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Research Resources and Partnerships

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Research at the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at the University of Pittsburgh is the
No. 1 recipient in awards from the National Institutes of Health, and also receives funding from:

  • National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
  • United States Department of Defense
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Private foundations

Through the development of new therapies, greater understanding of physical and cognitive impairments, and state-of-the-art rehabilitation technology, our researchers are finding new ways to improve lives.

PM&R research spans basic science to clinical trials, and includes investigations in:

  • Mechanisms of regeneration
  • Physiological and cognitive changes after brain and spinal cord injuries
  • Neuroprosthetics
  • Molecular characteristics of musculoskeletal strain and aging
  • Use of assistive devices and information technology to make daily living easier for people with disabilities

Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition

The Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition is a joint program between the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

It combines the strengths of the University of Pittsburgh in clinical and basic neuroscience with Carnegie Mellon’s strengths in computer science, statistics, biological sciences, and psychology.

Human Engineering Research Laboratories

The Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) is a partnership between the University of Pittsburgh and the VA Health Administration in Pittsburgh.

The laboratories conduct research, design, and develop and improve assistive technology devices aimed at increasing mobility and independence of people with disabilities.

Quality of Life Technology Center

The Quality of Life Technology Center is a partnership between Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

The center focuses on human-centered and holistic designs.

It brings together providers and researchers from a variety of fields, including:

  • Information technology
  • Health care
  • Aging 
  • Biomedicine and rehabilitation

Robotics Institute

There are several main areas of research at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Areas of research include:

  • Basic robotics technologies
  • Autonomous mobile robotics
  • Robotics for hazardous environment
  • Automation
  • Computer-integrated manufacturing

Safar Center for Resuscitation Research

The Safar Center for Resuscitation Research studies resuscitation medicine as it relates to reducing disabilities resulting from illness or trauma, such as brain injury or cardiac arrest.

Stem Cell Research Center

The Stem Cell Research Center is a collaborative project between the University of Pittsburgh and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Research at the center is helping to develop new effective treatments for damaged or diseased tissues.

Specific projects include:

  • Heart regeneration
  • Muscle injury repair and regeneration
  • Limb lengthening
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Arthritis
  • Joint injuries