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Alumni Spotlight

Stephen Canton

Congratulations to Stephen Canton the December 2017 Future City Pittsburgh 2018 Alumnus of the Month and Pittsburgh Alumnus of the Year!

Stephen Canton participated in the 2004 and 2005 Future City Pittsburgh Competitions with St. Benedict the Moor School, supported by educator Rita Canton and engineer mentor Michael Canton and his teacher, Heather Hiltermann.

Stephen was awarded a Bachelor of Engineering (B.S.E.), Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 and a Master of Science (MSc), Kinesiology from the Louisiana State University in 2015. He is on track to complete his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree with a concentration in Bioengineering, Biotechnology, and Innovation, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2020. 


While working on his Bioengineering degree at Pitt, Stephen conducted research on many fascinating topics including mycobacteriophages, pediatric neurodegenerative disorders and degeneration of the epiglottis in racehorses. The latter led to authorship of a manuscript: Regenerative Medicine Approach to Reconstruction of the Equine Upper Airway.

At Louisiana State University (LSU), Stephen tutored students in technical subjects and conducted research that involved the integration of biomechanics and neuroscience to further the understanding of how the central nervous system controls human locomotion. His thesis work culminated in a publication called Active and Passive Contributions to Arm Swing: Implications of the Restriction of Pelvis Motion During Human Locomotion.

After completing his Master’s Degree at LSU, Stephen worked as a biomedical engineer for the Kessler Foundation in West Orange, NJ from 2015-2016, where he performed research to improve the mobility of individuals with a spinal cord injury.
Stephen currently carries out his research in the Orthopaedic Biodynamics Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh where he has studied the validation of model based tracking of the dynamic motion of the ankle and is now working on developing novel methods of metacarpal fracture fixation. 


He aspires to one day utilize his education and various experiences to develop innovative technologies in the field of medicine, while also serving as a skilled physician in his community and beyond.

Stephen Reflects on his Future City Experience:

“The Future City Competition is more than your typical middle school science project. It provides an opportunity for middle school students around the country to think beyond, not only the scope of the classroom, but also the world around them. In my current roles as a researcher, bioengineer, and physician-to-be, I utilize skills that I learned while participating in Future City: application of math and science education, teamwork, research, time/project management, and confidence that my hard work can actually make difference in the lives of future citizens. The Future City experience undoubtedly helped to mold my academic prowess and intellectual curiosity at a critical juncture of my life. I highly recommend this program for any 6th, 7th, or 8th grade student, and I hope to one day give back to this program to provide an amazing experience that was so graciously granted to me.”