Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Music Lineup Announced for Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival June 5-14

Three Rivers Arts Festival 2015 Headline Music Line-Up

All shows are free and open to the public, live on the Dollar Bank Stage, in Pittsburgh’s beautiful and historic Point State Park. No tickets are required. Learn more.

Jenny Lewis | Friday, June 5
Railroad Earth + Elephant Revival | Saturday, June 6
Bluegrass Day supported by Colcom Foundation
Alvvays | Sunday, June 7
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in concert with Pittsburgh Opera | Monday, June 8
The Felice Brothers + Hurray for the Riff Raff | Tuesday, June 9
Milo Greene | Wednesday, June 10
Rhiannon Giddens | Thursday, June 11
Richard Thompson | Friday, June 12
Neko Case | Saturday, June 13
Benjamin Booker | Sunday, June 14

Monday, March 16, 2015

Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh & UPMC Form Alliance To Transform Health Care Through Big Data

Leveraging “big data” to revolutionize health care and wellness is the focus of the new Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance, a powerful new collaboration announced by Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC.

Today’s health care system generates massive amounts of data — patient information in the electronic health record, diagnostic imaging, prescriptions, genomic profiles, insurance records, even data from wearable devices. Information has always been essential for guiding the care of individuals, but computer tools now make it possible to use that data to provide deeper insights into disease itself.

For example, the use of smart data could help hospitals and doctors rapidly detect potential new outbreaks and immediately alert staff and authorities to take appropriate actions. Systems based around this principle of finding emerging events in complex data sets have already been made possible by collaborations among UPMC, Pitt, and CMU.

This one-of-a-kind alliance is a wide-reaching commitment to advance technology and create new data-heavy health care innovations over the coming years, resulting in spinoff companies and furthering economic development in the region.

The alliance, funded by UPMC, will see its work carried out by Pitt-led and CMU-led centers, with participation from all three institutions. The centers will work to transform the explosion of health-related data into new technologies, products and services to change the way diseases are prevented and how patients are diagnosed, treated and engaged in their own care.

Using health care data to its full potential will require close collaboration among the leading health sciences research at Pitt, world-class computer science and machine learning at CMU, and the clinical care, extensive patient data and commercialization expertise at UPMC. The close proximity and world-leading talent among these organizations provide the ideal setting to transform all aspects of health care, not only in western Pennsylvania but around the world.

“The complementary strengths of the alliance’s partner institutions will allow us to re-imagine health care for millions of people in our shared, data-driven world,” said Subra Suresh, president of CMU. “Through this collaboration, we will move more rapidly to immediate prevention and remediation, further accelerate the development of evidence-based medicine, and augment disease-centered models with patient-centered models of care.”

The new research centers at CMU and Pitt will be funded with $10 million to $20 million per year over the next six years by UPMC and also will benefit from several hundred million dollars in existing research grants at all three institutions. They promise to create what UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff calls an “innovation ecosystem” for health data in the region.

“We are unlocking the potential of data to tackle some of our nation’s biggest challenges: raising the quality and reducing the cost of health care. Not only will this effort benefit patients, but it also will accelerate Pittsburgh’s revitalization,” Mr. Romoff said. Corporate partners and entrepreneurs from around the world will want to be close to this health care data hub, he predicted, just as Google, Apple and Disney already have space in or near Oakland to be close to CMU’s and Pitt’s talented faculty and students.

The alliance will support applied research and commercialization, along with basic foundational research in medicine and computer science. “Through this partnership, our brilliant scientists at Pitt and CMU will have unprecedented resources for turning their innovative ideas into products and services that can truly better the lives of patients and society,” said Patrick Gallagher, chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. “The knowledge created here will result in the spinoff of many new companies and thousands of new jobs over the next decade.”

Initially, the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance will include two research and development centers: the Center for Machine Learning and Health (CMLH), led by founding director Eric Xing, Ph.D., a CMU professor in the Department of Machine Learning; and the Center for Commercial Applications of Healthcare Data (CCA), spearheaded by Michael Becich, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Pitt. Scientists from all three institutions will participate in the work of each center.

The CMLH will work on challenging problems at the intersections of health care and machine learning. Data from sources as varied as electronic medical records, genomic sequencing, insurance records and wearable sensors will be utilized to directly improve health care. For example, imagine a smartphone app that suggests the single dietary change that will most improve your health, based on your genetic makeup and medical history. Or suppose a physician receives an automatic alert when a patient enters the earliest stages of rejecting a transplanted organ and can react while the condition is most easily treatable. The center will focus on five areas: big health care data analytics; personalized medicine and disease modeling; issues of privacy, security and compliance in the context of big data; data-driven patient and provider education and training; and a new general framework for big data in health care.

The CCA at the University of Pittsburgh will research and invent new technology for potential use in commercial theranostics and imaging systems for patients and doctors. (Theranostics works to develop individualized therapies for various diseases, and to combine diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities.) These technologies will be based on intelligently engineered big data solutions. Some areas of focus for CCA will be: personalized medicine for understanding diseases such as cancer and various lung disorders; genomics and imaging data; and methods for data capture and health care analytics. A key goal is new technologies and methods to create actionable information.

UPMC Enterprises, the commercialization arm of UPMC, will lead the efforts to turn these innovative ideas into new, for-profit companies and jobs, building on its nearly 20-year track record of investing in and growing companies that solve health care problems.

For more information about the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance, visit www.healthdataalliance.com.

Source: Carnegie Mellon University  

Global Venturing Israel: MedTech & Inclusive Innovation Conference March 26-27 at University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business

Global Venturing Israel: MedTech and Inclusive Innovation

March 26-27, 2015

University of Pittsburgh

Register Now

Conference Chair: Paul T. Harper, PhD

Vision: Global Venturing is a new initiative within the International Business Center at the Katz Graduate School of Business. Under this Initiative, Katz faculty and staff will introduce new courses, produce new research and thought leadership, establish student exchanges, and coordinate special events that highlight the importance of new ventures and innovation as a strong economic driver in our global economy.
Israeli New Ventures & Innovation: In the last 20 years, Israel has distinguished itself as the #2 innovation ecosystem in the world thereby becoming known as the ‘Start-Up Nation.’ The business sectors most affected by Israeli technological innovation include energy, information technology, agriculture, and the life sciences. Through its impact on all of these industries the nation of Israel has improved the well being of people around the world and, as8 a result, has garnered great attention and substantial foreign investment.
Pittsburgh/Tel Aviv Nexus of Innovation: The inaugural event will be a conference that focuses on the innovation economy of Israel with special emphasis on the life sciences. Israeli innovations in the life sciences have been chosen as the focus of the conference for several reasons. The life sciences, including health information technology, medical devices, and drug innovations are areas where Israeli and Southwestern Pennsylvania firms, universities, incubators, and accelerators share similar and complementary strengths. Given these complementary strengths, it is puzzling that there have been only a handful of joint R&D projects, strategic alliances, and commercial acquisitions. The conference Chair, Advisory Committee, organizers, strategic partners, and sponsoring organizations believe that there is a substantial opportunity to establish a new set of bi-national relationships that will lead to new business opportunities, expanded research agendas, more globalized civic cooperation, and economic development. This foundational event will serve the prospecting of these opportunities by convening the relevant university, business, and civic stakeholders.
Inclusive Innovation: One of opportunities made available by this conference is an engagement with the concept of Inclusive Innovation, which will be discussed by a bi-national panel of experts and practitioners. An Arab-Israeli entrepreneur from the city of Nazareth is included in the VIP Investor event, the company showcase, and also the panel on Inclusive Innovation. This added dimension differentiates the conference from others in the U.S. by foregrounding the challenges of inclusion for successful innovation-driven economies.
Conference Goals & Objectives:
  • Showcase Israeli MedTech innovation corporations and new ventures to the Pittsburgh region.
  • Introduce the Pittsburgh innovation ecosystem to Israeli entrepreneurs, incubators, and investors.
  • Contribute to the global venturing and innovation agenda and roadmap for Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.
  • Engage Katz/Pitt faculty and students in an exchange with an exemplary global innovation ecosystem.
  • Create a new business development platform for enhanced bi-national dealflow.
  • Highlight current business connections between Israel & Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Conference Advisory Committee:
  • William Generett: CEO, Urban Innovation 21
  • Gregg Roman: Director for Community Engagement, Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh
  • Eric White: Business Development Executive, Urban Redevelopment Authority
Conference Philanthropic Supporters:
  • Barbara and David Burstin
  • Ira Gumberg
  • Charles Steiner
  • John Wolf
Conference Partnering Organizations:
  • UPMC Enterprises
  • Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership
  • Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh
  • Jewish Healthcare Foundation
  • Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh
  • Urban Innovation 21
  • Innovation Works
Conference Ambassadors:
  • Pitt: Aishwarya Garg, Erin Paolini, Samantha Rothman, Amit Shimshi, Mary Bajek, Eric Huntermark, Jesse Hellman, Latriece Holland
  • CMU: Liza Tresser
Conference Student Leadership:
  • LaunchPitt
  • Roberto Clemente MBA Association
Conference Media Partners:
  • Israel & Co
  • World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh
  • African American Chamber of Commerce Western Pennsylvania
  • Vibrant Pittsburgh
  • Global Pittsburgh
  • University Library System, University of Pittsburgh

Global Problems/Global Solutions Conference at La Roche College April 9-10 to Focus on Theme "Saving Our Children: A Global Issue - A Local Response"

2015 Global Problems, Global Solutions Conference
April 9-10

Saving Our Children: A Global Issue - A Local Response

La Roche College will partner with sponsor organizations Brother’s Brother Foundation, the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Council for Higher Education to host the 10th annual Global Problems, Global Solutions conference on April 9 and 10.   
Organized to focus on critical global concerns, the conference will relate this year’s theme, Saving Our Children: A Global Issue - A Local Response, to the Millennium Development Goals established by the United Nations.   

Thursday, April 9: Keynote Address

Hosted at La Roche's main campus, the 2015 keynote address will be delivered by Maureen A. Dunn, division chief of the office of policy and strategy at U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. with the general session following at 7 p.m. and a reception of dessert and coffee afterward in the Zappala College Center Square at La Roche's main Campus.

Friday, April 10: On-campus discussion

Examine local and international child issues during a discussion hosted by local experts from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Ryan Room of the Zappala College Center at La Roche's main campus. 

Saturday, April 11: Cranberry Folk and Food Festival

Come support La Roche students as they participate in the Cranberry Folk and Food Festival.  Enjoy ethnic food sampling, demonstrations, games, music and dance performances from countries around the world from 12 to 3 p.m. at the Cranberry Township Municipal Center Gym (2525 Rochester Road, Cranberry Township, PA 16066).

About Global Problems, Global Solutions

Global Problems, Global Solutions is a free, annual conference. La Roche leads and co-sponsors the conference with local colleges, universities and nonprofits known for their global activism. The conference discusses progress, plans and initiatives related to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals which seek to:
    Dedicated to promoting justice and peace in a constantly changing global society, La Roche supports the U.N. in working to make these goals a reality in Pittsburgh and throughout the global marketplace.

    Previous keynote speakers

    • Robert C. Gallo, MD, Co-Discoverer of HIV Causing AIDS 
    • Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill 
    • Pulitzer Prize Winner Sheryl WuDunn 
    • Deputy Secretary of USAID, Ambassador Donald Steinberg 

    For more information

    Contact Assistant Director of Global Engagement Charlotte Reed at 412-536-1215 or charlotte.reed@laroche.edu.


    Thursday, March 5, 2015

    GlobalPittsburgh Coordinates Local Visit of U.S. State Department’s 2015 International Women of Courage Awardee from Bangladesh

    GlobalPittsburgh designed and arranged the local visit of 2015 International Women of Courage awardee Nadia Sharmeen, a journalist from Bangladesh, whose meetings in Pittsburgh focused on how good journalism can protect the rights of women and girls.

    Nadia Sharmeen meets
    Sally Wiggin at
    During her time in Pittsburgh from March 7-11, Ms. Sharmeen was welcomed by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and met with representatives of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, WTAE-TV, the Duquesne University School of Law, and the FISA Foundation, among others.

    The U.S. Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award annually recognizes women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk.


    This year’s 10 recipients, who are scheduled to receive their awards from First Lady Michelle Obama and Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom in Washington, D.C., last week, reflect women’s roles as agents of change and leaders in many of the crises and challenges facing the world today, from countering violent extremism to promoting security and recovery from the Ebola Virus Disease. Since the inception of the award in 2007, the Department of State has honored 86 women from more than 50 different countries.

    GlobalPittsburgh has hosted women participating in the program for the past four years, according to Gail Shrott, Director of GlobalPittsburgh’s International Leaders Program.

    “We are proud and honored to have another opportunity to host a participant in the International Women of Courage project,” Ms. Shrott said.  “The past recipients of this award with whom we have worked have been inspirational and have been excellent models of leadership and accomplishment in the face of adversity for women and girls in our region.”

    About Nadia Sharmeen
    Nadia Sharmeen is a dedicated journalist and staunch women’s rights advocate. Having set her sights on becoming a journalist in middle school, she joined the Bangladesh press corps in 2009, working as a crime reporter.

    In April 2013, while assigned to cover a massive rally organized by a coalition of fundamentalist organizations whose platform included a call for revoking Bangladesh’s women’s development policy, Ms. Sharmeen fearlessly went to work despite the strong possibility of facing a hostile crowd.

    As verbal harassment escalated and the crowd grew aggressive, a group of 50 to 60 men repeatedly beat, kicked, and threw her to the ground – causing her serious injury. Ms. Sharmeen’s employer denied sending her on the assignment, refused to cover her medical expenses, and eventually forced her to resign. Although local police filed a case against 60 unnamed rally attendees, now – nearly two years later – none of her assailants have been identified or arrested.

    Today, Ms. Sharmeen works for another TV station and has enthusiastically resumed work as a crime reporter, challenging the social forces that oppose any changes to prevailing gender norms.

    About GlobalPittsburgh
    Founded in 1959 as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (PCIV), GlobalPittsburgh boosts international connections in the Pittsburgh Region and around the world through three main programs:

    • Coordinating activities and events for globally-minded members.
    • Hosting delegations of international leaders for the U.S State Department and other agencies.
    • Attracting international students to the region through its Study Pittsburgh initiative.


    Monday, March 2, 2015

    John W. Hindman Named New Chair of GlobalPittsburgh Board of Directors

    John W. Hindman has been named Board Chair of GlobalPittsburgh, effective immediately. He succeeds Dr. Michael J. Malloy, who remains on the board as Chair Emeritus.

    John W. Hindman
    Hindman, Senior International & Public Affairs Advisor at Leidos, Inc., brings decades of experience in global affairs and energy-related issues, including work with government agencies, corporations and academic institutions. He has been a member of the Western Pennsylvania District Export Council since 1991 by appointment of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. He was elected to the GlobalPittsburgh Board of Directors in January 2014.

    “I am excited for this opportunity to help continue growing the important work of GlobalPittsburgh in connecting Pittsburgh with the world, and bringing together globally-minded people and organizations here at home,” Hindman said. “In today’s global economy, it is more important than ever that Pittsburgh remains at the forefront of innovative and responsive economic development, and we feel that GlobalPittsburgh has a key role to play in that effort.”

    GlobalPittsburgh plans to expand its role in international student talent attraction and retention as a key component of regional economic development efforts, Hindman said.

    During his 30-year tenure at Leidos, Hindman has served many functions, including supporting the international program needs of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Pittsburgh, and its predecessor organizations. Before joining the company in 1985, he was a Saudi Development Advisor at ARAMCO Services Company (1982-85), and Foreign Admissions Advisor in the Office of International Services at the University of Pittsburgh (1978-82).

    Founded in 1959 as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (PCIV), GlobalPittsburgh boosts international connections in the Pittsburgh Region and around the world through three main programs:

    • Coordinating activities and events for globally-minded members.
    • Hosting delegations of international leaders for the U.S State Department and other agencies.
    • Attracting international students to the region through its Study Pittsburgh initiative.
    For more information about GlobalPittsburgh, go to www.globalpittsburgh.org.