangers of vinyl chloride
Pitt lands $14.3 million for research linking dementia and cardiovascular disease
Funded by the WoodNext Foundation, researchers will use an interdisciplinary approach to uncover the causes of two of the most costly and deadly illnesses in the U.S.
Three junior faculty in the Department of Medicine honored by the ASCI for their commitment to research
Drs. Cary Boyd-Shiwarski and Mark Snyder have been awarded ASCI Young Physician-Scientist Awards while Dr. Richard Ramonell has been named a recipient of the Emerging-Generation Award.
Groundbreaking new study by Dr. Warren Shlomchik et al provides new avenues for treatment in graft-versus-host disease
The paper, published in Immunity, showed that GVHD is maintained by donor T cells that seed those tissues soon after transplant and not by the continual recruitment of T cells from the blood as previously thought.
Second annual awardees of the KARAT Catalytic Grants announced
Thirteen junior faculty from across the Department of Medicine have received awards to facilitate their transition to R-level funding.
DGIM’s Dr. Thuy Bui receives 2022 Pearl Birnbaum Hurwitz Humanism in Healthcare Award
The award honors a woman who exemplifies humanism and has advanced the well-being of underserved or vulnerable populations in healthcare through scholarship, advocacy, leadership, or work.
PACCM and Hematology/Oncology faculty collaborate to identify link between telomere mutations and melonama
In a recent Science paper, Drs. Jonathan Alder, John Kirkwood and others describe TPP1 mutations leading to telomere lengthening and the promotion of melanoma cells.
New research finds depressed patients were less likely to follow medical therapies following PCI
Drs. Jared Magnani, Bruce Rollman, Matthew Muldoon found that 10%-20% of individuals with depression were less likely to take their medicine after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
Dr. Esa Davis recipient of the Excellence in Faculty Mentorship Award
Dr. Davis was honored for role as a mentor at the inaugural Dr. Larry E. Davis Black Excellence in the Academy Awards
Renal-Electrolyte faculty Cary Boyd-Shiwarski, MD, PhD, and Arohan Subramanya, MD, uncover how cells manage volume
Their recent study in the journal Cell shows how WNK kinases activate the “switch” that returns cell volume to equilibrium through a process called phase separation.
A new study by Martina Anto-Ocrah, PhD, confirms that pandemic-related stress led to mentrual changes
The study in Obstetrics & Gynecology shows a link between women who reported high COVID-19 stress and changes in menstrual cycle length, period duration, and menstrual flow.
Aging Institute faculty uncover how cells repair damaged lysosomes in a process dubbed the PITT Pathway
In the Nature publication, Toren Finkel, MD, PhD, and Jay Tan, PhD, identify a series of steps that believed to be a universal mechanism for lysosomal repair with implications for normal aging and age-related diseases
Sonya Borrero, MD, MS, appointed Chief Medical and Scientific Advisor for the HHS Office of Population Affairs
In this role, Dr. Borrero, a Professor within the Division of General Internal Medicine, will aid in strengthening the Office of Population Affairs’ ongoing efforts to address equitable contraceptive access and care.
Aging Institute researcher Aditi Gurkar, PhD, uncovers the link between age-associated DNA damage and weight loss
An Assistant Professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine, Dr. Gurkar and colleagues have recently published their findings in Science Advances showing how DNA damage in C. elegans worms rewires cellular metabolism to break down fat deposits.
Utibe Essien, MD, MPH, awarded prestigious Harold Amos Faculty Development Award
Dr. Essien, an Assistant Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine, researches racial/ethnic health disparities and the use of novel therapeutics in the management of chronic diseases.
Manisha Jhamb, MD, MPH, to collaborate with Bayer to improve care delivery for those with chronic kidney disease
Associate Professor in Renal-Electolyte, Dr. Jhamb will use real-world data to determine how population health management may improve care for those with CKD.
Dr. Kathleen McTigue named as Inaugural Vice Chair for Real World Evidence
In this role, she will support the use of real-world evidence in health research by facilitating access to data and nurturing partnerships with industry partnerships to support research undertaken by DOM clinicians and researchers.
Sarah Gaffen, PhD, elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Dr. Sarah Gaffen is an international expert on IL-17 and its role in autoimmune diseases. She is one of only four Pitt faculty to be elected to the AAAS this year.
VMI Director Stephen Chan, MD, PhD receives a $6.2 million grant from the Wood Next Fund
The grant will allow Dr. Chan and Co-PI Dr. Colleen McClung to study the genetic underpinnings of sleep dysfunction.
Research from the Cancer Immunotherapeutics Center led by Dr. Jason Luke leads to FDA approval of melanoma treatment
Based on results from the KEYNOTE-716 trial led by Dr. Jason Luke, pembrolizumab resulted in a marked improvement in recurrence-free survival (RFS) and reduced disease recurrence or death by 35%, leading to its approval for treatment of patients 12 years and older...
NIH U54 leads to creation of TriState SenNet Tissue Mapping Center
Led by Drs. Toren Finkel and Melanie Königshoff, the TriState SenNet TMC combines the expertise of faculty from Pitt, CMU, OSU, and URMC to develop a high-resolution map of the senescent cell population in the human lung and heart, define the physiological drivers of senescence, and provide a rational approach to understand the therapeutic potential of senolytic therapy.
Kambez H. Benam develops new robot to simulate vaping effects
To better understand potential damage that emerging vaping products may have on human lungs, Dr. Benam and his team have created a first-in-kind biologically inspired robotic system that quantitatively analyzes submicron and microparticles generated from electronic cigarettes in real-time while mimicking clinically relevant breathing and vaping topography exactly as happens in humans.
NIDDK U01 multidisciplinary grant awarded to DOM faculty for an AKI scientific and data research center
This cross-divisional collaboration among Drs. Kaleab Abebe, Linda Fried, and Paul Palevsky will support the Caring for OutPatiEnts after Acute Kidney Injury (COPE-AKI) Consortium, which develops and tests interventions to reduce morbidity among high-risk patients with moderate or severe acute kidney injury.
The Aging Institute’s Bill Chen, PhD, identifies drugs that could combat COVID-19 mutations
In a recent Nature Communications article, the Chen lab discuss how a high-throughput screen could be used to identify FDA-approved compounds that may resist SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Dr. Christopher O’Donnell to head new Office of Emerging Technologies in Health Sciences Education
This new office will advance and enrich interprofessional learning in the health sciences through embracing new technologies from across and beyond the institution while ensuring that technological advances are more integrated, accessible and equitable.
Dr. Jennifer Corbelli Appointed Vice Chair for Education
Dr. Corbelli has been committed to clinical, educational and leadership excellence and has a passion for mentorship. We are excited to have Dr. Corbelli’s leadership in her new Vice-Chair role; she has the skills, leadership and enthusiasm for her new position.
Dr. Deanna Wilson Testifies to the House Committee about Substance Use & Misuse During COVID-19
Dr. Deanna Wilson recently provided testimony to the House Committee on Energy & Commerce’s hearing on “An Epidemic Within a Pandemic: Understanding Substance Use and Misuse in America.”
Dr. Taofeek Owonikoko Named Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology
Taofeek K. Owonikoko, MD, PhD, will join the Department of Medicine as chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology. Owonikoko, a physician-scientist board-certified in medical oncology, hematology and internal medicine, will begin his appointment on July 1, 2021.
Dr. Tamar Krishnamurti presents at the Nobel Summit
Faculty, staff, and students are invited to hear Pitt faculty member Tamar Krishnamurti, PhD, who will participate in a virtual Nobel Summit, “Our Planet, Our Future,” on Monday, April 26.
Dr. Esa Davis Appointed to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force
Dr. Esa Davis has been named a new member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine.