We had a fantastic response to our two Pilot Programs in Precision Medicine which we announced in December 2018. These pilots support the use of two key University of Pittsburgh/UPMC resources which are vital components in precision medicine research, the Pitt Biospecimen Core (PBC) and the new UPMC Genome Center (UGC).

Congratulations to the investigators and their project teams selected to receive funding through this competitive process.

We are delighted to announce that the following projects were selected for support and that they represent a broad spectrum of activities in precision medicine. The lead principle investigator of the proposal is indicated.


Proposals selected for IPM support to utilize the Pitt Biospecimen Core (PBC, www.pittbiospecimencore.pitt.edu):

Leisha Emens, MD, PhD. Comprehensive characterization of the mutational and transcriptional landscape of pleomorphic lobular invasive breast cancer (PLC).

Yi-Nan Gong, PhD. The role of necroptosis and membrane damage in tumor microenvironments.

Phuong L. Mai, MD, MS. Spatial profiling of immune biomarkers in atypical breast lesions and breast cancer risk.

Zhou Wang, PhD. E-cadherin and tight junction proteins are down-regulated in the aging prostate and associated with increased inflammation and disease pathogenesis.


Proposals selected for IPM support of whole genome sequencing at the UPMC Genome Center (www.ipm.pitt.edu/UGC):


Jason Becker, MD. Somatic Mutation Burden in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Stephen Chan, MD PhD. Toward Elucidating the Multi-Omics and Genome-Phenome Architecture of Pulmonary Hypertension.

James C. Coons, PharmD. Whole Genome Sequencing to Explore Variability in Treprostinil Response in Patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

Steven Dobrowolski, PhD. Unanticipated Heterogeneity in PAH Deficient Phenylketonuria: Defining the Neuro-Refractory PKU Phenotype.

James Gilbert, PhD. Whole-genome sequencing for treatment-resistant multiple sclerosis.

Kate Kernan, MD. Whole Genome Sequencing to Identify Inborn Errors of Immunity in Neurologic Injury Following Viral Infection.

Grace Lim, MD MS. Quantifying genetic variation in postpartum women for pain and depression.


Cancer focused whole genome sequencing pilot projects were selected for joint support from the IPM and the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center:




Alberto Broniscer, MD. Clinical, radiologic, and molecular characteristics of anaplastic pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas (WHO grade III).

Leisha Emens MD PhD. Comprehensive characterization of the mutational and transcriptional landscape of pleomorphic lobular invasive breast cancer (PLC).

Rakesh Sindhi, MD. Personalizing Chemotherapy for Pediatric Liver Cancer.


Thank you to all the applicants for these pilot awards. Future precision medicine pilot programs will be announced via IPM Advances so stay tuned