Steven S. An, PhD
615 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore , Maryland
PhD , Brown University , 2000
MS , Albany Medical College
My main research interest is focused on the airway smooth muscle cell and its role in the pathologic narrowing of the airways in asthma. I bring to this research specific expertise in cell-based analyses of smooth muscle contraction, having previously trained in the labs of Dr. Chi-Ming Hai (Brown University) and Dr. Jeffrey J. Fredberg (Harvard University). Over the years, I have also helped design and develop a suite of novel quantitative methods and, importantly, have applied them to address a range of fundamental questions in physics and biology that have direct bearing on our understanding of respiratory mechanics and lung disease.
My current work comprises both basic and translational research focusing on the cellular and molecular basis for airflow obstruction in asthma and exploring new intervention strategies. Specifically, the lab is now studying the extent to which asthmatic airflow obstruction is attributable to the ability of the human airway smooth muscle cell to stiffen, to generate contractile force, and to remodel its cytoskeleton, with emphasis on the molecular mechanisms that regulate these processes. Molecular targets include: 1) HSP20; 2) Nrf2 pathways; and 3) novel G-protein coupled receptor expression, signaling and function in the lung.
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
Ann Woolcock Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions and Future Promise in Asthma Research, American Thoracic Society, 2006
Faculty Research Initiative Fund Award, Johns Hopkins University, 2007
American Asthma Foundation (Sandler) Award, 2010
Pilot Grant from Johns Hopkins Engineering in Oncology Center at the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, 2011
Developmental Project Award, the Johns Hopkins University In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Center (ICMIC), School of Medicine, 2011 & 2013
Teaching Excellence, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2012 & 2013
Program Chair-Elect, Respiratory Structure and Function Assembly, American Thoracic Society, 2013
Chairperson, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences Integrated Review Group, Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, 2013
respiratory biology, lung disease, asthma, airway hyperresponsiveness, airway smooth muscle, GPCR, cytoskeleton, cancer, nanotechnologies
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.
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.
An SS, Robinett KS, Deshpande DA, Wang WC, and Liggett SB (2012) Reply to: Activation of BK channels may not be required for bitter tastant-induced bronchodilation. Nature Medicine 18:648-651.
Garzon-Muvdi T, Schiapparelli P, Ap Rhys CM, Guerrero-Cazares H, Smith C, Kim DH, Kone L, Farber H, An SS, Levchenko A, and Quinones-Hinojosa A. (2012) Regulation of brain tumor dispersal by NKCC1 through a novel role in focal adhesion regulation. PLoS Biology 10(5):e1001320.
Ahn EH, Kim Y, Kshitiz, An SS, Afzal J, Lee S, Kwak M, Suh KY, Kim DH, and Levchenko A. (2014) Spatial control of adult stem cell fate using nanotopographic cues. Biomaterials 35:2401-2410.
Publications with highest impact factors