| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Innovation & Startups

1907 Articles | Page: | Show All

Who's hiring in PGH? The Scoring Factory, Early Music America and more

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. If you have a job opportunity to list, email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com, with "hiring" in the subject line. Let us know @popcitypgh on Twitter if we've helped you snag the job of your dreams.

The Scoring Factory, a Pittsburgh-based start-up, is looking for an iO6 app developer to build a basketball training platform that connects coaches and athletes. The app would serve various functions including tracking workouts and providing feedback. They're looking for someone who wants to work at the intersection of sports and technology. Submit resume with examples of past work to jmarschn@tepper.cmu.edu.

Phipps Conservatory still has a number of job openings, including: communications coordinator and director of communications and a Studio Phipps manager to lead a fee/mission-based sustainable design and consulting team to extend Phipps’ mission beyond the Schenley Park campus. They are also looking for a gift shop coordinator, building maintenance technician, an executive secretary, an IT manager, an event sales supervisor and an event sales administrator. These positions are all full-time. The conservatory is also looking to hire part-time guest service associates and a part-time event assistant.

Early Music America, an organization focused on expanding awareness of and interest in the music of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods, is looking for a marketing and public relations director. This person would be responsible for managing ad sales for the organization's magazine, among other responsibilities. 

The Pittsburgh CLO, a not-for-profit cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, creation and promotion of American musical theater, is looking for a theater professional to manage the production elements of its performances, primarily at three theaters and to assist with the management of its building, storage and rental of sets, props and costumes. The Production Manager and Assistant Construction Center Manager will work to ensure that the organization’s theatrical production standards are successfully integrated and maintained. Applicants should have between three and five years' experience. 

GPSA, a family-owned screen printing shop in Millvale, is looking for a screen printing artist to work in the shop. The artist would work in the family business using machines to create artwork. The artist should be proficient in Adobe Illustrator and know how to use machines associated with screen printing. Health insurance including dental and vision will be eventually provided.

If applying for jobs online isn't your thing, there will be a fall career fair on Wednesday, Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. until noon at the North Hills Community Outreach offices in Millvale, located at 416 Lincoln Ave.The fair will give job seekers the chance to meet with employers from UPMC, University of Pittsburgh, Rivers Casino, Allegheny Health Network, the Caregiver Connections program of JF&CS and more.

Race to the race exhibit at Carnegie Museum of Natural History before it's gone!

?What is race? This is the question that a traveling exhibit now on view at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History through October 27 seeks to explore. Speaking at the Carnegie Music Hall in conjunction with the exhibition, journalist Michele Norris of NPR fame interrogated the phrase "post-racial society."

"What does post-racial mean to you?" she asked the audience.

"Utopia," shouted one audience member, and everyone laughed.

It's nice to think we have evolved to value the content of character above the color of skin, but the world we live in is far from color blind, as the exhibition "Race: Are we so different?" points out. The exhibition demonstrates the ways in which historic discrimination-- including downgrading credit ratings for non-whites-- led to inequality that persists today.

"Some people still believe that people of different races have different blood," said museum spokeswoman Cecile Shellman, explaining the need for education. "The exhibition does treat that assertion that racism is prejudice plus power," she added. 

The show was organized by the American Anthropological Association in conjunction with the Science Museum of Minnesota, and perhaps its most interesting feature is its Pittsburgh-specific examination of race.

In 1951, the United Steelworkers of America asked the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to create an exhibit that would use scientific evidence to dispel racist misconceptions. This lead to the creation of the museum's 1951 exhibit, "We Humans." The show was incredibly influential and toured from coast to coast in the 1950s. Materials from that exhibit are now on display at the museum and show just how far we have and have not come. They also show the role Pittsburgh played historically in combating racism. 

The museum also re-created a Pittsburghers Speak Up column that ran in the Pittsburgh Courier, asking black Pittsburghers how they felt about race relations. The museum juxtaposed old archival photos by Charles "Teenie" Harris and interviews by George Barbour, in which black Pittsburghers spoke candidly about race with modern updated photographs by Nikkia Hall and interviews by Lynne Hayes-Freeland. People, both then and now, think we have come a long way, but more work must be done.
 

Help find E.T. in Pittsburgh

There are aliens in Pittsburgh walking among us, according to Mike Zelechowski, who is soliciting support on Kickstarter to raise $703 to help fund his search.

Zelechowski runs aliensearchguide.weebly.com, where he posts "up to date" information about Bigfoot and the aftereffects of alien abduction. Previously, he ran a podcast, but encountered some equipment failures that set him back, causing him to turn to Kickstarter to continue his search.

On his website, he claims to have had his first alien encounter eight years ago, while volunteering to help people affected by Hurricane Katrina. "I believe that extraterrestrials are here on Earth, having met one, and walking among us as we speak," he wrote on his Kickstarter page. People in nearby Kecksburg, Westmoreland County, known for its famous UFO crash, may agree with him. 

Whether Zelechowski can be believed or whether his work should be viewed as fact, fiction or art, the dedication he has to his craft (no pun intended) and his spirit of inquiry is admirable and innovative. He has published an e-book, "Alien Search Guide," which purports to help average people find aliens in their midst. Another e-book, called "Psychic Ghost Stories," may be worth buying since it's only $.99-- and Halloween is just around the corner.

"One basic tenet brings us here today, the search for alien life," Zelechowski writes in the introduction to "Alien Search Guide." "We have a curiosity that cannot be extinguished. We want to know more, we need to know more." With curiosity like that, if aliens are here in Pittsburgh, Zelechowski will be first to find them.

Who's hiring in PGH? Phipps Conservatory, Next Gauge and more!

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting opportunities in Pittsburgh. If you have a job to share, email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line. Here are some choice selections from this week's harvest.

Next Gauge, creators of a smartphone app for truck drivers, is looking to add some tech-savvy folks to its workforce. They are looking for a senior software engineer with experience scaling complex systems, experience using .NET framework and experience with SCRUM development practices. They are also looking for an iOS developer with at least two years of experience and a deep familiarity with Objective-C, Core Services and Cocoa Touch frameworks. They also need a design technologist obsessed with user experience. This person will have more than three years of software development or related experience, a strong understanding of Android and/or iOS development practices and human interface guidelines and experience with one or more of the following: C#, C++, Java or HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript. They are also looking for an Android app developer familiar with Android API (Level 8 and up preferred, Level 14 and up required). This person should have experience in working with scalable Android UI integration, experience with third-party libraries and APIs and experience working with remote data via REST and JSON. For more information or to apply for these positions, email jruiz@nextgauge.com

Phipps Conservatory is also looking for a tech-savvy individual to join their team as the IT manager. The manager is responsible for planning, organizing and executing the organization’s entire IT system including computers, software, telephones and audiovisual components. If you have expert working knowledge of LAN systems and their maintenance and upkeep and great customer service skills, apply! Email cover letter, resume and salary history to hr@phipps.conservatory.org

Know someone who'd be a perfect curator at the Frick Art and Historical Center? They are looking for someone to supervise the upkeep of the mansion and manage the collections of fine arts, decorative arts, textiles, furnishings and historic artifacts. If you have experience in curating and want to have the run of a historic home, check it out. 

If you want to make some noise for the River City Brass Band, they are looking for a part time marketing and development associate to run social media for them and perform graphic design. This person would also work on advertising materials including direct mail campaigns. So if you are a one-stop idea shop with some technical chops, this is the perfect job for you.

Duquesne University pharmacists battle breast cancer with a new compound

Pharmacists at Duquense University have concocted a compound that may provide relief to breast cancer sufferers, according to the university. 

The medication consists of known breast cancer-fighting drug tamoxifen and melatonin, a substance that may decrease the negative impacts of tamoxifen and allow it to be more effective. The dual-acting medicine combats— or could prevent-- breast cancer, according to inventors and Duquesne University Pharmacy Professors Dr. Paula Witt-Enderby, Dr. David Lapinsky and former Professor Dr. Vicki L. Davis.

"If I could invent something that could make someone healthier and have more time with loved ones, then I have accomplished one of my many goals as a scientist and person," said Witt-Enderby. "I, too, have family members who have suffered from breast cancer and have had loved ones pass due to other types of cancer," she added.

According to the pharmacists, when the drugs are put together, their impact seems intensified. “Individually, melatonin and tamoxifen can tackle breast cancer in different ways, so the idea is that if they were appropriately combined into a single medicine, they could potentially synergistically treat or prevent breast cancer by a number of different mechanisms,” Lapinsky said in a statement.

The idea for the drug came from collaborative conversations between Lapinsky, a medicinal chemist, Davis, a breast cancer researcher and Witt-Enderby, a melatonin receptor researcher.

"We followed a multifaceted approach to fighting cancer," said Lapinsky. "We used to think we should only develop one drug to hit one drug target, but cancer cells are just so darn smart, they’ll figure out a way to create resistance," she said. The pharmacists realized they needed to attack cancer in multiple ways in order to achieve effective treatment and prevention.

"The discovery of this compound was so rewarding to me as a professor, scientist and person," Witt-Enderby said, "As someone who is aging, developing drugs that are safe and acceptable to people afflicted with disease is a priority."

The drug is still being tested and has not yet been tried in humans, but preliminary tests with mice show great promise, according to the pharmacists. 

Visiting lecturer to speak on language at CMU

Learning: it may happen when you least expect it, according to Stanford University Professor Shirley Brice Heath, who will lecture on the topic of language learning on Oct. 6 at Carnegie Mellon University.

Heath is a linguistic anthropologist who has studied language acquisition in various environments. During her lecture, "Learning Language the Meandering Way: Three Instances To Ponder," she will make a case for what she calls meandered learning, or learning that takes place outside of traditional instructional situations. According to CMU, Heath has found meandered learning taking place across the life span, from seven months to 70 years old.

While these findings may seem surprising to language instructors who value workbooks, repetition and flash cards, just think of a babbling baby. She may seem to be wasting time making funny noises, but perhaps she's actually practicing skills.

According to CMU, Heath will draw on recent neuroscience research that shows "mucking about" (the British term for goofing around) may actually be beneficial, especially for those learning languages. Heath arrives at her conclusions after years spent recording language and gestures in children's play areas, science labs and art studios, among other places.

"Her work argues that ways of learning across these settings draw language development and artful thinking together toward what often evolves into thinking like a scientist," according to Carnegie Mellon University spokeswoman Shilo Rea. 

Heath, who has written numerous books and helped to discover the first known collection of English children's literature, was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Carnegie Mellon in 1999. Mariana Achugar, associate professor of Hispanic Studies and Second Language Acquisition at Carnegie Mellon, thinks Heath's work will be interesting to educators, language learning researchers and policymakers alike.

"Education reform has focused on academic achievement, limiting the opportunities to engage in social play and structured types of creative work through the arts and hands-on science projects," Achugar said in a statement. "Heath reminds us of the importance of learning in everyday situations and why these experiences can be particularly important for children growing up in impoverished communities."

"Her work demonstrates the importance of socialization experiences in families and communities that enable children to develop particular ways of using language to create, imagine and acquire expertise in tasks that require guidance, critique and hypothetical thinking," Achugar added.

When: 4:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 6

Where: Porter Hall 100, Carnegie Mellon University
 

Who's hiring in PGH? Rothschild Doyno, Lawrenceville United and more

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting opportunities in Pittsburgh. If you have a job to share, email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line.

The folks at Lawrenceville United are looking to hire a Community Engagement and Program Manager to work on the neighborhood's revitalization. The Community Engagement and Program Manager will help to identify needs within the community and will convene partner agencies to devise strategies to address those needs through special programs and initiatives. Starting salary is between $33,000 and $38,000, depending on experience. If you want to apply, submit a cover letter and resume to hr@Lunited.org.

Are you experienced at designing buildings? If so, Rothschild Doyno Collaborative is looking for you. The firm is seeking a project architect with eight to 12 years experience and at least a bachelor’s degree in architecture with an interest in urban design. They are also seeking an architect intern who is working on a degree in the field. The company is committed to developing the careers of new hires and looking for people who are talented individually and work well collaboratively.

The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is hiring tutu makers, among other positions. The company is looking for a costume assistant who can help dye fabric and shoes and make hats and crowns. Starting salary is between $25,000 and $30,000 per year. At least three years of experience in costuming or fashion is desired. The theater is also hiring telemarketers, a pilates instructor, a part-time accompanist and a part-time fitness instructor. All jobs are listed here.

The Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania is looking for a public affairs associate to manage media relationships. The associate would also manage the organization's blog and write newsletters. The mission of the Veterans Leadership Program is to provide essential housing, employment and vital support services to eligible local veterans, service members and their families. Interested applicants should have at least three years of related experience; veterans will be given preference. The application deadline is Sept. 26, so polish up your resume!

A few weeks ago, we mentioned that the Phipps Conservatory was hiring for a number of positions including executive secretary. They still have a number of positions to be filled, so check them out and let your job skills bloom.

How do you recycle a house of gold?

What if demolishing a building were a gentle process, more like taking apart a puzzle than bulldozing? Wilkinsburg artist Dee Briggs hopes to dismantle an abandoned home she purchased, so that each part can be reused.
 
In a Kickstarter video she created to help fund the project, Briggs explains that initially, she was going to tear the house down and build a side yard for herself, since the Wilkinsburg home is beside her own. However, after learning the history of the 139-year-old home, she decided the property needed to be treated with love. 

The first step for Briggs was painting the house gold.

"The House of Gold project is a metaphor, and it's meant to remind people to see the value in people and places before they're gone," Briggs writes of the project. "Would you remember me if I weren’t gold?  Probably not," Briggs writes from the perspective of the house, whose narrative she has reconstructed and re-told.

"In 1875, Caroline Richmond owned this land….. Caroline, David and the kids lived here for almost 30 years," Briggs writes as the house, located in front of a bus stop at 1404 Swissvale Ave. "In 1906 I was sold to Martha Daugherty. She was 22 years old at the time and her husband Henry was 27. They were beautiful, kind, brown people and I was very happy to be their house. Henry was a house painter (I think he would have loved seeing me gold)."

The Daughertys also lived in the house for 30 years before it was again sold to Joseph Marcotulli, an Italian immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1909, according to Briggs. "He, his wife Mary, and their kids .... lived with me for almost 60 years. Joe built a storefront in my basement that faced Park Avenue and his wife ran a corner store in it. Everyone in the neighborhood called the market Mary Marcotulli's," Briggs writes.

Taking the house apart piece by piece will pay homage to its history, and Briggs has assembled a team devoted to ensuring what she calls a "gentle demolition." "Simply put--I don't want to throw this house in the garbage," Briggs writes on her Kickstarter page. 
 
However, taking the house apart by hand is more expensive than simply knocking it down, and Briggs says she will need to raise $30,000 in order to complete the demolition. "Supporting this project will give this house a chance at a new life and greatly reduce what goes in the landfill," the sculptor and architect writes on her Kickstarter page.
 
The first team of people in the home will be from Construction Junction, an organization that will take the decorative elements out of the home so they may be re-sold to area residents.

Then, Briggs’ team will take over: "Instead of one guy, one day and a big machine, the house will be dismantled by at least seven people working together over the course of three weeks," Briggs writes, "And most of all it will create an important case study that tracks the real costs of taking a house like this apart and reusing it so that it can be shared with others.”
 
When the demolition is finished, Briggs writes that she hopes to use the space to benefit the community.

“I'm sure there will be challenges - starting with relocating the groundhog who seems to have moved in," she writes, adding that she's sure the project can be completed. “It will be a labor of love for me for sure but I think it’s worth it and I hope that you do too,” Briggs writes.

She has already raised over $9,000 from 84 backers, but with the Kickstarter campaign expiring on Sept. 25, she needs all the help she can get.

Who's hiring, college edition: Featuring Point Park, Chatham and Duquesne

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. This week, we're focusing on hiring at educational institutions.

As always, if you have a job opportunity that you want listed, email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com subject line "hiring."

Duquesne University has an assortment of full-time staff, administrative and faculty positions available. Just email your resume and cover letter to careers@duq.edu for staff and administrative positions and to facultyjobs@duq.edu for faculty positions, specifying which job you are applying for. 

Full time staff positions open now include: police communications operator, library assistant at the Gumberg Library, computer support specialist and events AV technician for university events. 

Full time administrative positions available include: technology buyer at the computer store, supervisor of building maintenance and campus utility systems, Catholic campus minister, business manager for McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, marketing technology and social media manager for the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business, executive director of e-Learning, instructional technology engineer, Windows server systems administrator, Linux systems administrator and major gifts officer in the University Advancement department.

Duquesne is also looking for a part time international admissions specialist. For more details about faculty job openings, click here.

For a question about a faculty job, a support staff, or a professional/managerial position in an academic department, contact Marla Bradford, senior employment recruiter at bradfordm845@duq.edu and for a question about any position in a non-academic area, contact Heidi Bachner at lynchh@duq.edu

Chatham University, a newly co-ed private institution that was formerly a women's college, has a number of available full time and part-time positions listed on its website. There are adjunct positions in counseling psychology, food studies, philosophy and logic, and English as a second language. Assistant or associate professor jobs are available in business, education, physical therapy, sustainable agro-ecology and physics.

The university is also looking for a library archivist and admissions counselor and a director for its Women's Institute among other positions.

To apply for a job a Chatham, you have to create an account, but you can copy and paste your cover letter and resume into the application, rather than entering each former job manually.

Point Park University is also recognized by Pop City for its easy application process. To apply for a full time faculty position at Point Park, you usually just send your cover letter and resume to an email address listed in the job posting. Point Park also lets you know which jobs are open and which have been filled.

The university is currently looking for assistant professors of information technology; electrical engineering technology; sports, arts and entertainment management and a visiting professor of management. When it comes to staff and administrative positions, the university is looking for a project manager, a director of operations, a managing director of development and an enrollment information analyst. They are also looking for a part-time driver. Point Park lists the date jobs were added, so you don't have to guess.

Children's garden in North Braddock has super powers

There is a garden in North Braddock where children can play Tetris with plants, and that's just the tip of the iceberg lettuce. Gardweeno, an interactive children's community garden space at 1014 Bell Ave. is working to intergrate technological learning into plant life, according to co-founder and artist Lindsey Scherloum.

"We are adding digital components to the garden through the use of Arduino," Scherloum says, explaining Arduino is a microcontroller that allows computers to sense and control more of the physical world than a desktop computer could.

Arduino will allow sensors in the garden to function as barometers, check the plant's Ph balance and most importantly, serve as teaching tools for children. The garden also has software called Makey Makey that can turn any conducting object into a button, and that's how the kids are able to play Tetris by touching the leaves of plants.

Scherloum explains,"Our idea was to introduce digital literacy through the garden and use open source computer programing to implement additional observation tools."

The idea to add computer components to the garden came after Scherloum's project parter, Zena Ruiz, discovered artists and makers were using tiny programable Arduinos to make magic happen in ordinary environments. The pair realized that when kids in the neighborhood were not outside, they spent most of their time playing computer games at their local library, and decided that introducing kids to computer literacy early was particularly important. The women, who are neighbors in North Braddock, thought it would be cool to use the computer tools "to quantify the qualitiative observations they made in the garden," Scherloum says.

As unusual as it may seem to intergrate technology into a garden, where things get hot, wet and dirty, Scherloum says the idea to garden with local kids happened somewhat naturally.

"All these kids on our block between the ages of 10 and 14 would come up to us and say 'we are bored, can we help you in your garden,'" Scherloum says.

So she and Ruiz obliged and created programming for them. Around 14 kids are now garden regulars and participate in Gardweeno's summer programs. The kids who came to the garden lived two blocks on either side of it, Scherloum says, explaining that the garden helped kids understand that they can make an impact on their small stomping ground. With funding from the aptly named Sprout Fund and support from North Braddock Cares and the Borough of North Braddock, Gardweeno will offer afterschool programing from 4PM to 6PM on Mondays and Wednesdays through October 26.

Scherloum says the program is open to all kids, but asked that kids who aren't coming from the North Braddock area BYOP—bring your own parent. Scherloum is looking for adults who might be interested in working on the technological aspects of the garden as well as others who might want to spend time hanging out in a garden with a bunch of kids. The garden is currently growing tomatoes, kale, green beans, herbs, cherries, radishes, beets, onions, asparagus---and possibly a future generation of high-tech farmers.

Thrival will show entreprenuers a good time

Many revelers will gather at Thrival this weekend to check out the festival's musical lineup, but for area entrepreneurs, the festival offers the opportunity to network, learn something new and maybe even be discovered, according to Thrill Mill CEO Bobby Zappala.

Zappala says the music and innovation festival started in 2007 because he and friends in the startup community felt they needed somewhere to have a good time while learning about what entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh were up to.

"People were doing interesting things, but they weren’t really communicating effectively," says Zappala, whose start-up incubator organized the festival. He described the festival as a local South-by-Southwest, "except instead of spotlighting talent from other places, we are shining a light on what's already here."

Buried behind the headlining acts, the event offers a free panel of workshops from September 8 through 14 aimed at entrepreneurs. Zappala says part of the thought behind this was to connect area startups with others who might be able to assist them and to help incubators like his discover new great ideas.

"In some places like Silicon Valley ideas are a dime a dozen," Zappala says, "but here in Pittsburgh, everyone wants to hear what you've come up with."

The panels are listed here, some require registration ahead of time, but Zappala says, "If there's something you're really curious about, just show up."

Who knows, your big idea could be discovered by one of the area's many startup backers including AlphaLab, Thrill Mill, The Sprout Fund or New Sun Rising. Google will also be hosting a workshop as will Chatham University.

Tickets to the muscial portion of the event are being sold at http://www.showclix.com/event/THRIVAL and cost $45 for one day and $75 for the entire weekend festival. Zappala said last year's event drew a crowd of around 2000 people and he expects this year's festival, featuring performers including Moby, DJ Z Trip and Talib Kweli to attract even more patrons this year.

Who's hiring in PGH? Pittsburgh magazine, Phipps Conservatory and more!

Ok we took a little break last week, but now it's time to really find a job for you! Each week, Pop City brings you exciting opportunities in Pittsburgh. Contact us @popcitypgh and let us know if we've helped you snag the job of your dreams, and if you have a job you want listed, email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com subject line "hiring."

If you like to stop and smell the flowers while you're at work, Phipps Conservatory is hiring for a number of positions including: human resources coordinator, gift shop coordinator, executive assistant and building maintenance technician. These positions are all full-time. The conservatory is also looking to hire part-time guest service associates and a part time event assistant.

After you finish smelling the flowers, have some candy with Edward Marc, a Pittsburgh-based, rapidly expanding manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of chocolate and caramel products. The candy company is looking to fill a variety of positions including: accounting clerk, front office assistant, director of supply chain, logistics inventory control specialist and production manager. For more details on each of these positions, click here. 

Pittsburgh Magazine is hiring a digital director to fill a big job. The ideal candidate should be a multitalented editor with strong social-media and content-curation chops, able to seamlessly toggle between the long-lead deadlines of the monthly magazine and the fast-paced environment of daily blogging and editing. The successful candidate will balance a commitment to meaningful journalism, an entrepreneurial mindset and a demonstrated ability to maintain record-setting traffic/audience growth. Easy!

Mizrahi Inc. a creative marketing communications firm is looking to hire a senior designer for interactive and print media. The ideal person will have a minimum of five years experience in the field, excellent Adobe Creative Suite skills, strong presentation and written communication skills and project management experience. Knowledge of and experience with HTML, CSS and JavaScript programming is a plus. To be considered for this position email resume and portfolio to lmizrahi@mizrahionline.com 

BD&E strategic branding and marketing communications is looking for someone as comfortable in digital design as they are with an X-acto knife. If you are an artist with technical skills and find yourself obsessed with typography, this could be the job for you. The job title is production artist, production specialist, last line of defense---who wouldn't want that on their resume?

Clear Story a creative services firm specializing in technical production and lighting design is looking to hire someone to manage its rental event space. The event space coordinator would work part-time in the company's space. The ideal candidate would be able to manage the company's calendar and give tours of the event space among other duties. 
 

Your healthcare idea could win a contest and even save lives!

Think you've got the next great idea when it comes to improving individualized healthcare? The Pitt Innovation Challenge is looking for new ideas from community members and is offering $375,000 in prize money to be divided amongst winners. All you have to do to win is think of something groundbreaking, make a YouTube video about your idea and, if you're selected, pitch your great idea to a panel of judges.

Since Pop City readers are highly intelligent, we expect you to not only compete, but to win.

John Maier, a faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh's Family Medicine division says the contest is aimed at getting city residents involved with the university. People interested in entering their ideas must team up with a Pitt professor, "but don't worry if you don't know one, we'll find you one to work with," Maier says.

Applicants will team up with professors in various departments, depending upon the idea. For example, if your idea is to create a series of physical movements that might be helpful in recovering from back pain, you might work with a professor in the dance department.

To win the contest, your idea doesn't even need to be something that seems like it needs to be funded, "sometimes simple ideas are the best," Maier says.

For example, if one wanted to inform a patient population that it was helpful to sleep in a certain position to prevent sleep apnea, Maier says that might require studies and a public relations campaign which the university might be able to help with.

Last year's winning ideas included: an app that encouraged smokers to quit by reminding them of things they cared about during times when they most wanted to smoke:
A bandage that helps diabetics heal from ulcers while allowing them to participate in regular activities:
And a phone app that measured tremors in Parkinson's patients to help doctors know when to adjust medications:

"There is a long history of people using challenges to solve problems. It goes back to Napoleon," Maier explains, "he had a problem with food and offered a prize and that led to the invention of the tin can."

Another prize---the longitude prize--was given by a king to whomever could create a clock that would function on a ship, Maier says, "competitions have been a way of motivating people to solve tough problems," he adds.

Medical problems can sometimes be solved by those who experience them or by friends and family members who are aware of challenges posed by particular conditions, Maier explains.

"We know that there’s all sorts of talented creative people here in the city," Maier says, adding that those people shouldn't be afraid of the university stealing their ideas: "It’s not our goal for the university to get more things in their war chest, our goal is to get things to move forward," he says.
 

Carnegie Mellon launches Brain Institute

Carnegie Mellon University is full of brains, and now it will have a brain institute to learn more about its most precious asset, the university announced Tuesday.

While the brain is a great conduit of pleasure, it can be a receptor of pain as well.

"Every 20 seconds, someone commits suicide," says Carnegie Mellon University President Subra Suresh, "people who live to be 85 have a 50 percent chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease and 16 million Americans suffer from major depression each year," he adds. 

These facts were not meant to cause an onslaught of anxiety, but to highlight the reasons that studying the functionality of the brain is paramount. Director of the National Institutes of Health, Thomas Instel, who joined Suresh, explains that the time to study brain disorders is now.

"We really don't know much about the brain, it's actually stunning," Instel says, "that public health mandate and that profound ignorance is for me really the urgent need to begin to change the way we approach studying this most mysterious part of who we are."

Istel explains that as our population ages, diseases like Alzheimer’s will become more prevalent, he also says the brain is a very trendy topic, showing public support and enthusiasm for further inquiry. The university hopes to create tools for studying the links between the brain and behavior, which might enable new insights into topics such as cognition, learning and perception. They would also like to shed light on brain disorders such as autism and Parkinson's disease. 

They have formed a global partnership with Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China; the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore; and Oxford University and the University of Warwick, U.K. and will also work with long-time collaborators from the University of Pittsburgh to gain a variety of expertise and perspectives.

"Carnegie Mellon is home to some of the world's top scientists investigating brain function and human behavior," says Suresh, explaining the university's unique position, "We also are home to the pre-eminent computer science program in the country and a world-class engineering school. By combining these areas of expertise, along with CMU's renowned talents in data sciences, the science of learning, policy and cybersecurity, we will enable innovative computational approaches to understanding brain function and dysfunction, as well as facilitate the development of tools to unravel the complexities of the human mind."

Watch Instel's CMU address below to learn more about just exactly where brain research is headed (no pun intended). 


Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Clear Story, Girl Scouts and more!

Chin up, job seeker. If you keep applying, you will prevail. Each week, Pop City brings you exciting opportunities in Pittsburgh. Contact us @popcitypgh and let us know if we've helped you snag the job of your dreams, and if you have a job you want listed, email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com subject line "hiring."

This week, the Girl Scouts need help doing a bit more than selling cookies. They are looking to hire two part time leadership facilitators to work with junior high and high school girls to deliver Girl Scout curriculum and programming that is girl-led and relevant to girls’ lives. You should have a valid driver's license; pay is between $12-$15 per hour. The Girl Scouts is also looking for a part time grant coordinator to manage and submit funding proposals and a full time finance assistant to perform general accounting duties. Basically, there is something for everyone.

If you feel you make a great first impression, WorkAble is holding a fall career fair on September 18, from 9AM to Noon at the Bethel Park Community Center, located at 5151 Park Avenue in Bethel Park. The fair will include employers from Rivers Casino, University of Pittsburgh, West Penn Allegheny Health System, Community College of Allegheny County (South Campus), St. Clair Hospital and several others. Organizers have told us the career fair is appropriate for all levels of professional experience, so just show up with your resume.

Stormworks, wants someone to explain to customers why rainy days are actually awesome. This person will manage sales and operations. "Your charge will be to lead the StormWorks team to success. You will guide the strategy and take responsibility for growing our business, reaching new customers, and thus creating a greater positive impact." Once you learn more about the amazing products this company makes to help harness the power of rain, this job will seem easy. 

The Women's Law Project is looking for a development and program associate to support the organization's mission of creating a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of women. The perfect person will be an all-around non-profit wiz, have excellent written and spoken communication skills, an interest in social media and an ability to track expenses and plan meetings.

Finally, if money isn't your angle, Venture Outdoors is looking to hire part time trip leader specialists to lead outdoor excursions and help with the organization's events. Some things you might do include help with hiking trips, flat water paddling jaunts, biking journeys and geocaching. You would assist during portable rock climbing wall events and support the organization with other tasks as necessary. Super fun! Pay is $9 per hour (plus a possible tan).
 
1907 Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts