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Steven S. An, PhD

  • Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E6646
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology PhD Program

SciVal Research Profile

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PhD, Brown University, 2000


My current work comprises both basic and translational research focusing on the cellular and molecular basis for obstructive lung disease and exploring new intervention strategies.

My lab has the unique capability to measure, at the single cell level, changes in stiffness using Magnetic Twisting Cytometry (MTC), contractile force using Fourier Transform Traction Microscopy (FTTM), and discrete molecular-level remodeling dynamics of the living cytoskeleton using Spontaneous Nanoscale Tracer Motions (SNTM). These state-of-art nanotechnologies are readily applicable to a wide variety of cell types and, in combination of multiple genetic, chemical and mechanical manipulations, have broad research applications that are at the interface of cell biology, physics and medicine.

Honors and Awards

2006 - Ann Woolcock Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions and Future Promise in Asthma Research, American Thoracic Society

2007 - Faculty Research Initiative Award, Johns Hopkins University

2010 - American Asthma Foundation (Sandler) Award

2012 - Teaching Excellence, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

2013 - Program Chair-Elect, Respiratory Structure and Function Assembly, American Thoracic Society

2014 - Program Chair, Respiratory Structure and Function Assembly, American Thoracic Society

2014 - Nominated and Selected as One of the Twelve Semi-Finalists for the Inaugural President's Frontier Award, Johns Hopkins University

2015 - Discovery Award, Johns Hopkins University

2016 - Discovery Award, Johns Hopkins University

2017 - Elected to Nominating Committee, Respiratory Structure and Function Assembly, American Thoracic Society

  • Obstructive Lung Disease
  • Airway Smooth Muscle
  • Molecular Biophysics
  • Nanotechnologies
  • Cell Mechanics
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Metabolism
  • Cancer
  • Aging

Selected Publications: New and Noteworthy

  • An SS, Mitzner W, Tang WY, Ahn K, Yoon AR, Huang J, Kilic O, Yong HM, Fahey JW, Kumar S, Biswal S, Holgate ST, Panettieri RA, Solway J, and Liggett SB. (2016) An inflammation-independent contraction mechanophenotype of airway smooth muscle in asthma. Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology 138:294-297. *Corresponding author
  • Aisenberg WH, Huang J, Zhu W, Rajkumar P, Cruz R, Santhanam L, Natarajan N, Yong HM, De Santiago B, Oh JJ, Yoon A, Panettieri RA, Homann O, Sullivan JK, Liggett SB, Pluznick JL, and An SS. (2016) Defining an olfactory receptor function in airway smooth muscle cells. Scientific Reports 6:38231. *Corresponding author
  • Park J, Kim DH, Kim HN, Wang C, Kwak MK, Hur E, Suh KY, An SS, and Levchenko A. (2016) Directed migration of cancer cells guided by the graded texture of the underlying matrix. Nature Materials 15:792-801. * Co-corresponding author
  • Deshpande DA, Wang WCH, McIlmoyle EL, Robinett KS, Schillinger RM, An SS, Sham JSK, and Liggett SB. (2010) Bitter taste receptors on airway smooth muscle bronchodilate by localized calcium signaling and reverse obstruction. Nature Medicine 16, 1299-1304.
  • Trepat X, Deng L, An SS, Navajas D, Tschumperlin DJ, Gerthoffer WT, Butler JP, and Fredberg JJ. (2007) Universal physical responses to stretch in the living cell. Nature 447, 592-595.