Participating Centers

Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC)

The CNBC is a joint venture of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Our center leverages the strengths of the University of Pittsburgh in basic and clinical neuroscience and those of Carnegie Mellon in cognitive and computational neuroscience to support a coordinated cross-university research and educational program of international stature. In addition to our Ph.D. program in Neural Computation, we sponsor a graduate certificate program in cooperation with a wide variety of affiliated Ph.D. programs. 

Within the CNBC, our over 200 excellent faculty and trainees are investigating the cognitive and neural mechanisms that give rise to biological intelligence and behavior. Research topics include affective, cognitive, linguistic, perceptual, motor, and social systems in both normal and disordered populations, as well as computational neuroscience. The CNBC also promotes the translation of findings from basic research into applications for medicine, education, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

Center for Translational Mental Health Research (CTMHR)

Under the direction of David A. Lewis, MD, the Silvio O. Conte Center for Translational Mental Health Research (CTMHR) at the University of Pittsburgh focuses on the mechanisms that link the pathology, pathophysiology and clinical features of schizophrenia. The investigations of the Center reflect the synergistic scientific interactions among Center investigators from the Pitt Schools of Medicine and Arts and Sciences, and Carnegie Mellon University, and the resulting development and implementation of innovative experimental designs and research tools to achieve these goals. Collectively, the Center represents a broad array of expertise spanning molecular, systems, cognitive, computational, and clinical neuroscience.

In addition to its specific research objectives, the Center provides a rich environment for training and career development in which undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, as well as postdoctoral fellows and psychiatry residents can become involved in studies that brings the methods and knowledge base of basic neuroscience to address critical questions in clinical research.

Center for Interventional Psychiatry (CIP)

The CIP is part of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC. The team of professionals provides specialized services to more than 220 patients each year. It is the largest provider of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) services in the tri-state area, and one of only two providers of TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) in the Pittsburgh region.

The Center for Interventional Psychiatry builds upon the foundation of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic's 60-year history as one of the largest behavioral health care providers affiliated with an academic medical center in the country. This academic affiliation provides our faculty with access to not only the latest innovations in patient care, but also the opportunity to participate in research trials. Our physicians are board certified, and respected leaders in their field. 

Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh (CNUP)

The University of Pittsburgh established CNUP in 1984 to encourage the development of a neuroscience community and to enhance communication and collaboration among investigators in this multidisciplinary area. Over the years, our goals have grown and evolved. CNUP is currently dedicated to:

  • Encourage and coordinate research and academic programs in neuroscience
  • Develop and coordinate academic training programs in neuroscience at the undergraduate, doctoral, and post-doctoral levels
  • Foster collaborative research between and among basic and clinical neuroscientists

Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC)

The ADRC was established to provide investigators with research support in the area of Alzheimer’s disease. The ADRC is one of the nation's leading research centers specializing in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. Through outpatient evaluations, participants and their families receive state-of-the-art diagnostic assessments and contribute to the scientific study of Alzheimer's disease. The ADRC Neuroimaging Core supports structural and functional (f) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in research patients and provides the infrastructure for developing state-of-the-art MRI/fMRI and metabolic and pharmacologic positron emission tomography (PET) studies of aging and dementia. The ADRC Neuroimaging Core focuses on three main areas:

  1. Acquisition and interpretation of standard structural MRI data as an integral part of clinical assessment. The Core’s catalogue of neuroimaging studies of ADRC participants is regularly updated and made available to all ADRC investigators.
  2. Development of MRI protocols to include:
    1. fMRI paradigms for routine use and added functional imaging
    2. brain perfusion studies based on the ASL techniques
  3. Providing expert methodologic and statistical consultation in the analysis of structural and functional neuroimaging data for both MRI and PET imaging modalities, in order to foster communication and collaboration among investigators and maximize the utility of image data.

Brain Institute

The Brain Institute's mission is to unlock the mysteries of normal and abnormal brain function and then translate discoveries into new approaches for overcoming brain disorders. The Brain Institute provides a unifying structure and collaborative framework for the many diverse research units that make up the neuroscience community at the University of Pittsburgh. With more than 150 neuroscientists, spread across every school of the University, the Brain Institute identifies technical research resources that are essential to the entire neuroscience community. Then, the Institute leads efforts with affiliated units to develop the financial resources to fill these critical needs. Where appropriate, the Institute is responsible for the administrative oversight and management of critical research resources. These technical resources include:

  • Multi-Modal Neuro-Imaging Cores: PET, MRI, MEG, NIRS, confocal, two-photon (human, non-human primate, and rodent)
  • Developmental Neuroscience Core
  • Neuroengineering Cores: Biomechanics, Bioelectronics, and Biophysics Support
  • Human and Non-Human Primate Brain Banks
  • Western Pennsylvania Patient Registry
  • Computational/Biostatistics Core

Coulter Translational Research Partnership II (Coulter-TPII) 

The Coulter-TPII program was established in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Bioengineering in 2011 with a 6-year grant (PI: Dr. Sanjeev Shroff) from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, one of only 6 universities nationwide to receive this prestigious award (second round). The goal of the Coulter-TPII program is to accelerate the translation of new biomedical technologies to address challenging unmet clinical needs and improve healthcare. This program has established a new model to assure that Pitt’s great biomedical research ideas become great solutions to real-world problems. In its short history, the Pitt Coulter-TPII program has attracted over 215 applications covering medical devices, drug delivery systems, and diagnostics, leading to 30 funded projects. From these projects, 1 license option has been executed, 2 licenses are currently under negotiation, and 8 licenses have been granted - leading to 8 new companies that have been formed. The Coulter-TPII program provides bioengineering graduate students opportunities for hands-on experiences in the area of biomedical translational research, innovation, and commercialization. 

Center for Medical Innovation (CMI)

The CMI, a program within SSoE and Bioengineering, provides an organizational structure and process to link engineering faculty, clinicians, and students to foster the creation of innovative biomedical technologies and provide early-stage project funding for work such as initial prototyping, simulation, and pilot testing data. To date, CMI has funded 59 projects, of which 6 have gone on to receive the Coulter-TPII and SBIR support. There is a formal educational component as well – a Master of Science in Bioengineering degree (Medical Product Engineering focus) and a Graduate Certificate in Medical Product Innovation (MPI), along with individual courses in medical product design, development and commercialization offered in cooperation with the Schools of Health Sciences, Graduate School of Business, and the School of Law. To date, CMI has had 110 students enrolled in its program.