Navigate Up

UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
For Journalists
Senior Director
Telephone: 412-586-9777

Want to Make an Appointment or Need Patient Information?

Contact UPMC at
1-800-533-UPMC (8762).

Go to Find a Doctor to search for a UPMC doctor.​

University of Pittsburgh, UPMC Announce First Awards Made from Research Fund

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 5, 2012 – Three investigators leading projects in cancer and one in HIV/AIDS are the first to receive awards from a fund established by the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC and Johnson & Johnson Corporate Office of Science and Technology (COSAT) to support promising translational research.
The projects all arose from research and intellectual property developed at Pitt; involve new therapeutics such as small molecules, biologics or vaccines, or new platform technologies that can form the foundation for supporting the ongoing development of such therapeutics; and have high scientific merit and potential for great impact.
Awards have been granted to:
  • Edward Prochownik, M.D., Paul C. Gaffney Professor of Pediatrics and professor of microbiology and molecular genetics for therapeutic targeting of the c-Myc oncoprotein to find new cancer drugs
  • Thomas E. Smithgall, Ph.D., professor and chair of microbiology and molecular genetics, to evaluate HIV‐1 Nef antagonists in a mouse model of AIDS
  • Flordeliza S. Villanueva, M.D., professor of medicine; director, Non‐Invasive Cardiac Imaging; and director, Center for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics, to develop targeted molecular therapeutics for head and neck cancer using microbubble vectors and ultrasound
  • Zhou Wang, Ph.D., professor and director of urological research, Department of Urology, to develop small molecules targeting androgen receptor nuclear localization and function in castration‐resistant prostate cancer
The University of Pittsburgh scientific community responded to this funding opportunity by submitting nearly 60 letters of intent. A project selection committee composed of members of the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC and Johnson & Johnson COSAT invited 11 of the 60 applicants to submit full applications.
A pharmaceutical collaboration committee led by D. Lansing Taylor, Ph.D., director of the University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute and Allegheny Foundation Professor of Computational and Systems Biology, and composed of faculty from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, as well as staff from the university’s Office of Technology Management and UPMC, has been established to guide Pitt and UPMC’s efforts to work more closely with large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

About the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

As one of the nation’s leading academic centers for biomedical research, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine integrates advanced technology with basic science across a broad range of disciplines in a continuous quest to harness the power of new knowledge and improve the human condition. Driven mainly by the School of Medicine and its affiliates, Pitt has ranked among the top 10 recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1997.
Likewise, the School of Medicine is equally committed to advancing the quality and strength of its medical and graduate education programs, for which it is recognized as an innovative leader, and to training highly skilled, compassionate clinicians and creative scientists well-equipped to engage in world-class research. The School of Medicine is the academic partner of UPMC, which has collaborated with the University to raise the standard of medical excellence in Pittsburgh and to position health care as a driving force behind the region’s economy. For more information about the School of Medicine, see

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |