(Original article from 2012 by Jaimee Saliba. Updated information added by Katey Rein.)
The University of Pittsburgh has strong ties with the Pittsburgh Veteran's Administration Medical Center located next door, and in the past few years those relations have been strengthened with the establishment of the UP School of Medicine Center for Military Medicine Research as well as a new research facility at the VA's University Drive campus.
The UP Center for Military Medicine Research, within the School of Health Sciences, carries out advanced research aimed at improving the lives and health of wounded soldiers. Participating Pitt School of Medicine faculty, many of them at the top of their fields, are grouped around these core areas while taking advantage of opportunities to brainstorm new approaches and solutions collectively:
- regenerative medicine
- reconstructive medicine
- transplantation immunology
- neuroscience (including traumatic brain injury and neuroprosthetics)
UPDATE: Some notable research accomplishments since the center opened include a $17 million grant from the Department of Defense to support traumatic brain injury research as well as its membership in the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM). Within this consortium of 30 academic institutions, led by UPMC, researchers at the CMRR are studying tissue engineering and other regenerative medicine techniques for battlefield injuries as one of 60 projects sharing $75 million.
Dr. Rocky S. Tuan (photo left), an orthopaedic specialist who studies the biology of adult stem cells, was designated the Center's first director. He, along with other founding members of the Center, is also a research faculty member (and a director) at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Another prominent Center principal is neurobiologist Peter L. Strick, who we referenced recently (in another blog) as one of three Pitt faculty elected to the National Academy of Sciences. School of Medicine vice chancellor Arthur S. Levine, M.D., said of the Center for Military Medicine Research's mission:
“It will identify a network of successful partnerships and collaborations between scientists, clinicians, industry and the U.S. departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to foster the most promising research technologies and therapeutic strategies.”
Approaching the challenge of advancing biomedical research for military casualties from across University Drive, the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) is already at work building a new research facility, simply called The Research Office Building. The 65,000 sf, $32M facility will include 15,000 sf of laboratory space plus a helipad on the roof and a skyway connecting it to the hospital next door. Ground was broken on the research building in September.
UPDATE: The VA Research Building No. 30 opened in March 2013 and was completed as a 3 story, 99,500 sqft building and ended up costing $27.5 million. This building is located on the University Drive campus.
As an indicator of how significant a player VAPHS is in the military health research arena, consider that in fiscal year 2010 they received $29.4M in funding for 149 investigators to work on 350 projects. VA Pittsburgh is also home to 4 national research centers of excellence. Two other major construction projects underway at the VAPHS University Drive Campus and more at the nearby H.J. Heinz Campus are set to modernize and expand the Healthcare System's facilities so that the Highland Drive Campus (built in the 1950's) can close.
UPDATE: The University's Highland Drive Campus is now closed and the VA Pittsburgh Health System is split between the University Drive and H.J. Heinz Campuses. New projects since completed on these campuses include on the University Drive campus a new patient care building and on the H.J. Heinz campus an Ambulatory Care Center.
[The VA University Drive campus, next to UP/UPMC, courtesy of Google Maps]
Here are a few recently published blogs you may find of interest:
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. will be in Pittsburgh next on June 16, 2016 for our 17th Annual Pittsburgh BioResearch Product Faire at the University of Pittsburgh. We welcome attendee researchers from the VA Campus across the street in addition to UPMC and other UPitt bioscience investigators and lab personnel. For information on exhibiting and funding click the button below, or pick up the phone and call one of our sales associates today:
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full-service event marketing and planning company producing on-campus life science research tradeshows nationwide for over 20 years. We plan and promote each event to bring the best products and services to the best research campuses across the country. Life science researchers, purchasing agents, and lab managers are actively invited to attend to see the latest products and equipment and discuss their laboratory tool and service needs.