Editor's Picks

Pitt Med has been around since 1999—what a pool of stories we have for you to dive into! 
Every so often, we're going to digitize our favorites. From features to alumni profiles, we're bringing them back.

Send Freedom House!

By Chuck Staresinic, February 2004

Freedom House Enterprises opened in the Hill District in 1967, planning to jumpstart businesses that would offer meaningful employment to this troubled community. Pretty soon, they were running one of the nation’s most advanced ambulance services.

Time of Death: Postponed

By David Petechuk, October 1999

When it comes to saving lives, Pitt’s Peter Safar won’t take no for an answer.


Claiming the High Road in the Vaccine Controversy

By Brian G. Connelly, Spring 2011

Paul Offit (Res ’80) is co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine RotaTeq, which was recommended for routine immunizations in infants by the World Health Organization.

Substance X: Alumnus Philip Showalter Hench's Path to the Discovery of Cortisone, and the Nobel Prize

Rebecca Skloot, January 2000

For decades, Philip Hench, MD ’20, would not give up his belief that our bodies produce a mysterious antirheumatic. 

Among My Souvenirs: A polio scrapbook

Elaine Vitone, August 2005

When letters and permission slips from Jonas Salk arrived in the mail during the school year, parents worried; they argued at the dinner table. This new vaccine, this clinical trial, was it safe enough for their children?

It Works! The Vaccine Works!

Edwin Kiester Jr., July 2002

The story of John Troan, the Pittsburgh Press reporter who covered how Jonas Salk conquered polio. 

Purple Death: When the 1918 flu pandemic came to Pittsburgh

Edwin Kiester Jr., January 2003

A look back at the city during a time of crisis. 

A Hospital Is Born: She didn't wait for permission

Edwin Kiester Jr., Spring 2003

In 1893, Louise Wotring Lyle moved to Pittsburgh determined to help those in need. 

It's Not Easy Being Green: The Formidable Mr. Yuk

Sally Ann Flecker, January 2003 

He's still alerting adults and kids to the dangers that lurk in everyday substances. 

Quick on Their Feet: How a war helped make doctors out of MDs.

Edwin Kiester Jr., Summer 2000

How a war helped make doctors out of MDs.

Collin Diedrich Thinks Differently

Elaine Vitone, Spring 2014

Diedrich has struggled with reading and learning disorders since grade school. Now, as an emerging scientist, he’s eager to help others facing the same uphill climb.

The Surgical Curmudgeon

Elaine Vitone, Spring 2013

Mark Ravitch both made and wrote surgical history.


Only Starzl Dared To

Chuck Staresinic, Spring 2006

How Starzl’s efforts led to a cure for liver disease and a new field of medicine. See our Thomas Starzl Story Archive.

Sleeping's Beauty

Elaine Vitone, Summer 2012

The power to make or break our health, from birth to adulthood and ever after.

First Family of Medicine

Edwin Kiester Jr., Fall 2003

Everything changed when they came to town.

Spock's Baby

Edwin Kiester Jr., Winter 2002

The famous doc nurtured Pittsburgh children.


Ex Hoc Semine Nostra Gloria

John Milton Duff, Fall 2011

"From This Seed Our Glory," excerpts from the first lecture given to students of Pitt med, then called Western Pennsylvania Medical College, in 1886.

Bennet Omalu

Chuck Staresinic, Winter 2007/08

In the brains of diseased athletes, Omalu discovered injuries invisible to the naked eye. On his introduction to American football.

Houses of Butterflies

Rebecca Skloot, Winter 2001

Herb Needleman took on the disease of where we live and work.

To Stop Death in Its Tracks

Rebecca Skloot, Summer 2000

Julius Youngner prepares to halt the next influenza outbreak before it’s too late.