Mellon Scholars

Mellon Scholars

One of the unique facets of the Institute for Pediatric Research is the Mellon Scholars Program, which enables promising physician-scientists in the early stages of their careers to pursue potential breakthrough research projects in biomedicine. Startup and continuous funding together with state-of-the-art core facilities foster high-risk, high-impact projects and encourage the Institute’s researchers to pursue their most innovative ideas.

Mellon Scholars are selected on the basis of work that is:

  • Highly innovative, delivering new expertise to the biomedical research community;
  • Likely to lead to major breakthroughs;
  • Capable of having a long-lasting impact on the practice of medicine.

The Scholars

Bernhard Kuhn, MD  

Bernhard Kühn, MD
Understanding the unique workings of heart muscle cells is the passion of physician-scientist Bernhard Kühn. He and his team of researchers in the Kühn Lab  are focused on discovering ways to promote replication and proliferation of heart muscle cells so as to enable the heart to heal itself in cases of heart failure or congenital defects. A pioneer in this area of study, Dr. Kühn is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the American College of Cardiology’s prestigious Young Investigator Award. A board-certified pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Kuhn sees patients with heart muscle diseases in the outpatient clinic of the Heart Institute at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.


Stephen Maricich, MD, PhD  

Stephen M. Maricich, MD, PhD
A child neurologist whose research lab focuses on understanding sensory system development, Dr. Maricich and his team work on two main lines of study. The first tries to understand processes that control development of Merkel cells, which are specialized skin cells that are critical to the sense of touch. Deranged growth of these cells is also thought to cause a type of cancer that is currently very difficult to treat. The second project studies development of neurons in the brain that are important for hearing, and how disruptions of development lead to reorganization of connectivity and function of the auditory system.


Last Update
April 1, 2015
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Last Update
April 1, 2015