Cell Migration Laboratory
Partha Roy, PhD
This research laboratory is under the direction of Partha Roy, PhD, and offers graduate and undergraduate students the ability to participate in research related to molecular mechanisms of cell migration with emphasis in tumor metastasis and angiogenesis. This research utilizes a variety of cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, imaging and in vivo techniques. The facility has: 1) a cell culture room that is equipped with tissue culture incubators, laminar flow hood, centrifuge and a microscope, 2) a wet lab which has equipment necessary to do protein biochemistry and molecular biology research, and 3) a microscopy room that houses an IX-71 Olympus research grade inverted microscope and live-cell Â image acquisition system.
Center for Assistive Technologies
Rosemarie Cooper, MPT, ATP
The Center for Assistive Technologies in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is comprised of rehabilitation engineers, physical and occupational therapists, and technicians which closely collaborate with a regional and national network of physicians, vocational counselors, educators, physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, rehabilitation technicians, consumers, and advocates in the provision of assistive technological services. Rosemarie Cooper, MPT, ATP, is Director of the Center for Assistive Technologies.
Center for Bioengineering
Center for Bioengineering
The Center for Bioengineering was founded in 1987 to foster the application of the University's growing portfolio of research expertise in the areas of biotechnology and bioengineering. Its mission includes the encouragement of the development of cross-disciplinary research teams by providing laboratory space and interdisciplinary educational programs. The Center site is located one mile from the main University of Pittsburgh campus. The Department of Bioengineering occupies about 12,600 sq. ft. of research space. The following bioengineering laboratories are currently housed at the Center: Musculoskeletal Research Center, MSRC, (Dr. Savio Woo), Cardiovascular Systems Laboratory (Dr. Sanjeev Shroff), Bioengineering Methods and Applications Laboratory and BioTransport Laboratory (Dr. Jack Patzer), Vascular Bioengineering Laboratory (Dr. David Vorp), Cell Migration Laboratory (Dr. Partha Roy), Computational Biomechanics Laboratory (Dr. Spandan Maiti) , Orthopaedic Robotics Laboratory (Drs. Volker Musahl and Richard Debski) and Molecular Biological and Biophysical Core Facilities (Department). All of these laboratories are described further below.
Bioengineering Methods and Applications Laboratory
This facility enables students to participate in an undergraduate laboratory course that integrates the knowledge and skills from three core Bioengineering courses including: Biotransport Phenomena; Mechanical Principles of Biologic Systems; and Biothermodynamics. Equipment utilized in the laboratory includes an ATS 1101 Materials Testing Device, adult and pediatric blood oxygenation flow loops incorporating Biomedicus blood pumps, two ABL5 Blood Gas Analyzers, and several dialysis systems. The laboratory is designed to accommodate 24 students in a session.
Bio Transport Laboratory
This laboratory is under the direction of Jack Patzer, PhD and focuses on research related to the application of BioThemodynamics and BioTransport Phenomena (principles of heat, momentum, and mass transport) to understanding the properties of physiological systems, medical devices, and bioreactor engineering. Current investigations involve the application bound solute dialysis (BSD) as a detoxification approach to support patients with liver failure, use of ischemia protective polymers (IPP) to mitigate ischemia/reperfusion injury in organ harvest and transplant, and wound perfusion/skin regeneration for patients with severe burns. Major equipment includes a Sun workstation for finite element analysis of fluid dynamics, spectrophotometers for colorimetric composition analysis, plate reader for colorimetric composition analysis, blood-gas analyzer, table-top refrigerated centrifuge, cell incubators, and Prisma dialysis machines. Other equipment includes multiple roller pumps, gas mass flow controllers, oscilloscope, electrochemistry controllers and analyzers.
Cardiovascular Systems Laboratory
This laboratory is under the direction of Sanjeev Shroff, PhD and focuses on research related to cardiovascular mechano-energetics and structure-function relationships. This research utilizes a variety of biophysical, cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and imaging techniques. The facility has: 1) setups for biophysical measurements at isolated heart, isolated muscle, and single cell levels (mechanics and intracellular calcium transients), 2) a cell-culture room (incubator, laminar flow hood, centrifuge, microscope), and 3) a wet lab which has equipment necessary to do protein biochemistry and molecular biology research.
Cell Migration Laboratory
This research laboratory is under the direction of Partha Roy, PhD and offers graduate and undergraduate students the ability to participate in research related to molecular mechanisms of cell migration with emphasis in tumor metastasis. This research utilizes a variety of cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and imaging techniques. The facility has: 1) a cell-culture room that is equipped with tissue culture incubators, laminar flow hood, centrifuge and a microscope, 2) a wet lab which has equipment necessary to do protein biochemistry and molecular biology research, and 3) a microscopy room that houses an IX-71 Olympus research grade inverted microscope and image acquisition system.
Orthopaedic Robotics Laboratory (ORL)
The mission of the Orthopaedic Robotics Laboratory is the prevention of degenerative joint disease by improving diagnostic, repair, and rehabilitation procedures for musculoskeletal injuries using state-of-the-art robotic technology. Diarthrodial joint function is elucidated and the roles of the bony and soft tissues assessed. The technology in the laboratory includes novel robotic systems and the lab serves as a multi-disciplinary CORE facility with collaboration promoted between investigators. Co-Directors of the ORL are Richard E. Debski, Ph.D. and Volker Musahl, M.D.
Vascular Bioengineering Laboratory
Under the guidance of David A. Vorp PhD, our Vascular Biomechanics group performs both experimental and computational biomechanics studies on tubular tissues; recent studies have focused on aneurysms of the aorta (thoracic and abdominal) and cerebral arteries but we also have experience with the ureter, esophagus, and intestine. On the experimental end, we perform extensive mechanical testing of tissues including tensile and compression tests, indentation tests, perfusion tests, and dynamic mechanical tests. Using mechanical properties determined from experimental testing we build strain energy function models of these tissues and computationally analyze the progression of degenerative disease. We also work with imaging collaborators at the School of Medicine to obtain structural information on human blood vessels; the geometries of these tissues have allowed us to computationally model stress distributions and develop rupture potential indices. The Vascular Tissue Engineering group is developing an autologous tissue engineered vascular graft (TEVG) utilizing adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) seeded into tubular porous synthetic scaffolds. Utilizing our novel cell seeding device which applies rotation and vacuum to a lumenally infused cell suspension, we are able to seed our vascular grafts rapidly, evenly, and efficiently. Our TEVG has remained patent during rodent implantation, remodeling extensively in vivo towards a blood vessel-like architecture. A unique slant to our investigation in recent years has been testing AD-MSC from patients at high cardiovascular risk, such as diabetics and the elderly; determining if these patient populations will be suitable for autologous therapy will be critical in designing the next generation of vascular grafts.
Pathologies of the vascular system are tightly linked to biomechanical alteration of the vessel wall during disease. By applying our strengths in computational and experimental biomechanics, image analysis, cellular and molecular biology, and tissue engineering, our research mission is to develop regenerative treatments for vascular diseases such as aortic aneurysm and coronary heart disease. In addition to our research mission, we aim to train the researchers of tomorrow using the most cutting-edge technology available. Ongoing projects in the lab include:
- Assessing the mechanopathobiology of thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Creating a novel regenerative therapy for abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Developing a human stem cell-based tissue engineered vascular graft
- Characterizing the biomechanics of cerebral aneurysms, including changes that occur with coil embolism therapy
- Using a novel ex-vivo perfusion system to simulate the biomechanical milieu of vascular diseases
- Extending our biomechanical analysis to other tubular structures such as the urinary tract, intestine, and esophagus
Center for Complex Engineered Multifunctional Materials (CCEMM)
Prashant Kumta, PhD
The Center for Complex Engineered Multifunctional Materials (CCEMM), directed by Prashant N. Kumta, PhD, and with faculty participation of Ipsita Banerjee, PhD and Spandan Maiti, PhD,; allows graduate, post-doctoral associates, research scholars, visiting faculty, and undergraduate students to participate in variety of novel and innovative materials for energy storage, generation, and advanced materials for applied biomaterials research fields for tissue regeneration and stem cell translation. Some of the current research activities include (i). Bio-functionalization and degradation of carbon nano-tubes for tissue engineering applications, (ii). Responsive biosensors for implants, (iii). Development of novel biodegradable and biocompatible metallic implants for craniofacial and orthopedic application, (iv). Nano-structured calcium phosphate based bone cements for bone regeneration process, (v). Calcium phosphate nano-particles for targeted gene delivery, (vi). Biocompatible and degradable polymers and calcium phosphate-polymer composites for controlled delivery systems of proteins, peptides, drugs and gene. (vii). Functional inorganic-organic and metal-organic coatings for tissue regeneration. (viii). Advanced materials for a variety of Li-ion, Mg-ion, and Na-ion, and fluoride battery chemistries. (ix) Advanced non-noble metal catalysts and reduced noble metal containing systems for hydrogen generation and electrolysis, and fuel cells. (x) Advanced systems for supercapacitor applications. The lab has state of the art energy storage and biomaterials syntheses and processing capabilities and is equipped with wide variety of materials characterization tools (e.g. X-ray Diffractometer, Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectrophotometer, Specific Surface Area Analyzer, Mercury Porosimeter, Helium Pycnometer, Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Absorbance Spectrometer, thermal analysis, Apparent-Tap Density Analyzer, electrochemical potentiostats, fuel cell test systems, etc.). This lab also has cell culture rooms equipped with biosafety cabinets, incubators, centrifuges, Fluorescence microscope, Optical plate reader, Atomic Fore Microscopy, etc.
Center for Energy Websitehttps://cfe.pitt.edu/
The Center for Energy at the University of Pittsburgh, directed by Greg Reed, PhD, is a University-wide endeavor that leverages the energy-related expertise of approximately 100 faculty members across campus from multiple disciplines and departments across the Swanson School of Engineering, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Law School, Business School and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. The Center serves as an easily accessible entry point for industry in identifying energy-related research expertise, forming collaborations, and participating in research at the University. Established in 2008, the Center is a unifying entity for faculty members to collaborate with each other, with regional energy industry leaders, and with government agencies to address the many challenges and opportunities associated with the generation, transmission, and utilization of energy. The Center is ideally situated to accomplish this mission, given the Pittsburgh regions abundant natural resources and leadership in green technologies, the presence of leading energy companies, and Pittâ€™s long-term relationship with NETL. As the Center for Energy grows, along with the development of the Pittsburgh regions energy nexus, it will attract and train high-quality undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and visiting scientists, all of whom are important elements to evolving and sustaining the Center as an internationally prominent, university-based energy program.
Center for Faculty Excellence
Center for Faculty Excellence
Founder and Director: Anne M. Robertson, PhD
Administrative Coordinator:Deb Cleary
Recruitment of a junior faculty member is one of the most exciting and high risk actions of an academic department. The stakes include a tremendous investment of financial resources and closure of an open position dedicated to a new direction of research in the department. The mission of the Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) is to enhance the ability of tenure track faculty in the Swanson School of Engineering to navigate the tenure period - not just to manage it, but rather to exit this period with a foundation for continued academic excellence and leadership.
A central activity of the CFE is Program LE2AP - Leveraging Excellence in Engineering Assistant Professors. This is an individualized program for tenure track faculty, designed to enhance their ability to work effectively during the tenure track period as they lay the foundation for continued success after tenure review. The central components of Program LE2AP are Senior Mentoring Committees, Professional Consultations, Tenure and Promotion Process Lectures/Discussions, and Junior Faculty Networking Lunches. Of these, the Senior Mentoring Committees are particularly important.
Each junior faculty member in LE2AP forms a senior mentoring committee of 4-5 senior faculty members, at least one of whom is outside the department and is potentially at another university. The committee and junior faculty member meet two times per year in a formal meeting. These mentors provide scientific and strategic insights, professional connections, regular performance feedback and advocacy for the junior faculty member. During these senior mentoring meetings, the junior faculty member presents an updated CV including information about their research, teaching and service activities. They then work with their mentors to refine strategic plans including
- Individualized Strategic Research Plan
- Individualized Teaching Plan (including long range plan)
- Individualized Visibility Plan
Current Status: As of September 2016, 23 junior faculty are enrolled in LE2AP with a combined 68 faculty mentors drawn from the Swanson School of Engineering (44), departments at Pitt outside of the SSoE (11), UPMC (7) and engineering departments at Carnegie Mellon University (6).Â To date, 37 mentoring committee meetings have been held.Â
The success of the CFE rests on the commitment of these faculty mentors as well as its close collaboration with offices in the SSoE including the Office of Research, the Office of Diversity and the Engineering Education Research Center (EERC).
History of the Center for Faculty Excellence:
The Center for Faculty Excellence grew out of beta version of Program LE2AP that was formulated during the Fall of 2013 as Dr. Robertsonâ€™s Institutional Action Program as a fellow within the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE) Program at Drexel University in 2013-2014. Program LE2AP was launched within the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science in January 2014. In an initial program survey in the Spring of 2014, the value of Program LE2AP was ranked 4.75 out of 5.0, with 5.0 being excellent and 4.0 being very good. The junior faculty were particularly enthusiastic about the new collegiality with their junior peers, their increased knowledge of the tenure process and optimism for their future. In the Summer 2014, Dean Holder invited the submission of a proposal to transition this MEMS centered program into a school wide center.Â In October 2014, the Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) was approved by the Chairs, Vice Provosts and Dean. The Center was formally announced to the School on October 16th 2014, and activities began in the new office in January 2015 with an administrative staff person joining the Center in February 2015.
Center for Industry Studies Website
Center for Industry Studies
The Center for Industry Studies supports multidisciplinary research that helps link scholars to some of the most important and challenging problems faced by modern industry. Our activities and programs are motivated by the firm conviction that bringing engineers and social scientists together for research collaboration can lead to important advances in scholarship and produce research of significant practical value to industry. In building this community of scholars, the Center reaches out to faculty members from all of the social science disciplines and professional schools for research collaboration opportunities with faculty members in the Swanson School of Engineering. The Center also encourages communication between scholars and industry practitioners as a means of building partnerships that can enhance the impact of academic research, yield educational opportunities, and promote economic development.
Center for Medical Innovation
The Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) works cooperatively with its partners in the Swanson School of Engineering, the Innovation Institute, Coulter Translation Research Partnership, and the CTSI at the Schools of Health Sciences to provide seed grants and advisory services to teams of clinicians and engineers who are interested in translating their concepts into commercial clinical innovations. Since its inception in 2011, the CMI has sponsored 37 early-stage projects with $635,000 equally funded between the Swanson School of Engineering and the Coulter TPII program. Five of these projects have received additional external funding at the $100K level to aid in their translation to commercial development. The majority of CMI-funded projects have resulted in new IP and some have attracted external funding. The CMI has also developed and deployed a Professional Master of Science in Bioengineering degree (Medical Product Engineering track), and a Professional Certificate in Medical Product Innovation. The educational program and early stage seed grant programs are linked to provide opportunities for students to utilize their skills in practical medical development projects with clinicians.
Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructurehttp://www.engineering.pitt.edu/CSTI/
Since 2007 the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) has strategically positioned itself to focus its research and educational efforts on the transportation sector. The Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure (CSTI) was formed to expand on the successful research and education collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the CEE Department. Co-directors Radisav Vidic, PhD and Mark Magalotti, PE, conduct research for PennDOT through the University Department of General Services (DGS) Agreement which provides a mechanism for individual research topics that are investigated to assist PennDOT in improving the transportation system for the State of Pennsylvania. CSTIâ€™s vision is to advance the state of transportation infrastructure through collaborative, multi-disciplinary research and education efforts and dissemination of new technologies and knowledge. CSTI is interested in fostering collaborative transportation research throughout the Swanson School of Engineering, the University, industry, and other academic institutions to expand its research program.