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Steven An, PhD

  • Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E6646
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


Molecular Biophysics and Cellular Mechanics Lab of Dr. An:

SciVal Experts Research Profile


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 Fund 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

2015 - Discovery Award, Johns Hopkins University

  • Obstructive Lung Disease
  • Asthma
  • Airway Smooth Muscle
  • Cell Mechanics
  • Molecular Biophysics
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Nanotechnologies
  • Cancer
  • Metabolism
  • 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. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. [In Press].

    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 by the graded texture of the underlying matrix. Nature Materials [In Press].

    Aifuwa I, Giri A, Longe N, Lee S, An SS, and Wirtz D. (2015) Senescent stromal cells induce cancer cell migration via inhibition of RhoA/ROCK/myosin II-based contractility. Oncotarget 6, 30516-30531.

  • Shiraishi T, Verdone J, Huang J, Kahlert U, Hernandez J, Torga G, Zarif J, Axelrod H, Epstein T, Gatenby R, McCartney A, Elisseeff J, Teaford M, Mooney S, An SS, and Pienta K. (2015) Glycolysis is the primary bioenergetics pathway for cell motility and cytoskeletal remodeling in human prostate and breast cancer cells. Oncotarget 6, 130-143.

    Hurley PJ, Hughes RM, Simmons BW, Huang J, Miller RM, Shinder B, Haffner MC, Esopi D, Kimuara Y, Jabbari J, Ross AE, Erho N, Vergara IA, Faraj SF, Davicioni E, Netto G, Yegnasubramanian S, An SS, and Schaeffer EM. (2015) Androgen regulated Sparcl1 in the tumor microenvironment inhibits metastatic progression. Cancer Res. 75, 4322-4334

    Moon YW, Rao G, Kim J, Shim HS, Park KS, An SS, Kim B, Steeg PS, Sarfaraz S, Lee C, Voeller D, Choi EY, Luo J, Palmieri D, Chung HC, Kim JH, Wang Y, and Giaccone G. (2015) LAMC2 enhances metastatic potential in lung adenocarcinoma. Cell Death Differ. 22, 1341-1352.

  • Mattison JA, Wang M, Bernier M, Zhang J, Park SS, Maudsley S, An SS, Santhanam L, Martin B, Faulkner S, Morrell C, Baur JA, Peshkin L, Sosnowska D, Csiszar A, Ungvari Z, Herbert RL, Tilmont EM, Pearson KJ, Lakatta EG, and de Cabo R. (2014) Resveratrol prevents high fat/sucrose diet-induced central arterial wall inflammation and stiffening in nonhuman primates. Cell Metab. 20, 183-190.

    Morgan SJ, Deshpande DA, Tiegs BC, Misior AM, Yan H, Hershfeld AV, Rich TC, Panettieri RA, An SS, and Penn RB (2014) Beta-agonist-mediated relaxation of airway smooth muscle is protein kinase A-dependent. J. Biol. Chem. 289, 23065-23074.

    Garzon-Muvdi T, Schiapparelli P, Ap Rhy 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 Biol. 10, e1001320.

  • An SS, Robinett KS, Deshpande DA, Wang WC, and Liggett SB. (2012) Reply to: Activation of BK channels is not required for bitter tastant-induced bronchodilation. Nature Medicine 18, 650-651.

    Deshpande DA, Robinett KS, Wang WC, Sham JS, An SS, and Liggett SB. (2011) Bronchodilator activity of bitter tastants in human tissues. Nature Medicine 17, 716-718.

    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.

    An SS, Fabry B, Trepat X, Wang N, and Fredberg JJ. (2006) Do biophysical properties of the airway smooth muscle in culture predict airway hyperresponsiveness? Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 35, 55-64.

    An SS, Laudadio RE, Lai J, Roger RA, and Fredberg JJ. (2002) Stiffness changes in cultured airway smooth muscle cells. Am. J. Physiol. 283, C792-C801.