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Trib editorial: UPMC-Pitt immunotherapy center advances city's medical legacy

| Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, 10:03 a.m.
UPMC CEO Jeffrey A. Romoff addresses a news conference announcing plans for the UPMC-Pitt Immune Transplant and Therapy Center at 5000 Baum Blvd.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
UPMC CEO Jeffrey A. Romoff addresses a news conference announcing plans for the UPMC-Pitt Immune Transplant and Therapy Center at 5000 Baum Blvd.

Pittsburgh, as a destination for cutting-edge medical innovation, will get a $200 million infusion with the scheduled 2020 opening of the Immune Transplant and Therapy Center, a collaboration between UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh.

In a century-old, 200,000-foot plant on Baum Boulevard, where workers once assembled various components into automobiles, medical researchers will develop drugs and therapies intended to boost the body's immune system to better treat conditions associated with cancer, organ transplants and the process of aging. The labs, offices and startup companies that will fill the center are projected to create 2,000 jobs.

Where better than Pittsburgh, where research by Dr. Thomas Starzl advanced organ transplants over half a century, to accelerate the study of life sciences? And where better than Allegheny County, where the median age (41) is higher than the national average, to study aging's toll on the immune system?

With its abundant research and hospital facilities, Pittsburgh is poised to become a global innovator in medical advancement, according to a Brookings Institution analysis. “Here we are looking at cutting-edge research,” says Jeffrey Romoff, UPMC president and CEO.

Just as Pittsburgh once provided the steel that built a nation, UPMC-Pitt's immunotherapy research facility has all the potential to produce the drugs and therapies to support and sustain longer, healthier lives.

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