Robert L. Steward, Jr.

Assistant Professor

Office: ENGR 1, Rm 245
Phone: (407) 823-5608
Website: Steward Lab


Post–doc, T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Ph.D. (Mechanical Eng.), Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 2011
B.S. (Mechanical Eng.), Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA, 2007

Research Interests

Cell mechanics, microfluidics, mechanotransduction, syndecan-4, extracellular matrix, cell-cell interactions, cell-substrate interactions, biophysics, biological carbon sequestration


  • R. Steward, C. Tan, C.M. Cheng, and P. R. LeDuc, “ Cellular force signal Integration
    through vector logic gates” , Journal of Biomechanics, (In Press) 2015.
  • Krishnan, R., Tambe, D., Steward, R., Hardin, C., Butler, J., “Traction Microscopy”, Book Chapter in “Cells, Forces, and the Microenvironment”, 2014.
  • R. Steward, S.R. Rosner, J. J. Fredberg, “Emergent Behaviors in Cell Mechanics”, Book Chapter, Structure-Based Mechanics of Tissues and organs: A Tributre to Yoram Lanir., 2013.
  • R. Steward, S. R. Rosner, E. H. Zhou, J. J. Fredberg, “Illuminating human health through cell mechanics”, Swiss Medical Weekly, 143:w13766, 2013.
  • R. Steward, C.M. Cheng, J. D. Ye, R. M. Bellin, and P. R. LeDuc, “Mechanical Stretch and Shear Flow Induced Reorganization and Recruitment of Fibronectin in Fibroblasts,” Scientific Reports, 1(147), 1-12, 2012.
  • J. Kang, R. Steward, Y. Kim, R. Schewartz, P. R. LeDuc, and K. Puskar, “Response of an Actin Filament Network Model under Cyclic Stretching through a Coarse Grained Monte Carlo Approach,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 274, 109-119, 2011.
  • Hazar, M., Steward, R. L., Chang, C. J., Orndoff, C. J., Zeng, Y., Ho, M. S., LeDuc, P. R., & Cheng, C. M, “Modulating Material Interfaces Through Biologically-inspired Intermediates,” Applied Physics Letters, 99, 233701 (3), 2011.
  • Cheng, C.M., Lin, Y-W, Bellin, R.M., Cheng, C.M., Steward, R., Cheng, Y.-R., LeDuc, P.R.*, & Chen, C-C* “Probing Localized Neural Mechanotransduction through Surface- Modified Elastomeric Matrices and Electrophysiology” Nature Protocols, 5, 714–724, 2010.
  • Steward, R.L., Cheng, C.M., Wang, D.L., & LeDuc, P.R. Probing Cell Structure Responses Through a Shear and Stretching Mechanical Stimulation Technique Cell Biochem Biophys, 56(2-3):115-24, 2010.
  • Bellin, R.M., Kubicek, J.D., Frigault, M.J., Kamien, A.J., Steward, R., Barnes, H.M., DiGiacomo, M.B., Duncan, L.J., Edgerly, C.K., Morse, E.M., Park, C.Y., Fredberg, J.J., Cheng, C.M., & LeDuc, P.R. Defining the Role of Syndecan-4 in Mechanotransduction using Surface-Modification Approaches Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(52), 22102-22107, 2009.
  • Cheng, C.M., Steward, R.L., & LeDuc, P.R. (Equal Contribution) 2008 Probing Cell Structure by Controlling the Mechanical Environment with Cell-Substrate Interactions Journal of Biomechanics 42, 187-192, 2009.

Scientific and Professional Societies

  • Member, ASME
  • Member, BMES
  • Member, NSBE
  • Member, ASCB
  • Member, Biophysical Society

Honors and Awards

  • Minority Biophysicist Travel Award 2009, 2010
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program 2008
  • Ford Foundation Fellowship Program, Honorable Mention 2008
  • Dean’s Fellowship Dept. of Mech. Eng., Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 2007
  • Sloan Foundation Fellowship, 2008
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Fellowship, 2011