Steven Goldstein, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Mechanical Engineering
Professor Emeritus, Biomedical Engineering
Professor Emeritus, Orthopaedic Surgery
Research Professor Emeritus, Institute of Gerontology
University of Michigan
Orthopaedic Research laboratories
A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building, Room 2013
109 Zina Pitcher Place
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200


Dr. Goldstein joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in the Section of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1981, and was promoted to Assistant Professor on tenure track in 1983.  During the next number of years he rose through the academic ranks, including promotion to Associate Professor with tenure, followed by Full Professor in the Department of Surgery, eventually being changed to the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery during its “split” from the Department of Surgery. In addition to appointments in the Medical School, he also was granted joint appointments in the College of Engineering where he currently holds the titles of Professor of Mechanical Engineering as well as Professor of Biomedical Engineering. In 1998 he was awarded the Henry Ruppenthal Family Professorship of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering, the first endowed chair available to the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

During Dr. Goldstein’s 30 years on the faculty at the University, his research was dominantly focused in the area of musculoskeletal science where he studied connective tissue diseases, their prevention or treatment. His very large and diverse research program included studies ranging from fracture repair and reconstructive surgery, to investigating the mechanisms associated with inherited or degenerative connective tissue fragility to the development of strategies for tissue regeneration. Some of his findings have led to the development of a variety of implants and instruments, gene-based therapeutics for wound repair and novel diagnostic technologies for tissue degradation. Throughout his career, Dr. Goldstein’s research and his large laboratory were funded by extramural sponsors, dominantly the National Institutes of Health as well as a number of other federal agencies, foundations and companies.

Dr. Goldstein has published more than 180 peer reviewed papers and has received numerous awards for his investigations. A sample of these awards include the 1989 Kappa Delta Award for Excellence in Orthopaedic Research, which is the highest award given to orthopaedic investigators internationally. He also received the 2005 Lissner Medal for Career Achievements in Biomedical Engineering from the America Society of Mechanical Engineering and the 2003 Marshall Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research from the Orthopaedic Research Society. As might be expected, he has been invited to give more than 150 lectures as a visiting professor, keynote or distinguished speaker at conferences, departments, and institutions throughout the country and throughout the world. Importantly, in 2005 Dr. Goldstein was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

In addition to Dr. Goldstein’s scholarly achievements, he has also held numerous leadership positions in the various fields in which he works. For example, he has served on the editorial boards of five journals, was the associate editor of the journal of Bone for more than five years, served as a permanent member and then chair of a study section at the National Institutes of Health.  He has served as the chair of the United States National Committee on Biomechanics, the president of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Chair of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and was as a board member for the Biomedical Engineering Society and The Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society International. He also serves as an advisory board member for the Georgia Tech Petit Institute for Bioscience and Bioengineering, the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Alabama, Birmingham and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rice University. In 2008 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Tufts University.

Perhaps most importantly, in addition to his remarkable record of leadership and contribution to his disciplines worldwide, he has also made truly substantial contributions to the University of Michigan. In the course of his career he has trained more than 29 doctoral students, a number of whom have already had distinguished careers in academics as well as industry, approximately 50 to 60 master students, most of whom are working in industry and an enormous number of undergraduate, medical students and postdoctoral fellows. He has actively provided the basic science curriculum to our residents and medical students in training in orthopaedics, and provided numerous lectures over the years in a variety of courses in the bioengineering curriculum as well as other subjects throughout the University. He served as the head of the Bioengineering Interdisciplinary Program for 5 years and was one of the critical faculty members who led its evolution to becoming a department in the College of Engineering. He built the academic research programs in Orthopaedic Surgery where he serves as the Associate Chair for Research and has been responsible for the development and mentoring of more than two dozen faculty, both clinicians and basic scientists as they develop their academic careers. He also held leadership positions in the Medical School, serving as the Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Studies from 1993 to 1998, and then as the Research Dean for the Medical School from 1999 through 2004. As might be expected he has also served on a very large number of committees and has been a key faculty member in numerous University initiatives, including contributing to the evolution of the University’s Technology Transfer programs and most recently, serves as the first chair of the Institutional Conflict of Interest Committee.

And yet, despite this enormous level of contribution to many aspects of university life, Dr. Goldstein has also been a very active entrepreneur with more than 25 patents, several of which have led to devices or technologies currently in use for patient care, and he is a co-founder of two university start-up companies. Although Dr. Goldstein is retiring from his primary responsibilities at the University, it is his plan to be an active emeritus faculty member providing continuing mentoring, strategic leadership, and limited consulting to ongoing programs at the University. 


Henry Ruppenthal Family Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

Dr. Goldstein's work ranges from studies on embryological bone formation to investigating the consequences of aging on bone integrity and responsiveness. From a clinical perspective, the work relates to genetic disorders of bone, such as osteogenesis imperfecta, to aging fragility, such as in osteoporosis. Substantial efforts are also dedicated to the study of augmenting bone repair or regeneration using tissue engineering strategies. Specifically, the research is focused on the study of mechanical and biologic regulators of bone formation, regeneration, and adaptation. Using a hierarchical approach, the laboratory tests hypotheses across multiple scales, ranging from signaling pathways associated with mechanotransduction to biomechanical material property characterizations. These studies have lead to the development of numerous devices to treat orthopaedic conditions, including surgical instruments and artificial joint components. Along with several colleagues, the laboratory has developed a method of delivering genes to wound sites, promoting "in situ tissue engineering" to treat bone defects, skin ulcers, and ischemic heart disease. In addition to investigating the potential of localized gene therapy for wound repair, Dr. Goldstein is also studying cell/matrix interactions and how physical forces can augment these relationships. The research program includes numerous collaborations with faculty from many different departments within the School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and the College of Engineering.

Education and Credentialing

Degree Ph.D., 1981, University of Michigan