Innovation & Research

mom holding baby, flanked by the two Pitt doctors who lead the operation

Pitt Researchers Perform University’s First In Utero Spina Bifida Surgery

Baby Emery Green Mullen, named after the lead surgeons who corrected a neural tube defect before her birth, is doing well as the first patient in Pitt history to receive in utero surgery for spina bifida.
HiberSense on a phone with multiple boxes containing temperatures

A Smart Solution for Thermostat Wars

Powered by Pitt innovation pathways, HiberSense is a smart heating and cooling system that collects data on temperature, humidity, occupancy and air-quality and “learns” using predictive analytics to anticipate the desired temperature room by room.
woman holding a bottle of essential oils near her nose

Pleasant Smells Can Help Smokers Reduce Cigarette Craving, New Study Finds

In a study that expands on previous work, a team led by psychology’s Michael Sayette found reduced urges to smoke in response to pleasant smells, as well as a connection to memory.
Gellad in a light blue shirt and dark blue tie

National, County Research Partnerships Use AI to Better Predict Opioid Overdose Risk

Walid Gellad, associate professor of medicine and health policy and director of Pitt’s Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, is using machine-learning algorithms to predict who is at risk of opioid misuse and overdose.
a black and white image of a house

Researchers Teach Adults to Read Using Pictures of Houses

In a recent study, led by chair of psychology Julie Fiez, researchers taught adults “HouseFont” — a hieroglyphic-like language based on photos of homes — then scanned the language-learning areas of participants’ brains. What they found adds to a growing body of knowledge on how adults process written languages.
Hatfull in a green coat, wearing gloves and looking at a round slide of phages

Lifesaving First in Medicine Boosted By Student Research in Hatfull Lab

Research efforts in Graham Hatfull’s lab involving phages, or viruses that infect bacteria, saved a cystic fibrosis patient from a life-threatening infection. This therapeutic first couldn’t have happened without the help of undergraduate students.
woman in a dark blazer in an office with a bright yellow and red decoration behind her

Historian Bridges Gap in Understanding Neglected Tropical Diseases

Mari Webel will continue her work that melds history and public health as Pitt’s first-ever Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellow.
a circular "trunk" with the computer inside

New Pitt Supercomputer to Launch Into Space

A novel supercomputer developed by a University of Pittsburgh team is set to journey to the International Space Station, continuing a NASA partnership meant to improve Earth and space science.
Howell in a red scarf

Compounding Privileges in White, Affluent Neighborhoods Drive Urban Inequality

In her most recent paper, Pitt sociologist Junia Howell explores an understudied driver of inequity: the hoarding of educational resources and opportunity in middle- and upper-middle class neighborhoods.
Undergrads Lauren Yocum and Emily Siegel

For Those Too Tired to Brush

For people traveling, in the military, without access to water — or just too exhausted to get out of bed — skipping the toothbrush for a day is sometimes inevitable. Pitt undergrads Lauren Yocum and Emily Siegel's winning pitch for a biodegradable chewing gum that kills bacteria and removes and prevents plaque could bridge the gap.