Science Market Update

UPitt: $113 Million in NIH Research Funding Includes Nearly a Million for Xenograft Study

Posted by Rebecca Partridge on Tue, May 02, 2017

So far in 2017 the National Institute on Health has awarded the University of Pittsburgh over $113M in research project grants. This funding supports 296 separate projects. The top six grants were awarded to the university’s School of Medicine.

CathedralofLearningPitt2.jpgThese research grants include:

  •  $2.2M to Dr. Mary Ganguli to complete a long running study of seniors that's designed to inform strategies for prevention of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults.
  • $1.9 M to Professor Rama K. Mallampalli to study a new model for the pathogenesis of Acute Respiratory Distress using a mitochondrial-specific lipid, cardiolipin.
  • $.1.4 M to Professor John W. Mellors to support UPitt’s collaborative research network with Ohio State and Georgetown which focuses on critical areas of research in HIV therapy and prevention.
  • $1.15 M to Professor James T. Becker to study 400 men over 50 years old, approximately half of whom have HIV infection, to determine how HIV-and non-HIV-related conditions affect the health of their brains.
  • $1.1 M to JoAnne L. Flynn, Ph.D. to develop a more effective Tuberculosis vaccine.

Another groundbreaking study focuses on using the liver cells of pigs to treat patients with liver failure.

Dr. Ira J. Fox, Director of the Center for Innovative Regenerative Therapies at UPitt received $998,829 in university research funding from the NIH to continue his work on grafting liver cells from swine as a way of supporting liver regeneration. This procedure known as a hepatocyte xenograft could reduce the need for a liver transplants, thus sparing some patients from lifelong immunosuppressive therapy. It would also allow donated human livers, which are scarce, to be used for those truly in need of a liver transplant.

At present, the only treatment option for liver failure is a liver transplantation. However, according to the American Liver Foundation more than 1,500 people die every year while waiting for a donated liver to become available. There are currently about 17,000 adults and children on waiting lists. 

Dr. Fox believes up to 30% of those patients could recover liver function if they could be kept alive for a few more months. His research involves experimental therapies including liver assist devices, liver cell transplantation, and liver stem cells. Dr. Fox’s laboratory examines the biologic and immunologic barriers to successful transplantation of primary and xenogeneic hepatocytes in rodents and primates.

This particular study employs the first reproducible model of acute liver failure in non-human primates. It also uses new approaches to imaging grafted cells and assessing the subsequent immune responses.

The major goals of this pre-clinical study are to reveal:

1) the extent to which swine hepatocyte xenografts can support life and reverse the manifestations of liver failure

2) whether immune or non-immune barriers limit the impact of the grafts or cause the grafts to fail

3) the conditions in which failure can be reversed

Lab product suppliers meet face to face with Univeristy of Pittsburgh Researchers at Bioresearch Product Faire:


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Laboratory chemical suppliers and lab equipement companies interested in marketing their lab products to active researchers at this multi-million dollar institution are encouraged to participate in the 18th Annual BioResearch Product FaireTM Event. It will take place on Thursday, June 15, 2017. Last year, this vent attracted 340 attendees. Of these attendees, 78 were purchasing agents, professors and post docs, and 47 were lab managers. 

For more information on how to increase your lab product sales in 2017 by displaying at this event call (530) 272-6675 or click on the link below:

Click Here to Exhibit at the University of PittsburghPhoto_Jun_16_11_08_11_AM.jpg

Science professionals attend the event for free.  Click the button below for additional information or to pre-register.

Researchers Pittsburgh Event click here Photo_Jun_16_9_58_39_AM.jpg

Tags: University of Pittsburgh, Bioresearch funding, UPITT, NIH funded Research Projects, BioResearch Product Faire Event, Lab Product Sales, lab products, BioResearch Product Faire, Liver disease, NIH awards 2017, 2017 research funding, Xenograft study

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