Learn from Biomedical Experts on Demand with HSTalks

hstalksThe Biomedical and Life Sciences Collection from Henry Stewart Talks (HSTalks) is a treasure trove of curated, specially commissioned lectures from world-renowned scientists and clinicians (including Nobel Laureates). These talks are animated, online, audiovisual lectures, case studies, or seminar-style talks covering many basic research and therapeutic subject areas, and are appropriate for researchers from advanced undergraduates to seasoned practitioners.

Over 2,000 talks are easily discoverable by category/therapeutic area, series, or expert.

Categories include:

  • Agriculture & Environmental Sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Cancer
  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Diseases, Disorders, & Treatments
  • Genetics & Epigenetics
  • Immunology
  • Metabolism & Nutrition
  • Methods
  • Microbiology
  • Neurology
  • Omics & Systems Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Reproduction & Development

Therapeutic areas include:

  • Cardiovascular & Metabolic
  • Dermatology
  • Gynecology & Obstetrics
  • Hematology
  • Immunology & Inflammation
  • Infectious Disease
  • Neuroscience
  • Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Oral Health
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Vaccines

Each subject area lists the number of, and provides access to, relevant lectures, series, and experts. For example, the Genetics & Epigenetics category includes 516 lectures (e.g., “HSV Vectors: Approaches to Treatment of Chronic Pain” by Pitt Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Joseph Glorioso), 40 series (e.g., Cancer Genetics and Gene Transfer & Gene Therapy), and content from 498 experts. The Neuroscience therapeutic area includes 402 lectures (e.g., “Molecular Basis of NMDA Receptor Functional Diversity” by Pitt Professor of Neuroscience, Jon Johnson), 36 series (e.g., Animal Models in Biomedical Research and Nanomedicine), and content from 388 experts.

The HSTalks collection updates monthly with new talks and series. The intent of the talks is not only for personal education, but also for inclusion in classroom teaching, as they are ideally suited for flipped, distance, and blended learning. A one-click embedded feature allows for easy integration into Moodle, Blackboard, and other virtual learning environments. The HSTalks team will even suggest relevant lectures to include if you send them your syllabus. If desired, CME and CPD credits are available.

HSTalks are freely available 24/7 for all Pitt affiliates via the “Videos” tab on the HSLS MolBio homepage, searching PittCat, or directly from the HSTalks website. You will need to use remote access if off campus.

For more information, contact the MolBio Information Services Department.

~Carrie Iwema

Creating a Custom Filter in PubMed

PubMed custom filters allow you to filter any set of search results by criteria that are important to you.

PubMed provides a filter bar on search results pages to limit results by common criteria such as article type, gender, or age. These filters are useful, but customized filters aligned with your research interests can save you time and effort.

A researcher interested in the health of immigrants to the United States, for example, could create a filter for that population group, and add it to any relevant health topic search.

A topic filter can be represented with more than one word or phrase. The trick is to identify the most common words used to describe a topic in journal articles, test them, and add any productive ones to your filter. One approach would be to search for articles with your topic mentioned in the article title, and look for synonyms and subject headings for the topic in the retrieved records.

Using the United States immigrants example, a search was run for immigra*[ti] AND United States. The asterisk is a truncation mark signaling PubMed to retrieve variations on the word root. Many synonyms and variations on the word immigrant were collected and tested.

In the final search, they are connected by OR inside parentheses. AND is used to add United States to the search.

(immigrant* OR immigrat* OR emigrant* OR emigrat* OR emigre* OR migrant* OR migrat* OR undocumented) AND united states

Next you would log in to your My NCBI account, copy and paste your filter into the Filter manager, and then set it to appear with your PubMed search results. There is a short video showing how to add a custom filter to your My NCBI account in the collection of videos on using My NCBI’s features.

Now you can apply the filter to any search that you run. For example, a search for type 2 diabetes retrieves over 129,900 citations. Limiting it with the United States immigrant filter reduced that number to 247 citations.

For assistance creating a search filter, contact your liaison librarian or Ask a Librarian.

~Barb Folb

Win a $20 Target Gift Card!

For the chance to win a $20 Target gift card: pose with the HSLS website visible on your mobile device, have a friend snap a picture, and send it to mar@pitt.edu. How far can HSLS travel this summer? So far, we have ventured to Alabama, the island of Curacao, and Niagara on the Lake!

Location: Niagara on the Lake Picture taken by: Julia Dahm, HSLS, Technology Services Librarian
Location: Niagara on the Lake
Picture taken by: Julia Dahm, HSLS,
Technology Services Librarian

All photos submitted by staff, faculty, or students of one of the University of Pittsburgh schools of the health sciences (Medicine, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Public Health) by August 1, 2016, will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win a $20 Target gift card. Additional prizes will be given for the “most unique” picture and the one taken at the furthest location from Falk Library.

Please include your name, Pitt affiliation, and the location of where the picture was taken. The submitted pictures may be used in the display cases outside of Falk Library or in a future issue of the HSLS Update.

Don’t forget: HSLS online resources can be accessed through our website 24/7 anywhere in the world via EZproxy.

~Melissa Ratajeski

Relax with a Good Book this Summer!

If you are taking a break from work related reading this summer, consider relaxing on your porch with a book from the Leisure Reading@HSLS Collection. It is a revolving collection of newly-published, general fiction and non-fiction books, as well as a selection of popular magazines. The collection is located on the main floor of Falk Library in the comfortable seating area.


A number of the books in the Leisure Reading@HSLS Collection have recently appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers list and include:

  • The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews
  • After You by Jojo Moyes
  • The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  • The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • The Rainbow Comes And Goes: A Mother And Son On Life, Love, And Loss by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt

You can easily browse the collection or use PITTCat or the Pitt Resources Quick Search box to locate specific titles. Multiple books may be borrowed for a three-week period. If a book you want to read is checked out to another person, place a hold on the book and you’ll be notified when it is returned. We welcome recommendations, send your suggestions to Ask a Librarian.

~Nancy Tannery

HSLS Staff News

The HSLS Staff News section includes recent HSLS presentations, publications, staff changes, staff promotions, degrees earned, etc.


Arlie Chipps has joined the HSLS staff as a library specialist. In his new position, he will work at the Technology Help Desk and provide technology and media support.


Author names in bold are HSLS-affiliated

Carrie Iwema, information specialist in molecular biology, John LaDue, knowledge integration librarian, Angie Zack, web developer, and Ansuman Chattopadhyay, head of the Molecular Biology Information Service, published “search.bioPreprint: A Discovery Tool for Cutting Edge, Preprint Biomedical Research Articles in F1000Research, 5: 1396, 2016.

Brian Krummel, web application developer, NN/LM Web Services Office, published Biking the GAP: A Comprehensive, Visual Guidebook to Bicycling from Pittsburgh, PA, to Cumberland, MD, on the Great Allegheny Passage. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016. 270 pp.


Presenter name in bold is HSLS-affiliated

Lydia Collins, consumer health coordinator, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, presented “From Beyond Our Borders: Reliable Multilingual and Multicultural Consumer Health Resources” at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, on June 27, 2016.

Classes July 2016

HSLS offers classes on database searching, software applications such as Prezi, bibliographic management, and molecular biology and genetics. For more information, visit the online course descriptions.

Classes are held on the first floor of Falk Library (200 Scaife Hall) in Classroom 1 and on the upper floor of the library in Classroom 2. All classes are open to faculty, staff, and students of the schools of the health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, who will need a valid Pitt ID or e-mail account. They are also open to UPMC residents and fellows, who will need to show their UPMC IDs. Continue reading