Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Research

The Division’s major research foci include studies of comparative effectiveness and quality, women’s health, prevention, health care disparities, mental health services, cost-effectiveness, decision making, and substance abuse. The Division works in collaboration with RAND-University of Pittsburgh Health Institute (RUPHI) to implement various research endeavors through the following institutes, centers, and sections:

  • Institute of Clinical Research (ICRE) – The ICRE's primary objectives are to develop, nurture, and support a cadre of clinical and translational scientists by building on the University of Pittsburgh's existing clinical research training programs to establish a comprehensive program with activities ranging from early research exposure for high school students to programs for faculty.
  • Center for Research on Health Care (CRHC) – The CRHC provides a forum for talented multidisciplinary investigators from throughout the university community to collaborate in high-quality health services research and train future investigators in methods and practices critical to the conduct of rigorous and exemplary research.
  • Center for Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) – CHERP's mission is to advance the quality and equity of health and health care for vulnerable veteran populations.
  • Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing (CP3) – The mission of CP3 is to foster multidisciplinary collaboration to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of medication use. CP3’s focus is on informing the regulation and coverage of pharmaceuticals and improving patient and prescriber decision-making on prescription drugs.
  • Center for Women’s Health Research and Innovation (CWHRI) – CWHRI is an interdisciplinary group of health services researchers dedicated to improving women's health through innovative, high-quality, health services research. Their work encompasses all aspects of women's health, with particular attention to vulnerable populations, women in the military, racial disparities, and sex- and gender-based differences in health and disease.
  • Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health – This center’s researchers investigate associations between media messages, technological innovations, and health outcomes. They also develop, implement, and evaluate interventions related to media messages and technology—with the goal of improving health and well-being.
  • Section of Decision Sciences (SDS) – SDS was created to enhance the University of Pittsburgh's capabilities in the application of mathematical models to our understanding of disease and the health care system's response.

Research Education and Career Development

The Division has developed extensive research training infrastructure that supports education and career development for clinician scientists throughout the Schools of the Health Sciences. The research educational resources are available through the ICRE, directed by Dr. Kapoor, and are customized to meet the needs of students who are from diverse training backgrounds and conducting research in a variety of areas.

The certificate and degree programs include:

The major career development programs include:

  • Clinical Scientist Training Program (CSTP) – Medical students in the CSTP take an additional year for training to earn an MS or certificate and attend longitudinal seminars. The program provides medical students with a structured didactic and mentored experience in clinical and translational research.
  • Clinical Scientist Track (CST) and International Scholars Track (IST) for Residents – Residents in the CST devote time during their residency to obtain core training in clinical research and to conduct clinical research. Residents in the IST are accepted into the program at the time of the resident match.
  • Career Education and Enhancement for Health Care Research Diversity (CEED) Program – This program is designed to support medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty from underrepresented minority groups by providing them with the early mentoring and training needed for successful research careers. CEED participants are trained in leadership and management skills, grant writing, and other skills that will help them receive competitive career development awards.
  • Clinical Research Scholars Program (CRSP) – This flagship program, initially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap Initiative through the K12 mechanism, provides career development awards to faculty pursuing a research career. The CRSP prepares junior faculty from a broad range of disciplines, specialties, and subspecialties for independent careers in clinical research.
  • RAMP to K Program – This is a 1-year program, offered every other year, intended to help senior postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty write a competitive career development award.
  • Training Early Academic Mentors (TEAM) Program – This is a 1-year program designed to increase the knowledge, skills, and practice of mentoring among new mentors, most of whom are junior or early-mid career faculty members.
  • LEAD Program – This program provides a structured curriculum to help Internal Medicine residents develop the knowledge and skills necessary to design and implement academic projects. Over the three years of residency, residents pursue a project in one of five tracks: basic research, clinical research, medical education, quality improvement, and medical humanities. All General Internal Medicine residents participate in the program.

The Division has 38 research faculty members (23 MDs and 15 PhDs) who are devoting the majority of their efforts to research. The Division has 7 current career development awards including KL2, K24, K23, K12, and VA Career Development Awards. More than 50% of the Division’s research budget is from external funding. The Division is well funded, largely from the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the VA, the pharmaceutical industry, and private foundations.