McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Steven Little, PhD, Associate Professor and Bicentennial Alumni Faculty Fellow of the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, has been appointed Chair of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, according to an announcement from the Office of the Dean. Dr. Little's appointment is effective May 1, 2012.
"Steve is an accomplished researcher and dynamic professor who brings a wealth of ideas and enthusiasm to the department," noted Gerald D. Holder, US Steel Dean of Engineering. "As our school continues to grow in academic achievement, his leadership will play a vital role."
"I could not be more excited in this new role and the level of support from the rest of the faculty is really overwhelming," Dr. Little said.
Dr. Little joined the Swanson School of Engineering in 2006 where his research focuses on the controlled release of drugs. He holds the Bicentennial Board of Visitors Endowed Faculty Fellowship and also retains appointments in the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine and in the Swanson School's Department of Bioengineering. Recently, he was elected Chair of the Drug Delivery Special Interest Group in the Society for Biomaterials.
Dr. Little holds eight US patents and provisional applications for patents including new methods to fabricate controlled release vehicles in a high throughput fashion; dissolvable synthetic-vasculature; novel complex delivery vehicles; and a description of the first degradable, artificial cell. Since joining Pitt, Dr. Little has received funding from the National Institutes for Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Army, the US Department of Defense, the American Heart Association, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, and several industrial sources that total almost $5 million.
His research has been recognized with University and national awards including the Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award, the Swanson School Board of Visitor's award, the Coulter Foundation Translational Research Award, an NIH K-Award, the American Heart Association's Career Development Award, and the University of Pittsburgh's Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award. Most recently he was named the 2012 recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in the field of biomaterials research within 10 years following his terminal degree or formal training.
Within his field Dr. Little is active through leadership in several societies including the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMS), the Materials Research Society (MRS), and the Society for Biomaterials (SFB). He has organized and served as the chair of large, multi-session symposiums for ACS, SFB, and MRS, and this year will serve as organizer of an entire Topical Conference for the AIChE Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, October 28-November 2.
Dr. Little received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2005 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he held three National Graduate Fellowships and received the American Association for the Advancement of Science Excellence in Research Award for his work on engineered therapies that interface with the human immune system. He received a bachelor of engineering in Chemical Engineering from Youngstown State University in 2000.