University of Pittsburgh

The Dickson Prize in Medicine

About the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

At the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, we’re building a legacy of outstanding biomedical research in which the opportunities for improving the human condition and advancing the boundaries of medical science are endless.

This is, after all, the home of the Salk polio vaccine, Dr. Thomas Starzl’s pioneering work in organ transplantation and immunology, and so many other great minds and developments.

Today, the School of Medicine is home to a growing number of world-class scientists engaged in a broad spectrum of disciplines, including tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, artificial organ and medical device development, cancer diagnostics and therapy, cardiology, gene therapy, bioinformatics, psychiatry, neurological surgery, and continued excellence in organ transplantation and immunology.

In addition, our newest research facility, Biomedical Science Tower 3, enhances the School of Medicine’s capacity for further exploration of frontier areas like structural biology, computational biology, developmental biology, neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases, drug discovery and design, and vaccine development. This 10-story structure, which has been called the next generation of biomedical research facilities because of its innovative use of space and laboratory design, also enhances the school’s culture of collaboration among researchers from a variety of highly specialized fields.

A rising trajectory of research funding is one of our most notable achievements. Since 1997, the University of Pittsburgh has ranked among the top 10 recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health and has not only maintained its position in this enviable echelon but also steadily climbed to its current ranking of sixth place.

Together with our partner, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, we have raised the standard of medical excellence in Pittsburgh, emerged as two of the region’s leading employers, and positioned ourselves as catalysts for economic development by actively promoting the region’s growing biotechnology industry. Although legally separate and distinct entities, the School of Medicine and UPMC share mutual interdependence and a synergy that is reflected in a common commitment to excellence in education, research, and clinical care.

Perhaps most surprising of all for people unfamiliar with Pittsburgh is that this is truly a renaissance city that bears no resemblance to its stereotypical, industrial past. Where steel once reigned, biomedical science, information technology, and other 21st century enterprises are now thriving.

Our goal is to continue on this trajectory of excellence, developing forward-looking research, particularly in the core basic sciences, and balancing leading-edge biomedical investigations with practical clinical applications.