Zoltan Nagy Oltvai, MD
Associate Professor of Pathology

Dr. Oltvai is a staff pathologist in the Division of Clinical Microbiology. He is also a faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Science Graduate Program, the Medical Scientist Training Program, the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Training Program, and the Joint CMU-Pitt PhD Program in Computational Biology.

Office Location:
Rm. S701 Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-383-7408
Lab Telephone: 412-648-8519
Fax: 412-383-9594
Email: oltvai@pitt.edu


  • MD - Semmelweiss Medical University, Budapest

Clinical Expertise

Molecular Diagnostics (hereditary diseases, infectious diseases, hematologic malignancies)

Research Interests

Biomedical research today is conducted largely in the context of an established paradigm that is fundamentally reductionist in nature. Yet, despite the enormous success of this approach, it is increasingly clear that discrete biological function and the astounding complexity of living systems cannot be understood by studying individual molecules. Instead, most biological characteristics arise from complex interactions among the cell's numerous molecular constituents. Thus, a key challenge for 21st century biology is to understand the structure and the dynamics of the complex intracellular web of interactions among the various types of molecules that contribute to the function and the physical entity of a living cell. Together with our collaborators, our laboratory focuses on the understanding of the system-level organization of cellular metabolism, and how environmental cues are processed through regulatory pathways leading to rearranged metabolic activities. In the long run, we are also interested in applying this knowledge to improved disease diagnosis and treatment.


Clinical Pathology, 1998 (The American Board of Pathology)


Molecular Diagnostics, Pathology Informatics

Selected Publications

View Dr. Oltvai's publications on PubMed

  • Tedeschi, P.M., Markert, E.K., Gounder, M., Lin, H., Dvorzhinski, D., Dolfi, S.C., Chan, L.L., Qiu, J., DiPaola, R.S., Hirshfield, K.M., Boros, L.G., Bertino, J.R., Oltvai, Z.N. and Vazquez, A. (2013) Contribution of serine, folate and glycine metabolism to the ATP, NADPH, and purine requirements of cancer cells. Cell Death Dis., 4, e877
  • Dolfi, S.C., Chan, L.L., Qiu, J., Tedeschi, P.M., Bertino, J.R., Hirshfield K.M., Oltvai, Z.N. and Vazquez, A., (2013) The metabolic demands of cancer cells are coupled to their size and protein synthesis rates. Cancer & Metab.,1:20
  • Cobanoglu, M.C., Liu, C., Hu, F., Oltvai, Z.N. and Bahar, I. (2013) Predicting drug-target interactions using probabilistic matrix factorization. J. Chem. Inf. Model. 53, 3399-409
  • Zhou, Y., Vazquez, A., Wise, A., Warita, T., Warita, K., Bar-Joseph, Z., and Oltvai, Z.N. (2013) Carbon catabolite repression correlates with the maintenance of near invariant molecular crowding and optimal biomass production in proliferating E. coli cells. BMC Systems Biol. 7:138
  • Liu, B., Bhatt, D., Oltvai, Z.N., Greenberger, J.S. and Bahar, I. (2014) Significance of p53 dynamics in regulating apoptosis in response to ionizing radiation, and polypharmacological strategies. Sci. Rep., 4: 6245
  • Warita, K., Warita, T., Beckwitt, C., Schurdak, M.E., Vazquez, A., Wells, A. and Oltvai, Z.N., (2014) Statin-induced mevalonate pathway inhibition attenuates the growth of mesenchymal-like cancer cells that lack functional E-cadherin mediated cell cohesion. Sci. Rep., 4:7593
  • Cobanoglu, M.C., Oltvai, Z.N., Taylor, D.L. and Bahar, I. (2015) BalestraWeb: efficient, online evaluation of drug-target interactions. Bioinformatics, 31:131-133