University of Pittsburgh

First visual proof that the rings of Saturn were particulate

Launching of first heavier-than-air flying craft to achieve free flight

First Trans-Atlantic transmission of radiowaves

Isolation and synthesis of ascorbic acid (vitamin C)

Salk Polio Vaccine

Development of world’s most powerful, permanent magnet material, samarium cobalt (SmCo5)

Syntehsis of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)

Discovery of quasars

First synthesis of insulin: The process happened in two phases: A-chain (Oct 1963) then B-chain (March 1964).  This is also the first time a true protein was ever synthesized.  The significance is that prior to this, insulin was gotten from sheep and cows and was complicated, expensive and messy process to extract and refine for humans to use
World’s first double transplant operation: Thomas E. Starzl, M.D., Ph.D., who performed the world’s first double transplant operation (simultaneous heart and liver) on a 6.5 year-old girl from Texas in 1984, went on, with colleagues, to develop the immunsuppressive drug tacrolimus (formerly known as FK 506) for use in transplant surgery as well as the theory of chimerism as a means of boosting transplant organ tolerance.  The pioneering work of Starzl and others established the University of Pittsburgh as a world leader in the field of organ transplation.

Identification of most distant galaxy

Development of “Green Steel.” The process replaces lead, a toxin, with tin in machining steel.  Lead is usually added to steel to make it easier to machine, or cut.  The elimination of lead makes the steel manufacturing process more environmentally friendly and reduces costs for machine shops.

Development of the “Sonic Flashlight” a handheld, realtime tomographic reflection device that superimposes ultrasound images on the part of th ebody being scanned
Development of non-invasive glucose sensor that can be worn as contact lens.  A thin plastic sensor that changes color based on the concentration of glucose rather than drawing blood.