Research and Clinical Trials

Nearly all members of the Department of Surgery engage in clinical and/or laboratory research. Faculty interests cover a wide spectrum of subjects, including:

  • Surgical metabolism
  • Cardiovascular and gastrointestinal physiology
  • Transplantation
  • Mechanical circulatory assisting devices
  • Surgical techniques and equipment, such as membrane oxygenation or stapling devices
  • Studies of hemorrhagic and septic shock
  • Surgical oncology.

Resident participation in independent, ongoing research projects is strongly encouraged, and the program is designed to provide special experience and training for those interested in academic surgery.

Research takes place in core and shared facilities in the Biomedical Science Tower, UPMC Montefiore, Scaife Hall, and the Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center. Collaborations exist among the divisions of the department of surgery. Multi-disciplinary centers include:

  • UPMC Hillman Cancer Center: The section of Surgical Oncology participates actively with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Members of the Department co-head the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute programs of gastrointestinal oncology, urologic oncology, and biologic oncology. Surgery faculty are active in all other programs at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.
  • The Pittsburgh Genetics Institute: Several faculty members hold co-appointments in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. We are leaders in ongoing programs in genetic screening endoocrinology, vascular disease, breast cancer, oncogeny research and gene therapy. Most clinical operative gene therapy protocols at the University of Pittsburgh are centered in the Department of Surgery.
  • The University of Pittsburgh Artificial Heart Institute, initiated by surgical faculty members, has become a designated surgical training center for bioengineering technologies and has become an incubator for spinoff companies.
  • The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center (​NMR): a joint program of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Several collaborative projects are centered there.
  • Bioengineering is a joint program of the School of Engineering, Surgery and Orthopaedics. Research studies are well supported, and the program has generated numerous life-enhancing inventions.
  • The Transplantation Institute, re-named in 1995 the Starzl Institute for Transplantation: has developed as a transplant division in the Department of Medicine, but continues to enjoy the co-support of the Department of Surgery.

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