Pitt+Me Day: A SALK-a-bration of Research!

What do the polio vaccine, CPR, and double-organ transplantation have in common? They were all discovered thanks to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and research volunteers like you who worked together to make these groundbreaking discoveries possible.

Every October, we celebrate the birthday of the late Dr. Jonas Salk— a University of Pittsburgh researcher who led the team that developed the first polio vaccine in the 1950s and conducted, what was at the time, the largest national clinical trial in history. Today, thanks to the work of Salk and others, only a handful of polio cases are reported in the United States each year.

As we face a new global health crisis, Pitt researchers are once again at the forefront of discovery and innovation. Whether it’s testing new vaccines and therapies, developing novel vaccine delivery systems, working to combat health disparities, or studying how the virus affects pregnant women and those with underlying conditions, our local research community has come together like never before to address the challenges of COVID-19. 

Join us on the anniversary of Dr. Jonas Salk’s birthday to celebrate the past and learn more about the future of research at the University of Pittsburgh.



Pitt+Me Registry

The Pitt+Me® Registry is a program that shares information with the public about research study opportunities at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. Pitt+Me is open to children and adults of any age, healthy or sick, and features hundreds of research studies on a variety of physical and mental health topics. Play an important role in the process of discovery by joining the more than 240,000 Pitt+Me participants already enrolled!

To sign up and start receiving research opportunities that may interest you or someone you know, please visit our JOIN page or call 1-866-438-8230. You can also enroll your children aged birth-17 by visiting the parents’ section of the website. Already a Pitt+Me participant? Thank you for helping to improve health through research.

In honor of Dr. Salk, today we are highlighting researchers who carry on Pitt’s proud legacy of tackling the world’s most difficult health crises. Please see below to browse all COVID-19 research studies and learn more about our featured research studies related to vaccines, therapeutics, and community experiences. 



COVID-19 Research Studies

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. People who have COVID-19 can experience a range of symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, diarrhea, headache, and loss of smell or taste. Although most people with COVID-19 recover, others can become severely ill or even die. Research into COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and effects on health and society is ongoing.



Featured COVID-19 Research Studies

Pittsburgh Vaccine Clinical Trial Unit Registry - Adults

Are you interested in vaccine research? If so, you can sign up to be part of the Pittsburgh Vaccine Clinical Trial Unit Registry—a group of people who agree to be contacted when a new vaccine is ready to be tested. Consent to participate in this research study can be done online. Compensation provided if a blood sample is collected.


Pittsburgh Vaccine Clinical Trial Unit Registry – Children Aged Birth-17

Are you the parent of a child under the age of 18? If so, you can sign your child up for the Pittsburgh Vaccine Clinical Trial Unit Registry—a group of people who agree to be contacted when a new vaccine is ready to be tested. Consent to participate in this research study can be done online. Compensation provided if a blood sample is collected.


ACTIV-2 COVID-19 Research Study

Did you test positive for COVID-19 within the past 7 days? Are you currently experiencing some symptoms of illness? You may be able to participate in a study that is evaluating the ability of various experimental medications to improve health outcomes for people with COVID-19. Participation involves up to 8 planned visits over 24 weeks. Compensation is provided.


MyPaTH Story Booth – COVID-19 Stories

Participants are invited to share how they are maintaining their health during the coronavirus pandemic, or to share what it is like being ill with COVID-19 and/or caring for a loved one who is ill with COVID-19. Participation in this research study involves one 45-minute session that takes place over the phone. Eligible participants must be able to read and understand English.




Join the Conversation!

Join us on social media to learn more about Pitt+Me. Throughout the day, we will be providing answers to frequently asked questions about research and the registry. Have a question? Submit it to ahead of time or join us online and tag @PittPlusMe or use #salkabration. We look forward to connecting with you!



Pitt Archives

The University Archives documents the history and traditions of the University of Pittsburgh community, from its founding as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787, through its re-chartering as the Western University of Pennsylvania, to the present. Thanks to Pitt Archives for sharing a little glimpse into Dr. Jonas Salk’s work on the polio vaccine as well as other Pitt researcher accomplishments.

Interview with Dr. Julius S. Youngner

Dr. Youngner was an American Distinguished Service Professor in the School of Medicine and Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. After arriving to Pittsburgh in 1949, he started working with Dr. Jonas Salk on the polio vaccine. Dr. Youngner and his efforts were responsible for making necessary advances in the development of the polio vaccine. Listen to the complete interview on the ULS Digital Collections.

Medical Research in the University Archives

Join Zachary Brodt, University Archivist & Records Manager at the University of Pittsburgh Library System, as he documents the history of medical innovation at Pitt.

Pitt Archives & Special Collections

The University of Pittsburgh’s Archives and Special Collections (A&SC) is one of the largest archives that documents Western Pennsylvania history. In the collections, you’ll find historic documents, photographs, video recordings, and much more.

Documenting Pitt

Documenting Pitt provides access to a sampling of records detailing the administrative, academic and athletic pursuits and achievements of the University community. View collections on the nationality rooms, campus life, yearbooks, and more!



Staff photo
Undergraduate students can earn Out of Classroom Curriculum (OCC) by self-reporting their SALK-a-bration experience through the Suitable app.