Sandra Shefelbine

Associate Dean for Space and Special Initiatives,  Office of the Dean
Professor,  Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Professor,  Bioengineering


Social Media


  • 222 ISEC
  • 617.373.3199


  • 260 ISEC

Related Links

Research Focus

Multi-scale bone biomechanics–how the structure and composition of bone influences its mechanical properties; mechano-adaptation of bone and joint– how tissue responds to mechanical signals


PhD (2002), Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University

Honors & Awards

  • 2020 Fulbright Futures Scholarship, University of Melbourne
  • 2020 American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers Fellow
  • 2011 Imperial College London Rector’s Medal of Excellence in Teaching
  • 2010 Royal Academy of Engineering Exxon Mobil Teaching Award
  • 2010 Faculty of Engineering Outstanding Teaching Award
  • 2010 Department of Bioengineering student selected ‘Best Teacher’ Award
  • 2005 RCUK Academic Fellowship
  • 2002 National Science Foundation International Research Fellowship

Teaching Interests

  • Solid mechanics
  • Dynamics
  • Musculoskeletal biomechanics

Research Overview

Multi-scale bone biomechanics–how the structure and composition of bone influences its mechanical properties; mechano-adaptation of bone and joint– how tissue responds to mechanical signals

Shefelbine Lab

Shefelbine Lab conducts the following research:

Musculoskeletal mechanoadaptation: Bones are responsive to load: with increased loading, bone formation occurs, with decreased loading bone resorption occurs. Our research explores the mechano- sensitivity of bone using clinical observations, experimental models, and computational simulations.

Advanced skeletal technologies: Investigation of bone sometimes requires development of new technologies. In collaborations, this lab has developed new technologies to measure or assess musculoskeletal biomechanics.

Multiscale mechanics of bone: Bone is a natural composite material consisting of protein (mainly collagen), mineral (hydroxyapatite), and water. Like many other natural composites bone exhibits a unique combination of mechanical properties, in particular high strength and toughness. This work explores how changes in the bone building blocks at the molecular level influence its hierarchical architecture and how structural features interact across a wide range of length scales.

Shefelbine Lab

Selected Research Projects

College Research Initiatives

Selected Publications

  • B.K. Connizzo, J.M. Piet, S.J. Shefelbine, A.J. Grodzinsky Age-Associated Changes in the Response of Tendon Explants to Stress Deprivation is Sex-Dependent, Connective Tissue Research, 61(1), 2020, 48-6
  • R.P. Main, S.J. Shefelbine, L.B. Meakin, M.J. Silva, M.C.H van der Meulen, B.M. Willie, Murine Axial Compression Tibial Loading Model to Study Bone Mechanobiology: Implementing the Model and Reporting Results, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 38, 2020, 233–252
  • B. Depalle, C.M. McGilvery, S. Nobakhti, N. Aldegaither, S.J. Shefelbine, A.E. Porter, Osteopontin Regulates Type I Collagen Fibril Formation In Bone Tissue, Acta Biomaterialia, 2020
  • S.M. Sadeghian, C.L. Lewis, S.J. Shefelbine Predicting Growth Plate Orientation with Altered Hip Loading: Potential Cause of Cam Morphology, Biomech Model Mechanobiol, 19(2), 2020, 701-712
  • V. Kondiboyina, L.B. Raine, A.F. Kramer, N.A. Khan, C.H. Hillman, S.J. Shefelbine, Skeletal Effects of Nine Months of Physical Activity in Obese and Healthy-Weight Children, Medicine and Sci- ence in Sports and Exercise, 52(2), 2020, 434-440
  • A.E. Draghici, J.A. Taylor, M.L. Bouxsein, S.J. Shefelbine Effects of FES-Rowing Exercise on the Time-Dependent Changes in Bone Microarchitecture After Spinal Cord Injury: A Cross-Sectional Inves-tigation, JBMR Plus, 3(9), 2019, e10200
  • J. Piet, D. Hu, Q. Meslier, R. Baron, S.J. Shefelbine Increased Cellular Presence After Sciatic Neurectomy Improves the Bone Mechano-adaptive Response in Aged Mice, Calcified Tissue International, 105(3), 2019, 316–330


Jun 07, 2021

Summer 2021 PEAK Experiences Awardees

Congratulations to the COE student recipients of the Summer 2021 PEAK Experiences Awards. The PEAK Experiences Awards are a progressively structured sequence of opportunities designed to support learners as they continue climbing to new heights of achievement in undergraduate research and creative endeavor throughout their Northeastern journeys. BASE CAMP AWARDS Ana Salichs, COE’22, “Colorimetric Assays […]


Apr 20, 2021

FY22 TIER 1 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 17 COE faculty and affiliates who were recipients of FY22 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 11 different projects.


Sep 10, 2020

Faculty and Staff Awards 2020

Congratulations to all the winners of the faculty and staff awards, and to everyone for their hard work and dedication during the 2019-2020 academic school year.

Photo of Sandra Shefelbine


May 20, 2020

Shefelbine Awarded Fulbright to Study Skeletal Mechanobiology

MIE/BioE Professor Sandra Shefelbine was awarded a Fulbright Futures Scholarship to the University of Melbourne to work on skeletal mechanobiology, particularly understanding how mechanical forces influence bone development.

Photo of Sandra Shefelbine


May 20, 2020

Optimizing Mechanical Loading in Bone Formation

MIE/BioE Professor Sandra Shefelbine and COS Associate Professor James Monaghan were awarded a $650K NSF grant for “Manipulating Fluid Flow in Mechanoadaptation of Bone.”

Photo of Sandra Shefelbine


Mar 26, 2020

Shefelbine Selected as AIMBE Fellow

MIE/BioE Professor Sandra Shefelbine was selected as an American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) Fellow in recognition of “her distinguished and continuing achievements in medical and biological engineering”.


Nov 15, 2018

Dream Co-op to Full Time Job

“I’m using my undergrad experience and my graduate experience that I built upon for my professional experience,” said Vineel Kondiboyina, MS, Bioengineering 2018. For many students, it is a dream to co-op with a company, end up loving the experience, and later ending up working for that company full time. For Vineel Kondiboyina, that is […]

Photo of Sandra Shefelbine


Jul 27, 2017

Shefelbine Awarded $650K NSF Grant

MIE/BioE Associate Professor Sandra Shefelbine awarded $650K NSF "Mechanobiology of Joint Morphogenesis: Manipulating Salamander Limbs" grant to study joint development by examining the regenerating limbs of salamanders.


Feb 01, 2017

Ambika Bajpayee receives Department of Defense Discovery Award

BioE Assistant Professor Ambika Bajpayee (PI) and MIE/BioE Associate Professor Sandra Shefelbine (Collaborator) awarded a $310K DOD Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program Discovery Award

Photo of Sandra Shefelbine

Aug 16, 2016

Different Loads on Bones Can Cause them to Break

Using the injury of French gymnast Samir Ait Said during the Olympics, MIE associate professor Sandra Shefelbine explains how bones can break when different loads are placed on them.

View All Related News