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UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Yuan Chang, M.D.

Roberta Ness, M.D., M.P.H.

Joel S. Schuman, M.D.Joel S. Schuman, M.D.


University Of Pittsburgh Researchers Named Young Turks

PITTSBURGH, March 18, 2004 Six faculty members of the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences have been named to the prestigious American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), also known as the Young Turks.

Established in 1908, the organization is an honor society for physician-scientists, who must be age 45 or younger at the time of their election. Membership, by election only, is conferred on scientific investigators who have been judged to have exceptional records of scholarly achievement in biomedical research.

These researchers join 30 additional Pitt faculty members who have been elected to ASCI. The organization considers the nominations of several hundred physician-scientists from the United States and abroad each year, and elects no more than 80 new members in any one year. In the current election, 64 new members were chosen. That 10 percent of the total are from one institution appears to be unprecedented, according to Dr. Levine.

The American Society for Clinical Investigation is this country's leading body of accomplished and pioneering medical thinkers. Membership is earned and awarded by peers who are members, said Arthur S. Levine, M.D., senior vice chancellor, health sciences, and dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. It is truly a tribute to the talent, expertise and career achievements of these physicians that they have been selected to join this influential group.

University of Pittsburgh faculty who have been elected this year include:

  • Yuan Chang, M.D., professor, department of pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Chang focuses her research on the biology and epidemiology of Kaposis sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV). KSHV was discovered in her lab and is the most recently identified human tumor virus. Dr. Chang and her colleagues have used this virus as a model to gain insight into the processes involved in human cancers. Last year, together with her husband, Dr. Patrick Moore, Dr. Chang won the General Motors Research Foundations Mott Prize for landmark cancer research.
  • Raphael Hirsch, M.D., professor, department of pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and division chief, rheumatology, Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Hirschs research interests include gene therapy for arthritis, and studies of gene expression in arthritis and immune system dysfunction in autoimmune disorders.
  • Jay K. Kolls, M.D., professor, department of pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and division chief, pulmonary diseases, Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Kolls research interests include gene therapy for lung diseases including cancer, pulmonary fibrosis and cystic fibrosis. Dr. Kolls laboratory additionally conducts studies on improving our understanding of how the respiratory tract combats infection.
  • Roberta Ness, M.D., M.P.H, professor and chair, department of epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health; professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and director, Cancer Epidemiology Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Dr. Ness research has focused on women's health. Her studies have included work on sexually transmitted diseases, ovarian cancer and unfavorable reproductive outcomes.
  • Joel S. Schuman, M.D., Eye and Ear Foundation professor and chairman, department of ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Schuman and his colleagues invented a technology called optical coherence tomography, a non-invasive, high-resolution imaging device now in clinical use worldwide for the diagnosis and management of eye disease. Dr. Schuman and his colleagues also were the first to identify a molecular marker for human glaucoma, a discovery that may lead to significant advances in the treatment and diagnosis of the disorder, which is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide.
  • Flordeliza S. Villanueva, M.D., associate professor, division of cardiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Villanuevas research interests include the assessment of microcirculation in the heart and the development of targeted ultrasound contrast agents to evaluate blood vessel function using echocardiography.

The ASCI publishes the biomedical research Journal of Clinical Investigation, and is a member of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, an umbrella organization of biomedical research societies.

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