At the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Steven Little is the Chairman of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and is the William Kepler Whiteford Endowed Professor in the Departments of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Bioengineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Immunology, and Ophthalmology. Dr. Little came to the University of Pittsburgh in 2006 after receiving his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Researchers in Dr. Little’s Lab focus upon therapies that are biomimetic in that they replicate the biological function and interactions of living entities using synthetic systems. The areas of study include bioengineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, ophthalmology, and immunology. The health issues addressed include autoimmune disease, battlefield wounds, cancer, HIV, ocular diseases, and transplantation. Some of the ongoing research projects in the lab include: Mimicking Biological Structure and Behavior Using Polymeric Release Systems and Carbon Nanotubes, Treatments for Periodontitis that Restore Immunological Homeostasis, Sequential Delivery of Growth Factors for Regeneration of Tissues, and Thermo-gelling Eye Drops for the Delivery of Ophthalmic Therapies.
Dr. Little’s research has resulted in 80 peer reviewed publications; 3 book chapters and the founding of two spin-out companies located in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Little has delivered 60 invited talks including 6 plenary presentations and 5 keynote presentations. Dr. Little has been recognized by national and international awards including the Curtis W. McGraw Research Award from the ASEE, being elected as a fellow of BMES and AIMBE, a Carnegie Science Award for Research, the Society for Biomaterials’ Young Investigator Award, the University of Pittsburgh’s Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award, being named a Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar, being named an Arnold and Mabel Beckman Young Investigator, and being elected to the Board of Directors of the Society for Biomaterials. In addition, Dr. Little’s exceptional teaching and leadership in education have also been recognized by both the University of Pittsburgh’s Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award and a 2nd Carnegie Science Award for Post-Secondary Education. Dr. Little was also recently named one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40, a “Fast Tracker” by the Pittsburgh Business Times, and also one of only five individuals in Pittsburgh who are “reshaping our world” by Pop City Media.