The University of Pittsburgh has a long tradition of excellence in immunology, which is being continued and extended in the 21st century. The Immunology Program faculty has over forty active members, including senior faculty with international stature and junior faculty recruited from the most productive universities and research institutes. Members' research labs are funded by grants from the NIH, NSF, and many disease-associated foundations. Program members include organizers of Keystone Symposium meetings, members of NIH study sections, and Associate Editors of the Journal of Immunology. Because immunology is a field that impacts on so many aspects of health and disease, Immunology Program faculty members have academic appointments and co-appointments in many departments of the Medical School, including Immunology, Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Pathology, Pharmacology, Medicine, Opthalmology, Surgery, Dermatology, and Pediatrics. Many Program members also hold memberships in the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), the Arthritis Institute, Molecular Medicine Institute, and/or the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute. This departmental inter-relatedness of the members strengthens the Program's cohesion and promotes opportunities for new collaborations among members, to address new cutting-edge research issues in immunology.
Cancer immunology, infectious disease immunology, organ transplantation, autoimmunity, immunology of lung diseases, and basic immunology are topics that currently form the focus of many Immunology Program members' research efforts. Many recent clinical breakthroughs have been achieved at Pitt that directly derive from the basic research of Immunology Program laboratories. For example, clinical trials for the treatment of melanoma are based on new understandings of the importance of dendritic cells in initiating potent immune responses. Clinical trials to induce transplantation tolerance via bone marrow transplantation are based on new understandings of bone marrow stem cell characteristics and T lymphocyte development. Clinical trials on the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis via gene therapy are based on new understandings of the regulatory role of inflammatory cytokines in autoimmune disease. Graduate student members in Program labs contribute directly to the success of these important projects. Most critically, the research of current and future graduate students will lead to the next generation of immune-based therapies of human disease.
For more information on the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Graduate Studies Programs as well as information about Pittsburgh, one of America's most livable cities, go to the Graduate Studies Home Page.