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Stefan Judex

T: 631.632.1549
F: 631.632.8577


Bioengineering 213
Stony Brook, NY

Stefan Judex

Director, Integrative Skeletal Adaptation and Genetics Laboratory

Research Focus

Research in the Integrative Skeletal Adaptation and Genetics Laboratory focuses on how systems, such as the skeleton, respond to altered functional demand. Specifically, we have been combining genetic, molecular, and biomechanical approaches to elucidate how the musculo-skeleton regulates its quantity and quality and how (the lack of) mechanical signals may perturb this regulation. Inherently, understanding the translation of mechanical input into a biological response requires the rigorous integration of engineering with biology, from the genome to the molecular, cellular, and tissue level. To this end, we are using a large variety of methods in the laboratory, from genetic analyses to mechanical modeling of cells and tissues. For instance, our lab has investigated how very low-level accelerations (vibrations) influence musculo-skeletal morphology and its interrelations with fat metabolism. Interestingly, we demonstrated that directly inducing tissue deformation is not necessary for vibrations to become effective. While this finding runs counter to previously proposed matrix deformation/response relationships, our results are consistent with data presented in this grant demonstrating that low intensity vibrations aid in the differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal progenitor cells towards a bone, rather than fat, phenotype. We have also been using in vitro cell culture systems to identify physical mechanisms by which cells sense and respond to these extremely low-level mechanical signals. On the flip side of the coin, shielding bone and muscle cells from receiving functional stimuli rapidly deteriorates the musculoskeleton but the response shows great variability across individuals, suggesting that differences in genetic make-up play a role in regulating the magnitude of tissue loss. Our studies targeted towards elucidating these genetic regulators may ultimately provide the basis for identifying individuals at greatest risk of functional disability after periods of disuse. Dr. Judex also serves as ABET coordinator and as the Director of the Microimaging Core Facility at Stony Brook which focuses on preclinical microcomputed tomography.

In vivo microcomputed tomography scans of a circular bony defect that was either left untreated (left image) or subjected to very low levels of oscillatory accelerations for 20 min/d (right image). As early as 4wk, the low-level mechanical signal significantly accelerated bone regeneration in the defect (Hwang et al., Clin Orthop Relat Res 2009).

Education & Training

  • 1988-1993   B.Sc., M.Sc. Student in Mechanical Engineering (Technical University Munich)
  • 1994-1999   Ph.D Student, Department of Mechanical Engineering (Biomechanics), University of Calgary, Canada
  • 1999-2001   Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biomedical Engineering (Molecular Biology), Stony Brook University, NY

Academic Appointments

  • 2001-2006   Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University,NY
  • 2001-          Director, Integrative Skeletal Adaptation and Genetics Laboratory (ISAG), Stony Brook University, NY
  • 2006-2011   Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University,NY
  • 2011-          Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University,NY


  • 1995-1999   Full-Time Studentship, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research
  • 1996           New Investigator Award (Open level) of the Canadian Society for Biomechanics
  • 1999-2001   Post-doctoral Fellowship, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research
  • 2001           John Haddad Young Investigator Award, Advances in Mineral Metabolism (AIMM) and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR)
  • 2001           Young Investigator Award, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR)
  • 2002           Orthopaedic Biomechanics Award, IV World Congress of Biomechanics (Calgary)
  • 2002           Promising Young Scientist Award, International Society of Biomechanics
  • 2004           National Science Foundation, Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Review Panel
  • 2004           Award for Outstanding Teacher, Department of Biomedical Engineering, SUNY Stony Brook
  • 2005           Early Career Translational Research Award, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation
  • 2006           FASEB MARC Travel Award, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)
  • 2006           New York City Research Initiative Achievement Award, NASA
  • 2007           The Best Academic/Pre-Professional Advisor andMentor, SUNY Stony Brook, The Student Choice Award
  • 2011           Outstanding Service Award, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University

Selected ISAG Publications

Click here for Dr. Judex's Google Scholar Citations

  • Judex, S., Koh, T., Xie, L. (2015) Modulation of bone’s sensitivity to low-intensity vibrations by acceleration magnitude, vibration duration, and number of bouts. Osteoporosis International Volume 26(4), 1417-1428.
  • Ozcivici, E., Judex. S. (2014) Trabecular bone recovers from mechanical unloading primarily by restoring its mechanical function rather than its morphology. Bone 67, 122-129.
  • Uzer, G., Pongkitwitoon, S., Ian, C., Rubin, J., Chan, M.E., Judex, S. (2014) Gap junctional communication in osteocytes is amplified by low intensity vibrations in vitro. PLoS ONE 9(3): e90840.
  • Ozcivici, E., Zhang, W., Donahue, L.R., Judex, S. (2014) Quantitative trait loci that modulate trabecular bone's risk of failure during unloading and reloading. Bone 64, 25-32.
  • Karim, L., Judex, S. (2014) Low level irradiation in mice can lead to enhanced trabecular bone morphology. Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism 32(5), 476-483.
  • Uzer, G., Pongkitwitoon, S., Chan, M.E., Pongkitwitoon, S., Judex, S. (2013) Vibration induced osteogenic commitment of mesenchymal stem cells is enhanced by cytoskeletal remodeling but not fluid shear. Journal of Biomechanics 46(13), 2296-2302.
  • Gupta, S., Manske, S.L., Judex, S. (2013) Increasing the number of unloading/reambulation cycles does not adversely impact body composition and lumbar bone mineral density but reduces tissue sensitivity. Acta Astronautica 92(1), 89-96.
  • Judex, S., Zhang, W., Donahue, L.R., Ozcivici, E. (2013) Genetic loci that control the loss and regain of trabecular bone during unloading and reambulation. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 28(7), 1537–1549.
  • Holguin, N., Martin, J., Elliott, D., Judex, S. (2013) Brief, low-intensity vibration partially maintains intervertebral disc mechanics and spinal muscle area during deconditioning. The Spine Journal 13(4), 428-436.
  • Holguin, N., Uzer, G., Chiang, F.P., Rubin, C., Judex, S. (2011) Brief daily exposure to low intensity vibration mitigates the degradation of the intervertebral disc in a frequency-specific manner. Journal of Applied Physiology 111(6), 1846-53.
  • Tommasini, S., Trinward, A., Acerbo, A.S., De Carlo, F., Miller, L.M., Judex, S. (2012) Changes in intracortical microporosities induced by pharmaceutical treatment of osteoporosis as detected by high resolution micro-CT. Bone 50(3), 596–604

Funding Sources

  • NASA
  • NSF
  • NIH
  • SUNY-BNL Seed Grant
  • Stony Brook School of Medicine
  • The Coulter Foundation
  • The Whitaker Foundation
  • US Army


  • BME 212 BME Research Fundamentals
  • BME 303 Biomechanics
  • BME 475 Undergraduate Teaching Practicum
  • BME 449 Research in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 508 Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics