UPMC Physician Resources

Pitt to Lead $14M National Trial Comparing Approaches to Treat Back Pain, Avoid Surgery

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 25, 2015 – The University of Pittsburgh will lead a $14 million clinical trial to determine how well an intervention that helps people better understand their back pain early on works toward promoting recovery and keeping the pain from becoming chronic down the road. UPMC will be the first in the trial to offer the intervention, followed by four other academic medical centers nationwide.

The five-year award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is the 13th and largest to come in to Pitt and UPMC through the Comparative Effectiveness Research Center housed in the university’s Health Policy Institute. This Center bridges Pitt’s Schools of the Health Sciences and UPMC, providing a multidisciplinary platform and research infrastructure for patient-centered comparative effectiveness research across all of the health sciences.

The Pitt-led study will examine the transition from acute lower back pain to chronic lower back pain, and compare two approaches that can be delivered in a primary care office. The first approach allows physicians to do what they think is best, which is termed “usual care.” The second approach teams up physicians with physical therapists to deliver cognitive behavioral therapy, a specialized therapy designed to help patients put their lower back pain in perspective, allowing them to identify and overcome barriers to recovery.

“Certain patients are more inclined to worry that when their back hurts they are further harming it, causing them to become inactive,” said lead investigator Anthony Delitto, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Physical Therapy in Pitt’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. “That can seriously impede recovery, cause further damage and lead to chronic back pain. Once the problem becomes chronic, the effects are magnified, even causing some people to lose their jobs and have prolonged difficulty with most daily activities. Chronic lower back pain is clearly something we would like to avoid.”

Lower back pain accounts for about $86 billion in health care expenditures every year, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. A major focus of the Affordable Care Act is mandating studies to examine pain as a public health problem and look for solutions.

“Our Comparative Effectiveness Research Center was created to provide the infrastructure to support these larger, pragmatic studies,” said Sally C. Morton, Ph.D., director of Pitt’s Comparative Effectiveness Research Center and chair of the Department of Biostatistics at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. “We built the necessary methodological expertise and data environment to allow researchers to answer the questions facing our health system that are important to patients. Ultimately, these taxpayer investments through PCORI will improve outcomes and inform national policy and practice. ”

Dr. Delitto’s study, called TARGET, will recruit 60 primary-care clinics affiliated with UPMC, Intermountain Healthcare, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, Boston Medical Center and The Medical University of South Carolina. At each site, 12 primary-care clinics will be randomly assigned to one of two study arms: the usual care their physician would prescribe for lower back pain or primary care coupled with physical and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Across the five regional sites, the team expects to recruit 2,640 patients with acute lower back pain, which is defined as pain they feel less than half the time and have had for less than 6 months. These patients will be evaluated with a standardized test that characterizes their response to pain and their predisposition to psychosocial characteristics that cause them to avoid pain out of fear.

The study will compare a patient-centered outcome that asks how well the patients perform activities that typically bother people with lower back pain, such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, traveling and sleeping. Finally, the research team will measure the number of X-rays, MRIs, surgery and other lower back-related medical procedures for all patients enrolled in the study.

“This is the heart of patient-centered comparative effectiveness research,” said Everette James, J.D., M.B.A., director of Pitt’s Health Policy Institute. “Our mission is to use real-life research to find the right treatment for each patient at the right time.”

The PCORI award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

Stem Cells from Wisdom Teeth Can Be Transformed into Corneal Cells

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 23, 2015 – Stem cells from the dental pulp of wisdom teeth can be coaxed to turn into cells of the eye’s cornea and could one day be used to repair corneal scarring due to infection or injury, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The findings, published online today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, indicate they also could become a new source of corneal transplant tissue made from the patient’s own cells.

Corneal blindness, which affects millions of people worldwide, is typically treated with transplants of donor corneas, said senior investigator James Funderburgh, Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology at Pitt and associate director of the Louis J. Fox Center for Vision Restoration of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, a joint program of UPMC Eye Center and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

“Shortages of donor corneas and rejection of donor tissue do occur, which can result in permanent vision loss,” Dr. Funderburgh said. “Our work is promising because using the patient’s own cells for treatment could help us avoid these problems.”

Experiments conducted by lead author Fatima Syed-Picard, Ph.D., also of Pitt’s Department of Ophthalmology, and the team showed that stem cells of the dental pulp, obtained from routine human third molar, or wisdom tooth, extractions performed at Pitt’s School of Dental Medicine, could be turned into corneal stromal cells called keratocytes, which have the same embryonic origin.

The team injected the engineered keratocytes into the corneas of healthy mice, where they integrated without signs of rejection. They also used the cells to develop constructs of corneal stroma akin to natural tissue.

“Other research has shown that dental pulp stem cells can be used to make neural, bone and other cells,” Dr. Syed-Picard noted. “They have great potential for use in regenerative therapies.”

In future work, the researchers will assess whether the technique can correct corneal scarring in an animal model.

Co-authors include Yiqin Du, M.D., Ph.D., Kira L. Lathrop, M.A.M.S., Mary M. Mann, M.S., and Martha L. Funderburgh, M.S.P.H., all of the University of Pittsburgh. The project was funded National Institutes of Health grants EY016415, EY009368 and EY008098; Research to Prevent Blindness; and the Eye and Ear Foundation of Pittsburgh.

Pitt Study Finds Popular YouTube Videos Drown Viewers with Positive Portrayals of Drunkenness

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 20, 2015 – The 70 most popular videos depicting drunkenness on YouTube account for more than 330 million views, with little portrayal of the negative outcomes of excessive alcohol consumption, according to an analysis led by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health (CRMTH).

The popularity of such videos on YouTube could be an opportunity for public health interventions aimed at educating teenagers and young adults of the negative consequences of intoxication, the researchers suggest in an article published in today’s issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

“There has been little research examining Internet-based, alcohol-related messaging,” said lead author Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., director of CRMTH and assistant vice chancellor for health and society in Pitt’s Schools of the Health Sciences. “While we know that some viewers may be savvy enough to skeptically view music videos or advertisements portraying intoxication as fun, those same viewers may be less cynical when viewing user-generated YouTube videos portraying humorous and socially rewarding escapades of a group of intoxicated peers.”

Dr. Primack’s team mined YouTube for five terms synonymous with alcohol intoxication – drunk, buzzed, hammered, tipsy and trashed – winnowing their findings down to the most relevant.

There were a total of 333,246,875 views for all 70 videos combined.

  • Humor was juxtaposed with alcohol use in 79 percent of the videos.
  • Motor vehicle use was present in 24 percent.
  • Although 86 percent of the videos showed active intoxication, only 7 percent contained references to alcohol dependence.
  • An average of 23.2 “likes” were registered for every “dislike.”
  • While 89 percent of the videos involved males, only 49 percent involved females.
  • A specific brand of alcohol was referenced in 44 percent of the videos.

“This is the first comprehensive attempt to analyze YouTube data on intoxication, and these statistics should be valuable in guiding interventions,” said Dr. Primack, also a practicing physician. “For example, we know that men tend to report more frequent binge drinking than women and that alcohol use is perceived as more socially acceptable for men. Because they are portrayed more frequently in YouTube videos, it may be useful to target men with future interventions debunking alcohol-related myths propagated on social media.”

Dr. Primack found it concerning that nearly half the videos contained specific brand references. While this could indicate industry influence, the researchers did not note any clear indication of intentional advertising. Past research has linked exposure to brand references in popular media to encouraging alcohol consumption.

Additional authors on this research are Jason B. Colditz, M.Ed., and Kevin C. Pang, both of Pitt; and Kristina M. Jackson, Ph.D., of Brown University.

This research was funded by ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research.

UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre Receives Joint Commission International Accreditation for 3rd Time; Meets Highest Standards of Safety and Quality

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 19, 2015 – For the third time since 2008, the UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre, operated by UPMC in Waterford, Ireland, has successfully achieved accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI). This recognition is based on an extensive review of the center’s patient safety and quality standards and processes.

The JCI is the recognized leader in international health care accreditation and is considered the gold standard in global health care. Its accreditation process focuses on determining whether a health care facility has the right systems and processes in place to support high-quality and safe patient care, and has the culture and capacity to continuously improve care. JCI’s surveyors examine crucial issues such as patient and family education, access to care and medication management. The process requires hospitals to demonstrate a track record of standards compliance and relies on candid interviews with patients, nurses and physicians about care practices.

“The success of this, our third, accreditation survey reflects the ongoing efforts of the whole Cancer Centre team and their dedication to continuing to provide a quality service to all cancer patients in the southeast region,” said Catriona McDonald, director of operations and radiotherapy services manager.

“Demonstrating compliance with JCI standards serves as validation of an organization’s commitment to an internationally recognized, time-tested and comprehensive level of quality,” explained Cheryl Brill, UPMC’s vice president of international clinical operations and quality. “This outstanding result is a testament to the UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre staff and to their commitment to excellence in the treatment of patients.”

UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre offers the most advanced radiation therapy, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy and image-guided radiation therapy, to residents of the southeast region of Ireland. One of only four ambulatory care centers to be JCI-accredited in Ireland, the center is committed to delivering the highest standard of radiation therapy and supportive care for patients with all types of cancer.

Established to respond to a growing demand around the world for standards-based evaluation of quality in health care, JCI today accredits or certifies more than 700 health care organizations and clinical care programs in over 100 countries. JCI is the international arm of the Joint Commission, which has worked for more than 50 years to improve the quality and safety of health care services. As the largest accreditor of health care organizations in the United States, the Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care organizations through a voluntary process and is recognized as a leader in all aspects of safe, high-quality care.

UPMC’s Dr. Marshall Webster Named to Congressional Panel Reshaping VA’s Health Care

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 19, 2015 Marshall W. Webster, M.D., a long-time physician leader at UPMC, has been selected to serve on the Commission on Care established by Congress to examine how to best deliver health care to the nation’s veterans.

Appointed to the commission by Harry Reid, minority leader of the U.S. Senate, and nominated by Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr., Dr. Webster will be one of only 15 voting members on the panel, which was established by the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014. The goal of the commission is to examine how best to strategically organize the Veterans’ Health Administration, locate health care resources and deliver care to veterans.

“I am confident Dr. Webster’s talents and qualifications will make him an excellent choice to serve on the commission and examine how to best provide our veterans with timely access to the quality care they deserve,” said Sen. Casey.

As a physician, academic and senior vice president at UPMC, Dr. Webster has a long track record of establishing and maintaining relationships with physicians and community hospitals, a critical skill for his work on the commission. Given UPMC’s “exemplary service” and long history with the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Pittsburgh, Dr. Webster’s ties to UPMC “will be particularly beneficial to the Commission on Care,” Sen. Casey noted.  Since the passage of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, UPMC has received hundreds of referrals from the VA to better provide veterans with quality and timely care.

Since 2012, Dr. Webster has served as senior vice president of UPMC, working on strategic development. He also oversees graduate medical education for UPMC and serves as interim chair of the Department of Anesthesiology. From 2002 to 2012, he was president of the University of Pittsburgh Physicians, president of the UPMC Physician Services Division and executive vice president of UPMC.

Dr. Webster is a Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and held the Mark M. Ravitch Endowed Chair in Surgery for nearly 10 years. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, completed his surgical residency at Pitt and is board-certified in general, thoracic and vascular surgery.

A veteran himself, Dr. Webster was commissioned as a lieutenant (junior grade) in the U.S. Naval Reserves and was promoted to lieutenant in 1965. Following the completion of his surgical training, he served on active duty as a lieutenant commander stationed at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital from 1970 to 1972.

Simulation Brings Facts to Measles Outbreak and Vaccination Debate

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 17, 2015 – To bring facts and clarity to the public debate about immunization in light of the recent measles outbreak, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health today unveiled a computer simulation that explores the impact of measles outbreaks in cities across the U.S. Users can see how an outbreak would play out if their city had high or low vaccination rates.

The simulation – which is easily accessible from mobile devices – is an adaptation of the popular Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED), a free resource created at Pitt. By visiting fred.publichealth.pitt.edu/measles, people can select cities they’re interested in and watch short animations that play out an outbreak with either high or low vaccination coverage.

“FRED users can see on a map of any major metropolitan area in the U.S. how one case of measles can turn into a major outbreak or be quickly quashed, all depending on the vaccination rates of a community,” said Donald S. Burke, M.D., Pitt Public Health dean and UPMC-Jonas Salk Chair of Global Health. “Our hope is that people will use this to have informed discussions about the value of vaccination and its role in preventing epidemics.”

Examining the impact of high and low vaccination rates allows people to grasp the concept of herd immunity, explained Dr. Burke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that when 95 percent of a community – or the “herd” – is vaccinated against measles, the 5 percent who can’t be vaccinated because they are too young or have compromised immune systems, as well as those whose immunity wore off or never took hold, should be protected because the virus can’t gain a foothold and spread. When vaccination rates dip too low, the herd isn’t protected and measles can sweep through a community.

Measles is a highly contagious virus. If someone with measles is in a room, nine out of 10 unvaccinated people in that room will contract the virus. For two hours after the infected person leaves, the room’s air will harbor the virus.

The measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is recommended for children between 12 and 15 months of age, with a booster usually given between 4 and 6 years of age. Older children and adults who missed the vaccine or aren’t sure if they received it can get immunized by their doctor or at a vaccination clinic.

Future iterations of FRED Measles will allow users to adjust vaccination rates and experiment with how closing schools could affect an outbreak.

“Teachers could use FRED to help their students get a hands-on look at how public health interventions impact an infectious disease outbreak,” said FRED creator John Grefenstette, Ph.D., professor of health policy and management at Pitt Public Health. “It’s also something that pediatricians could use to open a dialogue with parents who may not want to vaccinate their children. Public health officials and policy makers could use it to explain vaccination campaigns. There really are a lot of possibilities.”

FRED was created at Pitt’s Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) Center of Excellence, which is supported by the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences. MIDAS investigates novel computational and mathematical models of existing and emerging infectious diseases to guide intervention strategies.

Pitt Expert Talks Teenage Brain Development at American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 14, 2015 – Teenage exploration and risk taking could be explained by dramatic changes in the brain that allow elaborate planning and are driven by the need for immediate reward, according to a University of Pittsburgh neuroscientist who will be talking about her research in a panel discussion and press briefing at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, Feb. 13 to 16, in San Jose, Calif.

Using an elegant model in which eye movements, or saccades, reveal insight into executive brain function, Beatriz Luna, Ph.D., Staunton Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Pitt School of Medicine, has studied hundreds of young volunteers to examine brain development during the transition between childhood and adulthood.

“Our studies are beginning to challenge the traditional concept that the teenage brain can’t plan because of an immature prefrontal cortex,” Dr. Luna said. “Our findings indicate that the teen prefrontal cortex is not much different than in the adult, but it can be easily overruled by heightened motivation centers in the brain. You have this mixture of newly gained executive control plus extra reward that is pulling the teenager toward immediate gratification.”

In the experiments, volunteers are instructed to immediately look away from a small light that randomly appears on a screen in front of them. This “anti-saccade” test shows if the brain is able to engage the planning centers of the prefrontal cortex to overcome the impulse to look toward the light rather than away from it. Dr. Luna’s team has found in previous studies that children succeed in about half their tries, teens in about 70 percent of tries and adults in about 90 percent of tries. People with mental illnesses typically struggle with the task.

The study team had volunteers do the same tasks while scanning their brains with functional MRI. They found that much of the architecture of mature brain is in place by adolescence, but the ability of the networks to talk to one another and integrate information is still a work in progress.

“Further enhancement of this network integration is likely why adults can switch and very quickly adapt their behavior to changing circumstances, which is more difficult for adolescents,” Dr. Luna explained.

She added that while parents and teachers sometimes find bewildering the choices teens might make, their brains are perfectly adapted to explore and take some chances as they become independent adults.

“Across societies and species, we know that adolescence is a period of increased sensation seeking that can lead to risk taking, which increases mortality rate,” Dr. Luna said. “Also, we often see during this period the first signs of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression and eating disorders. All of these have a neurobiological basis, so if we know how the brain is changing, we might be able to figure out a way to intervene earlier in life.”

Dr. Luna and researchers from the Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Columbia University Medical Center; and University of California, Berkeley, will present their work from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 14, during a AAAS session called “From Womb to Tomb.”

They also will participate in a news briefing that day which will be webcast at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET, at http://www.eurekalert.org/aaasnewsroom/2015/.

Watch a video of Dr. Luna describing her work.

Landmark Study Shows Clot Removal Reduces Mortality, Improves Patient Outcome in Large-Vessel Stroke

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 11, 2015 – Researchers have completed an international, randomized, controlled trial showing that a clot-retrieval procedure, known as endovascular treatment (ET), can dramatically improve patient outcomes after an acute ischemic stroke. The study, in which the University of Pittsburgh enrolled more participants than any other American site, also shows a dramatic reduction in deaths from stroke. The results were published in the Feb. 11 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

The results of this landmark study will be published in the March 19 print edition of NEJM and presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Overall, positive outcomes for patients increased from 30 percent to 55 percent. In many cases, instead of suffering major neurological disability, patients went home to resume their lives. Led by researchers at the University of Calgary, the study found that overall mortality rate was reduced from two in 10 patients for standard treatment of care to one in 10 patients – a 50 percent reduction with ET.

“These results mean we are on the verge of a revolution in stroke care,” said Tudor Jovin, M.D., associate professor of neurology and neurological surgery, director of the UPMC Stroke Institute and leader of the Pitt arm of the study. “This is a devastating condition from the standpoint of death and disability. Finally, we are able to offer these patients a treatment that really works.”

Ischemic stroke is caused by a sudden blockage of an artery to the brain that deprives the brain of critical nutrients, such as glucose and oxygen. Currently, the international standard of care based on Canadian, U.S. and European guidelines is to administer a “clot buster” drug called tPA, to attempt to dissolve the blood clot.

In this trial, known as ESCAPE (Endovascular treatment for Small Core and Anterior circulation Proximal occlusion with Emphasis on minimizing CT to recanalization times), 316 patients who fit the criteria for ET and arrived for treatment within 12 hours of their stroke were randomly assigned to receive either standard medical care, which included tPA where appropriate, or standard medical care plus ET.

ET is performed by inserting a thin tube into the artery in the groin through the aorta and into the brain vessels to the clot using X-ray-guided imaging. A retrievable stent opens the blocked vessel to restore blood flow and then withdrawn, pulling the clot out with it.

Endovascular treatments were first developed in the 1990s, but ET has only recently been technically possible. The ESCAPE team says the success of the trial can be credited to very fast treatment and the use of brain and blood vessel imaging. Researchers were on average two hours faster in opening the blocked blood vessels than in previously reported trials.

ESCAPE is the second ET trial that demonstrates the efficacy of the treatment and the first trial to demonstrate reduced mortality. The previous trial, known as MR. CLEAN (Multicenter Randomized Clinical trial of Endovascular treatment for Acute ischemic stroke in the Netherlands), was published in NEJM in December 2014.

ESCAPE included 22 sites worldwide and patients in the U.S., U.K., Ireland and South Korea. Canada had 11 participating hospitals and enrolled two-thirds of the patients.

“This was a trial that was very carefully designed to tell us for certain whether endovascular therapy should play a role in the treatment of stroke patients,” said co-investigator Lawrence Wechsler, M.D., Henry B. Higman Professor and chair, Department of Neurology, Pitt School of Medicine, and the institute’s founding director. “The UPMC Stroke Institute is a leader in advancing stroke care, and we encourage our patients to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in important clinical trials like this one.”

The study was funded by The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions and Medtronic, along with generous donations to the Calgary Stroke Program.

View a video of Dr. Jovin performing the ET procedure: http://youtu.be/s7wY9RgAFTk

Pitt Team Developing Technology to Allow Amputees to Feel with Prosthetic Limb, Improving Its Function

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 10, 2015 – Rehabilitation experts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine hope to one day give people with an arm amputation a prosthetic limb that not only moves like a natural one, but “feels” like it, too. They expect such sensation will improve dexterous control of the device and give users greater intuition about what they are doing with their prosthetic.

With funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program, Robert Gaunt, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), Pitt School of Medicine and a multidisciplinary research team from Pitt, West Virginia University and Ripple LLC will begin developing the technology with the aim of being able to test it in patients’ homes within four years.

“Advanced prosthetic limbs that behave like the hand and arm they are replacing have been an unrealized promise for many years largely because until recently, the technologies to really accomplish this goal simply haven’t been available,” Dr. Gaunt said. “To make the most of these new capabilities, we have to integrate the prosthetic into the remaining neural circuitry so the patient can use it like a regular hand that, for example, can pick up a pen, gently hold an egg or turn a stuck doorknob.”

In the 18-month, first phase of the project, the team will recruit five volunteers to try to demonstrate that stimulation of the sensory portion of the spinal cord nerves, which would normally innervate the hand and forearm, can cause the amputee to feel distinct sensations of touch and joint movement in the “phantom” hand and wrist.

They also plan to insert fine-wire electrodes into the forearm muscles of able-bodied volunteers to collect and interpret muscle signals to guide movement of a virtual prosthetic hand to control hand opening and closing, as well as thumb movement. Eventually, the team aims to devise a fully implantable system for home use.

Michael Boninger, M.D., PM&R professor and chair, who will co-direct the project with Dr. Gaunt, called it a very exciting study.

“In my treatment of rehabilitation patients, the goal is always clear,” Dr. Boninger said. “They want the medical team to make them like they were. The technology developed through HAPTIX will enable that dream.”

The project will be conducted by a multidisciplinary team of engineers, scientists and clinicians from PM&R, plastic surgery, and neurological surgery in the School of Medicine, and occupational therapy, and rehabilitation science & technology in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Key aspects of the system will be designed by researchers at West Virginia University, and Ripple LLC, in Salt Lake City, Utah, will develop all the implantable system components.

Funding for the research was made possible by an award from the BRAIN Initiative, a White House program launched to revolutionize understanding of the brain and accelerate the development of new technologies. The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Food and Drug Administration, and DARPA committed more than $110 million to the Initiative for fiscal year 2014.

Thomas Kleyman, MD, Selected to Give Distinguished Lectureship at American Physiological Society Meeting

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 10, 2015 – Thomas Kleyman, MD, chief of the Renal-Electrolyte Division at the University of Pittsburgh, has been chosen for the 2015 Carl W. Gottschalk Distinguished Lectureship of the American Physiological Society (APS) Renal Section at Experimental Biology (EB) 2015 in Boston from March 28–April 1. The award recognizes a world-renowned, distinguished scientist who has made major contributions to understanding physiological processes through state-of-the-art research, and who is an engaging speaker. The candidate’s area(s) of research expertise also is of interest to Renal Section members.

In addition to delivering the Carl W. Gottschalk Distinguished Lecture, Dr. Kleyman will participate in the Renal Section’s Posters and Professors Reception and will be recognized at the Renal Dinner held during EB 2015.

For more information on the lectureship and Experimental Biology 2015, please visit the American Physiological Society’s website.

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