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Newsmaker: Steven Little

| Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 12:00 p.m.

Age: 30

Residence: Allison Park

Family: Wife, Heather; son, Aaron, 2

Education: Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, Youngstown State University; Doctorate in chemical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; certificate of clinical research, University of Pittsburgh

Occupation: Pitt assistant professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering and immunology

Background: Was a post-doctoral associate at MIT whose work dealt with the delivery of genetic vaccines before he came to Pitt in 2006. He and other researchers developed synthetic material engineered to work like pathogens.

Noteworthy: Received a 2008 Beckman Young Investigators award, which includes a three-year grant of $300,000. Eventually, his work could be used to avoid rejection in organ transplant patients or to help people with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis.

Quote: "We're very excited to receive it because it's going to help further the research. It also gives credence to the work. It will fund the education and Ph.D. degrees of several students."

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