The University of Pittsburgh has honored its faculty members with Distinguished Professorships. The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty honorees and their new titles are:
- Timothy R. Billiar, MD, Distinguished Professor of Surgery
- Peter Strick, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology
The rank of Distinguished Professor recognizes extraordinary, internationally recognized scholarly attainment in an individual discipline or field.
Dr. Billiar is the George Vance Foster Professor and Chair in the School of Medicine's Department of Surgery. The main research focus of Dr. Billiar's laboratory is studying the immune response to injury and shock. His laboratory, which currently is funded by three National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, is credited with initially cloning the human inducible nitric oxide synthase gene. Dr. Billiar's work also extends into the areas of liver disease and innate immunity. There are seven U.S. patents associated with his research.
Co-director of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Strick is a professor of neurobiology and psychiatry in the School of Medicine. He studies how the brain's cerebral cortex controls voluntary movement; he has shown that there are six pre-motor areas that play roles, which he is exploring with anatomic, physiologic, and functional imaging. Dr. Strick also is studying neural circuits between the basal ganglia and the cerebellum that are important in planning, initiating, and regulating volitional movement. His recent research indicates that those same circuits, when dysfunctional, partly could be responsible for symptoms of behavioral illnesses such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and autism. Studying viruses that have an affinity for the central nervous system, Dr. Strick's team has developed an approach to tracing the circuitry of the central nervous system that also sheds light on how these viruses move through the brain.