Faculty Convocation Highlights Pitt Research Success

Senior Vice Chancellor for Research Rob A. Rutenbar (left) and Chancellor Gallagher congratulate Anne-Ruxandra Carvunis, assistant professor in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology, School of Medicine, who won a Distinguished Research Award in the junior category. 


Chancellor Patrick Gallagher and Provost Anne E. Cudd led the celebration of Pitt’s Faculty Honors Convocation Friday, April 1 at Soldiers and Sailors Hall, recognizing the achievements of faculty in research, teaching, academic achievement, and contributing to human welfare.  

Chancellor Gallagher began by reflecting on the many disruptions caused by the pandemic – but that through the efforts of the faculty, research actually grew, while teaching was reincarnated “on the fly.” 

“It was a labor of love,” Gallagher remarked. “A lot of labor and a lot of love. Thanks to that labor, the university is thriving.” 

Senior Vice Chancellor for Research Rob A. Rutenbar helped present the Distinguished Research Awards and spoke about the impact of the assembled faculty on Pitt’s research enterprise while introducing faculty winners of prestigious research awards. Rutenbar was himself named Distinguished Professor in Computer Science and in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Convocation. 

“One way we keep score on the excellence of the research enterprise is by counting external funding, and in this regard, we have some impressive numbers,” he said.

  • Total research expenditures in fiscal year 2021 totaled $955 million. 
  • In 2020, Pitt was ranked 7th in receiving National Institutes of Health funding.  
  • And in the latest rankings, FY 2020, Pitt was ranked 15th in research and development expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. 

"But,” he added, “prestigious awards are another way to measure our impact, success, and excellence across the full landscape of scholarship at Pitt. Many of these awards are reviewed and judged outside of Pitt -- by experts nationally and internationally, against a fierce landscape of competing peers. 

“Today’s ceremony celebrates 238 faculty – from every school here at Pitt -- who over the past two years have been recognized by a wide range of institutions. These prestigious awards are conferred by national and international organizations, professional societies, funding agencies and other organizations that bestow awards that highlight notable faculty achievements. 

The recognitions ranged from the Chancellor’s Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service, Teaching and Research Awards to the Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring and Diversity in the Curriculum. The ceremony also recognized Distinguished Faculty and Endowed Chairs and Select Faculty who are National and Prestigious Award Winners. 

Find a full list of winners and a video of the Convocation at the Provost’s Faculty Honors Convocation Awardees.