Pitt Research Programs and Scientists Celebrate Top Honors and Rankings
You've heard the phrase "a force of nature," but we'd have to say that the University of Pittsburgh is clearly a force of science based on several recent news items: the University ranks in the Top 3 among public institutions of higher learning in the US (according to the NSF); they're in the Top 5 in federally financed research and development expenditures; and they've just had 3 of their faculty scientists elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. Chancellor Mark Nordenberg says of the first honor:
“The rankings emphasize yet again the enormous return on investment the Commonwealth [of Pennsylvania] receives through its support of this public institution while offering additional dramatic proof of the elite universities, both public and private, with which Pitt now keeps company.”
Some of those top universities with which Pitt now keeps company include: the University of Washington-Seattle and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, among public schools; Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania in the private education sector.
The annual rankings, released by the NSF in April, cover fiscal year 2010. Pitt’s federally derived R&D expenditures for that period totaled $594.7M; its total FY 2010 R&D expenditures came to $822.5M. In the prior year’s NSF rankings, covering FY 2009, Pitt was 8th among public institutions and 13th among all universities, public and private, in its federally financed R&D expenditures, which totaled $463.2M. The recent figure represents an increase of 28.4%.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was established in 1863 (by Abraham Lincoln) to provide scientific advice to the government. Membership is by nomination only, and only current members can put forth names for new members and vote to elect them. Being elected to the NAS is a huge honor and usually represents a lifetime achievement in scientific research excellence. Current NAS membership totals only some 2,200 US scientists, plus 400 foreign associates. 200 NAS members have received Nobel prizes.
To have one faculty scientist from a major research institution elected to the Academy of Sciences in a given year is a source of pride; to have three elected from a public institution in one year is nothing less than a triumph. The University of Pittsburgh is more than pleased to announce these latest Pitt researchers newly-elected to the NAS as members:
Dr. Yuan Chang, right, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pathology
Dr. Patrick S. Moore, left, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Dr. Peter Strick, below center, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Neurobiology
Drs. Chang and Moore collaborate on research into cancer-causing viruses (they've discovered 2 of the 7 known to exist) in the Chang-Moore Tumor Virology Lab within Pitt's Cancer Virology Program. They are both American Cancer Society professors. Dr. Strick's research focus is on understanding the neural circuitry that controls voluntary movement. He works in the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Pitt/UPMC.
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