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Newsmaker: Seth Horne

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Seth Horne, 35, of Squirrel Hill was awarded a five-year, $1.35-million grant from the National Institutes of Health to design synthetic proteins that will mimic but be more stable than natural proteins.
Thursday, July 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Notable: Horne in June received a five-year, $1.35-million grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund research into designing synthetic proteins to mimic natural proteins.

Some proteins, as they occur in nature, are unstable and difficult to work with in a clinical setting. Horne hopes to design proteins for use in cancer detection and to stop the spread of malaria parasites to humans. Some proteins could act as imagining agents inside the body, detecting cancer when tumors are small. Residence: Squirrel Hill

Occupation: Assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh.

Education: Undergraduate degree in chemistry from Texas A&M in 2000; Ph.D. in chemistry from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. in 2005; post-doctorate fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009.

Quote: “What we're doing is trying to take these known proteins and improve on them. ... The most important thing that we're trying to show is that this basic method for mimicking proteins with these specific molecules will work.”

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