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T32 - Billiar

NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein T32 Training Awards
Training in Trauma and Sepsis Research–Program Director: Timothy R. Billiar MD

National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32 institutional training grants support postdoctoral research training in specified areas of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research. These grants are also called National Research Service Awards (NRSA). The objective is to ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to assume leadership roles to advance the nation’s biomedical and clinical research agenda.

NIH T32 institutional training grants are awarded to an eligible institution, such as the University of Pittsburgh, to develop or enhance research training opportunities for individuals selected by the institution. The individual training programs are headed by a leader in the area of focus, and this individual is the named Program Director on the grant. Within the program, faculty members serve as mentors and lend their expertise and research opportunities to the trainees as part of the training plan.

The training program in the Division of General Surgery is in its 18th year and provides interdisciplinary laboratory training for up to five surgical residents or postdoctoral fellows with MD and/or PhD qualifications, and is funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Available projects include research studies relevant to the biology of trauma and sepsis and projects are usually for two or three years. Read more about current projects on our Research page.

Below is our list of faculty members with their research interests:

Name/Degree   Research Interests
 Timothy R. Billiar, M.D. Biological mechanisms involved in shock and sepsis and injury
Derek Angus, M.D., Ph.D. Critical Care Medicine and Sepsis
Ivet Bahar M.S., B.S. Structural biophysics, drug discovery, systems biology
Jie Fan, Ph.D. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of cell priming in sepsis and organ injury after hemorrhagic shock
Bruce A. Freeman, Ph.D. Nitric oxide and nitrated fatty acids
Andrea Gambotto, M.D. The development of adenoviral vector based vaccines for HIV-1 and influenza
David A. Geller, M.D. Transcriptional regulation of the human iNOS gene; molecular mechanisms of liver injury; liver transplant ischemia/reperfusion injury; gene therapy for the liver cancer; HCC signaling pathways; liver cancer therapy
George Gittes, M.D. Understanding the mechansims behind the differentiation of pancreatic precursor cells to engineer stem cells into cells that make insulin for the treatment of diabetes
Jennifer Grandis, M.D. Translational science
David J. Hackam, M.D., Ph.D. Cell biology of the intestinal epithelium; innate immunity toll like receptor signaling; necrotizing enterocoloitis
Patrick M. Kochanek, M.D. Studies in experimental and clinical traumatic brain injury and cardiac arrest; animal and human models of traumatic brain injury including its clinical epidemiology, treatment and prevention
Fadi Lakkis, M.D. The mechanisms of allograft rejection and tolerance
Michael T. Lotze, M.D. Autophagy and necrotic cell death; cellular immunotherapy using cytokines, NK cells and dendritic cells; biology of inflammation and cancer
A. Morelli, M.D., Ph.D. Investigating the function of professional Ag-presenting cells, in particular dendritic cells (DC) of the immune system, during transplant rejection and transplant tolerance/immune-suppression
Andrew Peitzman, M.D. The study of hemorrhagic shock and trauma and the response to injury
Bruce R. Pitt, M.D. Pulmonary vascular biology
 Juan C. Puyana, M.D. Shock and trauma
 Matthew Rosengart, M.D. Examining the role of innate immunity in the systemic response to injury and infection, particularly in calcium-dependent mechanisms.
J. Peter Rubin, M.D.
Biology of adipose derived stem cells
Melanie Scott, M.D., Ph.D. TLRs and TLR-signaling in hepatocytes an dliver; the cellular mechanisms of LPS uptake and clearance by the liver.  NLRs and caspase1 in trauma and hemorrhagic shock
Steven Shapiro, M.D. Role of inflammatory cell derived proteinases in the progression of COPD/emphysema and lung cancer
Jason L. Sperry, M.D., M.P.H.Prehospital Care Post Injury, Massive Transfusion, Gender Based Outcome Differences Post-Injury
Donna Stolz, Ph.D. Hepatic regeneration and liver kidney transplantation with regard to the vasculature and bone marrow cell involvement in the regenerative process.  Evaluation of the effects of aging on liver and kidney function in a mouse model of progeria.
Detcho Stoyanovsky, Ph.D. Redox biochemistry and medicinal chemistry
George Tseng, Ph.D. The methodogolgical development in statistical genomics and bioinformatics. 
Allan Tsung, M.D. The role of endogenous damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) molecules and pattern recognition receoptors in ischemia-induced inflammation of the liver during I/R injury, sepsis, and cancer
Edith Tzeng, M.D. Pathogenesis, carbon monoxide biology and treatment of  intimal hyperplasia and angiogenesis
Yoram Vodovotz, Ph.D. Computational and systems biology approaches to inflammation in multiple disease states (sepsis/trauma, wound healing, chronic inflammatory disease, and cancer), coupled to biochemical, cellular, animal, and clinical studies with the goal of rational inflammation reprogramming.
William WagnerCardiovasculatr tissue engineering and medical device biocompatibility and design
Simon Watkins, Ph.D. Optical imaging
Mark A. Wilson, M.D., Ph.D. Shock and sepsis
Mazen Zenati, M.D., Ph.D. Injury, trauma, hypovoloemic shock, trauma comorbidity, study design and analysis
Brian S. Zuckerbraun, M.D. Heme oxygenase/carbon monoxide in shock and inflammation; pulmonary hypertension

Trainees are expected to actively participate in research seminars, journal clubs, RCR training and laboratory meetings. Trainees are also encouraged to present their work at local and national meetings. Our training program provides trainees with the basic knowledge and required skills to enable them to function successfully as independent investigators. Financial support includes stipends, medical insurance, travel and other training-related expenses.

Eligibility: Individuals with a MD, MD/PhD or PhD must also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applicants should be prepared to make a commitment of two to three years of training dedicated to full time research.

We seek to reflect our community with regard to gender, culture and life experiences, age, disability, race, ethnicity, geography, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. Diversity strengthens our institution by increasing talent and ensuring a fuller perspective. For further information on Diversity programs at the University of Pittsburgh please visit:

To apply: Please send a cover letter and resume to Kathy DiGiacomo either via email at digiacomok@upmc.edu or by mail at :


Kathy DiGiacomo
University of Pittsburgh
Department of Surgery Labs
NW607 MUH
3459 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15213