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Advances in Health and Medicine

Pitt Fast-Tracks Research to Practice


One challenge for modern medicine is translating laboratory discoveries into medical cures. Pitt’s efforts in translational science fast-track research to practice.

One aim of translational science is to accelerate medical discovery and bring those discoveries to bear on improving people’s health. Pharmacology professor Bruce Freeman and his team launched a start-up pharmaceutical company based on their discovery of nitro-fatty acid derivatives that could treat diabetes and metabolic and inflammatory diseases.

Because not all patients have access to the same level of care, community outreach is important. Professor Jessica Griffin Burke’s work addresses how cultural factors affect the health of low-income women and children, specifically with regard to HIV/AIDS. Along with professor Michael Yonas, she is the co-assistant director of Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI)'s Community Engagement Core, which promotes outreach and engagement.

To integrate existing programs with innovative new clinical and translational sciences, Pitt established the CTSI in 2006 with an $83.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health. “We want the basic science researchers to think about the clinical side of the equation and clinical researchers to consider mechanisms of basic science,” says CTSI director Steven Reis, professor of medicine and associate vice chancellor for clinical research, health sciences.