Innovation & Research

a black and white photo of Hapke in a suit, holding a vial of moon dust
As a postdoctoral researcher, Bruce Hapke helped NASA determine the consistency of the moon’s soil, which helped engineers create the proper boots, rovers and wheeled equipment for the Apollo 11 landing, which happened 50 years ago this Saturday. Hapke and others at Pitt have helped build on a legacy of space research.
Clark, wearing a dark pullover and pants, standing in an aquarium tunnel with sea life swimming behind him
Through his research as an evolutionary geneticist, Pitt’s Nathan Clark is exploring how and why genes and genomes have evolved over time.
blue, black and purple illustration of a woman with a wire/electrode cap on her head
Elite athletes and members of the military need to keep trucking in the most challenging of circumstances. Pitt scientists are looking to these super users of the human body in the search for ways to optimize human performance.
Demirci in a red top in front of a blue background
A text messaging program called MILK developed in the School of Nursing educates and encourages new parents who breastfeed. The lead researcher, Jill Demirci (NURS ’05, ’10G, ’12G), focuses on developing a variety of clinical and community-based interventions to help mothers meet their breastfeeding goals.
mom holding baby, flanked by the two Pitt doctors who lead the operation
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
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
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
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
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
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.