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The Big Picture at Today's Pitt

Pitt Growth Helps Communities Thrive


Pitt’s 1908 relocation to Oakland helped transform that neighborhood into the educational and cultural heart of Pittsburgh. Today, new Pitt facilities are helping nearby areas to thrive, too.

Along Second Avenue and the Monongahela River in Hazelwood, Pa., a five-minute drive from campus, the bustling steel-and-glass Pittsburgh Technology Center (PTC) occupies the site where, during the 1980s, the shutdown Pittsburgh Works of Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp. stood empty and rusting. A major PTC building is the University of Pittsburgh Center for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, where research focuses on biotech, instrumentation and devices, and software.

On Pittsburgh’s South Side, on the former site of another abandoned steel mill, Pitt constructed the headquarters building for the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a joint venture with UPMC. The building’s energy efficiency earned Pitt a coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.


Another anchor of the South Side’s recent renaissance is the UPMC Sports Performance Complex, where Pitt orthopaedists and sports-medicine specialists treat and train weekend warriors as well as Pitt Panthers and pro athletes. At the neighboring Rivertech Office Works, researchers in Pitt’s Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, part of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, study the sensory and motor characteristics of joint injury. Next door, related research is carried on at the Pitt Department of Orthopaedic Surgery’s Biodynamics and Knee Biomechanics Laboratories.


In Shadyside, another neighborhood bordering Oakland, the Hillman Cancer Center is home to the internationally recognized research of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; it’s also the flagship treatment and research facility of the UPMC Cancer Centers network.

In 2009, Pitt's Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL)—a partnership between Pitt, UPMC, and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System—became the first tenant in the East End's new Bakery Square complex, a former Nabisco plant that closed in 2004.

While many Pitt researchers make history, librarians at Pitt’s Thomas Boulevard building in East Liberty preserve it. Preservationists there are de-acidifying sheet music for the songs of Stephen Foster, works by Jorge Luis Borges and Pablo Neruda, and Frick Fine Arts Library books on art and architecture, among other precious volumes.