Pittsburgh Technical Council

Pittsburgh Tech News Roundup 3/14/2017

Pittsburgh Tech News Roundup 3/14/2017

Article Published: March 14, 2017

Comcast Business Announces $20 Million Investment to Expand High-Performance Ethernet Network in Pittsburgh

Comcast Business announced it is investing $20 million in a major expansion of its fiber-based network in downtown Pittsburgh, reaching more than 425 additional businesses directly and benefiting hundreds more by making the network more accessible. Capable of delivering up to 100 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) of network capacity, the fiber optic Ethernet network expansion will support advanced services and give Comcast the ability to give new customers, ranging from small and medium-sized organizations to large enterprises, quick access to its network.

While the Comcast Business fiber network already serves many of Pittsburgh’s largest companies and hundreds of businesses, this concentrated expansion will deploy more than 64 miles of new fiber optic cable and encompass the entire Golden Triangle. Significant work began about one year ago to provide high-performance Ethernet, Internet and advanced voice solutions to businesses and organizations throughout this downtown area, and additional work will be completed by 4Q 2018.

“This is one of the most significant infrastructure investments Comcast Business has made across the country, and we're proud to bring our best-in-class network deeper into downtown Pittsburgh to help the city and region continue its economic growth,” said Paul Merritt, regional vice president for Comcast Business. “As demand for our high-performance Ethernet offerings continues to soar, Comcast Business recognizes the need to respond quickly and provide scalable solutions that can meet demand as businesses grow.


PLSG, Committing to Increased University Commercialization, Brings on Marissa Kuzirian as Executive Associate

Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), Western Pennsylvania's only pure life sciences investment firm, today announced that Dr. Marissa Kuzirian has joined the PLSG as Executive Associate. 

With a PhD in Neuroscience from Brandeis University, Kuzirian came to the University of Pittsburgh as a Postdoctoral Scholar, funded by the NIH to study neural circuits. Once there, she served as Vice President of Business Development for Fourth River Solutions, a non-profit consulting group run by STEM students and postdocs, who apply their academic skills to real-world business and technology transfer issues. 

"We are thrilled to add Marissa's depth of scientific knowledge, particularly in support of university investment in brain science, to our team." said Jim Jordan, President and CEO of PLSG. "The universities' output in pharmaceutical startups has increased dramatically, and having Marissa at the PLSG gives us more capacity to support this growth." 

"I pursued a postdoc, as many people do, to perform translational research and gain business experience with an eye toward eventually moving into industry," adds Kuzirian.


Pitt Bioengineer Receives $1.54 million NIH Award to Better Predict Long-Term Performance of Biomedical Implants

The National Institutes of Health recently awarded Bryan Brown, assistant professor of bioengineering in the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering, a five-year, $1.54 million R01 grant for his investigation into the immune system response to implanted medical materials.

The study, “Assessing the Impact of Macrophage Polarization Upon the Success of Biomaterial Implants,” will build on Brown’s previous studies demonstrating that macrophage M1 and M2 polarization at early time points after the implantation of a biomedical material can predict long-term reactions by the host’s immune system. The information gathered by the study could significantly improve the success of biomaterial implants and minimize the negative response from the patient’s immune system, according to Brown.

“Our current tests have shown that the first week of macrophage activity near the host-implant interface can predict the immune system response downstream as far as 90 days,” says Brown. “We have developed methods for modulating macrophage activity, which we will use to understand why and how these early events after implantation serve as a precursor to the lifespan of the implant. Our research is suggesting, contrary to conventional understanding of host-biomaterial interactions, macrophages can be used to encourage positive, long-term outcomes for the implant and the patient.”

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