Research and Clinical Trials at the Department of Surgery

UPMC is home to groundbreaking research activities conducted by faculty of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

University of Pittsburgh scientists contributed to more than 18,000 medical research papers in the last 10 years, ranking UPMC among the top medical research institutions in the country. These investigators stand at the leading edge of research, developing the procedures, drugs, and devices of tomorrow’s medicine.

Almost every member of the Department of Surgery engages in clinical or laboratory research.

The department strongly encourages resident participation in independent, ongoing research projects. This provides special experience and training for those interested in academic surgery.

Our Research Facilities and Multidisciplinary Centers

The various divisions of the Department of Surgery collaborate on research in core and shared facilities at:

  • The Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower
  • UPMC Montefiore, Scaife Hall
  • The Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center

Multidisciplinary centers include:

  • Billiar Lab
    Researchers in the lab of Timothy Billiar, MD, chairman, Department of Surgery, investigate the regulation and function of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), hemorrhagic shock, sepsis, apoptosis, and cell signaling.
  • Clinical Research Office for Surgery and Trauma (CROST)
    The CROST center, within the Department of Surgery, carries out all aspects of clinical research studies, including multicenter trials. It also serves as an interface between clinical investigators and sponsors of clinical trials and related research. Research and clinical trials at the center focus on a wide range of diseases in the field of surgery and trauma.
  • The Department of Bioengineering (School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh)  
    The Department of Bioengineering is a joint program of the School of Engineering, Department of Surgery, and Department of Orthopaedics. Research studies are well supported, and the program has generated numerous life-enhancing inventions.
  • Multidisciplinary Acute Care Clinical Research Organization (MACRO)
    The Departments of Surgery, Critical Care Medicine, and Emergency Medicine jointly run MACRO as an internal clinical research organization focusing on acute care research.
  • The Pittsburgh Genetics Institute
    Researchers at the institute are leaders in ongoing programs in genetic screening endocrinology, 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 Pittsburgh Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Center for Biomedical Research
    A joint program of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, the NMR Center hosts several collaborative research projects.
  • Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute
    A transplant division in the Department of Medicine, the institute enjoys the co-support of the Department of Surgery.
  • The University of Pittsburgh Artificial Heart Institute
    Initiated by surgical faculty members, the institute has become a designated surgical training center for bioengineering technologies and an incubator for spin-off companies.
  • The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)
    Faculty in the section of Surgical Oncology are active in all of the research programs at UPCI. Members of the department co-lead UPCI programs focusing on gastrointestinal oncology, urologic oncology, and biological oncology.

Ongoing Research

Each division within the Department of Surgery participates in research and clinical trials to advance patient care. Read more about ongoing activities within each division:

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