Congratulations to Dr. Robin Lee and his lab on their recent publication in Nature Communications. 

Chemical perturbation of specific protein-protein interactions (PPI) is notoriously difficult, yet necessary when complete inhibition of a signaling pathway is detrimental to the cell. Here, the authors use a systems approach and identify two first in class small molecules that specifically inhibit TNF-induced NF-κB activation.


ISB Student, Aidan Huene, won 1st place among senior (4+ year) graduate students for the poster competition at the Immunology Departmental Retreat in September 2018. Aidan will have the opportunity to give a talk at the Immunology retreat next year. Congratulations to Aidan!

Third Allodeterminant Found in Hydractinia Allorecognition Complex. Huene, A.L.1, Nguyen, A. D.2, Ma, Z.1, Chen, R.1, Hughes, J. M.1, Riscoe, B. 1, Shigiltchoff, N. 1, Sanders, S. M.1, Koren, S.2, Mullikin, J. C.3, Baxevanis, A. D.2, Schnitzler, C. E.4, and Nicotra, M.L.1. 1University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA , 2Genome Technology Branch, National Human Genome Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA. 3NIH Intramural Sequencing Center, NIH, Rockville, MD, USA, 4Universy of Florida Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, St. Augustine, FL, USA.




The Thomas and Gronenborn labs recently reported the mechanism by which insulin switches liver cell metabolism from fat burning to fat storage. Using a holistic approach—from the atom to the whole organism—they showed how insulin triggers PACS-2 to inhibit SIRT1 and provided new insight into how anti-obesity, sirtuin-activating compounds (STACs) may work. Congratulations to Dr. Gary Thomas and Angela Gronenborn.

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Congratulations to Alex Swain for successfully defending his Masters Thesis, "Investigation of Enhancing Visual Spatial Acuity in Developmentally Compromised Circuits." 

Congratulations to Dr. Adrian Lee who was the recipient of the Biomedical Graduate Student Association Distinguished Mentor Award at the 2018 BGSA Symposium. 

The ISB program is pleased to announce that we will no longer require GREs to be submitted as part of your application packet.  All ISB applicants will be judged on their GPA (especially courses within their major), research experience, and letters of recommendation. 

Congratulations to Dr. Anne Ruxandra Carvunis who has been selected as one of the 2018 recipients of the Searle Scholars Program Award. This award is made annually to only 15 exceptional young faculty in the country in biomedical science and chemistry considered most promising. The award recognizes faculty who have made important and innovative research contributions. 

At the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Gary Thomas has engaged ISB students directly with world leaders in medicine and patient care. Clinical scientists introduce ISB students to biological systems—from the bedside to the bench (B2B)—and identify pressing needs awaiting solution by our next generation of researchers. This experience equips our PhD students with unique insight into biomedical research and how they can best contribute to understanding and curing human disease.  

See Pitt article on B2B!


The Institute for Precision Medicine uses systems biology research to understand the biology of disease and enable personalized healthcare.

Drs. Patrick Moore and Yuan Chang are recipients of the prestigious 2017 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize.  The award from the Paul Ehrlich Foundation is bestowed annually in the Immunology, Cancer Research, Hematology, Microbiology, and Chemotherapy medical fields.  It is one of the most distinguished awards in medicine in Germany.  Dr. Moore is the Director of the Cancer Virology Program, an American Cancer Society Research Professor, and Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Medical Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh.  Dr. Chang is an American Cancer Society Research Professor and Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh.  Congratulations to Drs. Moore and Chang for winning this prestigious award!

"Understanding how genes co-evolve in animals could reveal links between human diseases"

Dr. Nathan Clark and his lab are looking at connections between what we think of as different diseases and how these connections can help lead to innovations in treatment of those diseases.  See the complete article in Pitt Med

Congratulations to Dr. Cecilia Lo and Dr. Michael Tsang on their recently funded NIH administrative supplement, "Assaying Heterotaxy Patient Genes in a Cilia Motility and Left-Right Patterning". This project will examine whether expression of the RCV can rescue the HTX phenotype elicited by MO gene knockdown in the zebrafish embryo. Also, it will establish genotype-phenotype correlation in ciliary motion defects and develop software for quantitative classification of ciliary motion defects using a computational approach with computer vision and machine learning algorithms for visual pattern recognition. Using this software, we will determine whether different RCVs are associated with different ciliary motion defects. This will provide insights into structure-function relationships in the regulation of cilia motility.

Congratulations to Dr. Carlton Bates and Co-Investigator Dr. Dennis Kostka on their recently funded National Institutes of Health proposal, "Critical Roles for Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors in Bladder Development". The broad long-term objective of this project is to elucidate the molecular control of bladder development to develop effective therapies for structural bladder disease.