Biological Sciences

Faculty Research

Robert Steven


Robert Steven

Senior Lecturer
Office:  BO 1100
Phone No:  419.530.7890






Ph.D. in Molecular and Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto
B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto 

Teaching at the University of Toledo:
Fundamentals of Life Science: Biomolecules, Cells and Inheritance (BIOL 2170)
Fundamentals of Life Science: Diversity of Life, Evolution and Physiological Adaptations (BIOL 2150)
Developmental Biology (BIOL 3090)
Cell Biology (BIOL 3030)
Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory (BIOL 6020)
Teaching Philosophy:
Throughout my own learning experiences as an undergraduate and graduate student, I found that I was most stimulated and inspired when there was significant interaction between the instructor, myself and the other students. It is therefore my intention to always try to provide a similarly positive and interactive experience for my own students whether I am teaching a small group or a large lecture hall of students. As a former scientist, I feel a responsibility to communicate exciting scientific developments and our knowledge of biology to others. Everyone has an innate level of curiosity and it is my objective as a teacher to fuel this natural curiosity by drawing on my own knowledge of science and the history behind the experimentation to present topics in as interesting and stimulating manner as possible. An important focus is the incorporation of active learning techniques and technology in the lecture hall. Ultimately it is my goal to engage all of my students and instill within them a respect for knowledge.
Research Interests:
My research interests are focused on the development and function of the nervous system. I have taken a molecular genetic approach to understanding the mechanisms that underlie neuronal growth cone migrations (axon guidance) during nervous system development and the subsequent communication that occurs at synapses between neurons (neurotransmission) using the soil nematode C. elegans as a model organism. A fundamental comprehension of neurotransmission will help us understand information storage and processing in the brain and combined with a through knowledge of axon guidance it may eventually be possible to use drugs to recreate functional neural circuits in those who have suffered damage to the central nervous system.


Select Publications:
Lin, L., Tran, T., Hu, S., Cramer, T., Komuniecki, R. and Steven, R. (2012). RHGF-2 is an essential Rho-1 specific RhoGEF that binds to the multi-PDZ domain scaffold protein MPZ-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS ONE 7(2): e31499.
Hu, S., Pawson, T. and Steven, R. (2011). UNC-73/Trio RhoGEF-2 activity modulates C. elegans motility through changes in neurotransmitter signaling upstream of the GSA-1/Gαs pathway. Genetics 189:137-151.
Steven, R., Zhang, L., Culotti, J. and Pawson, T. (2005). The UNC-73/Trio RhoGEF-2 domain is required in separate isoforms for the regulation of pharynx pumping and normal neurotransmission in C. elegans. Genes Dev. 19:2016-2029.
Steven, R., Kubiseski, T., Zheng, H., Kulkarni, S., Mancillas, J., Ruiz Morales, A., Hogue, C., Pawson, T. and Culotti, J. (1998). UNC-73 activates the Rac GTPase and is required for cell and growth cone migrations in C. elegans. Cell 92:785-795



Last Updated: 6/27/22