Fast Facts

Significant federal BRAIN Initiative support, including:

  • 2015, $3.3M DARPA Multi-Center Award for Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces
  • 2015, $6.4M NSF Multi-Center Award for Artificial Chemical Detection Systems

Pitt rankings in federal funding

  • #1 in support from the National Institute of Mental Health. Pitt psychiatry is rated top in the nation, and includes the 2014, $10M NIMH Conte Center for Translational Mental Health Research, focused on schizophrenia
  • #5 in overall NIH funding
  • #9 in overall federal funding  

World-class expertise in neural engineering/neural prosthetics 

  • Advanced neural probes to create longer-lasting brain-computer interfaces
  • Demonstration of the world’s most advanced brain-controlled arm and hand prosthesis
    • Featured on 60 Minutes
    • Recipient of large scale DOD/DARPA funding
    • Trials have given 2 quadriplegic patients intuitive, natural control of a robotic arm

Leadership in computational/theoretical neuroscience

  • Signature international award for computational neuroscience, the Mathematical Neuroscience Prize, awarded in 2015 to mathematician Bard Ermentrout
  • Top-ranked PhD training in computational neuroscience (joint with Carnegie Mellon University)
  • New computational model provides deep predictions linking brain circuits to brain activity

National Center for Neuroanatomy with Neurotropic Viruses

  • 12 years of continuous federal funding to operate this international resource
  • Led by National Academy of Sciences member Peter L. Strick

Large and diverse community in human brain-imaging and mapping

  • Developed Pittsburgh Compound B to diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Multimodal noninvasive imaging (MRI, PET, MEG) for diagnosis and cognitive neuroscience 
  • Pioneer of advanced imaging techniques to evaluate traumatic brain injury (Most cited in TBI)
  • Strength in deep brain recording and stimulation

Leading center for neuroscience in non-human primates

  • New tools to understand circuits involved in Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy

Brain Bank and pathology

  • More than 1,000 highly characterized brains and extensive international collaborations
  • Central in identifying the role of repetitive brain injury in dementia

History of translating science into effective treatments for brain and neurological disorders

  • Developed and introduced the Salk polio vaccine
  • First to introduce Gamma Knife in the U.S. to treat intractable brain tumors
  • Pioneering vaccines to prevent Zika brain infections
  • Recent recruitment of José-Alain Sahel, developer of artificial retina technology