Because immunology intersects so many facets of health and disease, program faculty members have appointments in many departments of the Medical School, including Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Pathology, Pharmacology, Medicine, Surgery, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, and Pediatrics. Many program members are also members of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, and other related departments, that strengthens the program’s cohesion and promotes opportunities for cutting-edge research in immunology.
Tumor Immunology, transplantation immunology, the immunology of infectious diseases, autoimmunity, immunology of barrier surfaces, and studies of underlying immunologic mechanisms currently form the focus of Immunology program members’ research efforts. Many recent clinical breakthroughs have been achieved at the University of Pittsburgh that derive directly from the research of Immunology program laboratories. These include the development of dendritic cell-based vaccines for the treatment of melanoma, and the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis via gene therapy. 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.