Current Members

Judith Steen, was educated in Africa, North America and Europe. She studied chemistry and genetics at the University of Toronto. She moved to the University of Southern Denmark to work with Sir Peter Roepstorff, where she experienced mass spectrometry and discovered a world of immediate gratification. Judith loves chocolate and likes walking on the beach (on her hands).






Hanno Steen, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, whose laboratory is located at Boston Children's Hospital. Dr. Steen's group research has three focal areas:

i) The discovery of urinary biomarkers for diagnostic purposes  in a wide range of acute and chronic diseases including appendicitis, Kawasaki disease, TB, traumatic brain injury, and Crohn’s Diseases. To this end the Steen Lab has developed a urine proteomics platform which allows for the fast and efficient processing and proteomic analysis of urine specimens.

ii) Use of proteomics to study post-translational mechanisms of protein regulation, with particular emphasis on protein degradation in mitosis and development. The Steen group developed the concept of co-regulation proteomics algorithms that correlates protein abundance traces specific enzyme activities and functions. This work resulted in the identification of kinens, as a new class of cell cycle dependent substrates of the Anaphase Promoting Complex.

iii) Method development to improve a) processing of proteomic samples, b) accuracy and precision of protein quantification and iii) computational methods for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of proteomic data. For instance, the FLEXIQuant approach developed by the Steen lab, which allows for the exquisitely detailed characterization of selected proteins and their post-translational modification, has been instrumental for studying multikinase mechanisms (Nat Methods. 2012;9:504), and the post-translational regulation of Tiki1 in Xenopus development (Cell. 2012;149:1565) and kinesin C1 during mitosis (EMBO J. 2014;33:385).

Saima Ahmed, is currently the lab supervisor. She graduated in May 2016 with a Master's in Biotechnology from Harvard Extension School. She completed her Master Thesis " Biomarker Discovery for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia using Mass Spectrometry Based Urine Proteomics" under supervision of Dr. Hanno Steen. She hopes to soon pursue her PhD. Saima's love for the color pink shades all aspects of her life, including her lab bench.

Sebastian Berger, was born in Karlsruhe, Germany. After his graduation from the "German High School", he went to the Technical University of Munich (TUM) to start with his Bachelor of Science in "Molecular Biotechnology". Right after graduation as Bachelor, Sebastian joined the Master's program at the TUM for "Molecular Biotechnology". After this final graduation in 2011 he joined the Steen-Lab as intern for "Clinical Proteomics". This fall (2012) Sebastian will start with his PhD thesis here in our Lab. Sebastian's leisure activities include PHP programming, playing sports (especially Dragon Boating or eSports), and spending time with friends.

Ertugrul Cansizoglu graduated from Bilkent University Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics in Turkey, Ertugrul continued on to receive his PhD from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in Molecular Biophysics. With a life-long interest in proteins and protein structure, he’s training to extend into the world of proteomics. He’s investigating the global protein network perturbations during the life of neurons. He’s arguably the worst fisherman in the greater Boston area, nevertheless he’s still trying.


 John Sauld was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and came to the United States as a teen in hopes of furthering his education. As the most recent member of the Steen Lab, John is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Science program in Biomedical Science and is engaging the world of proteomics with a whole heart and open arms. John's leisure activities include volunteering and mentoring troubled youths (and/or fellow Steen lab members) in his community, playing sports, and spending time with friends and family.


Ceren Uncu was born in Antalya, Turkey. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Istanbul University. After working as a high school biology teacher in Istanbul, she decided to move to the US and became a member of  the Steen Lab in 2011. She is the lab manager and the animal surgeon of Steen Lab. Aside from managing the lab, Ceren is working on developing new mouse models to get a better understanding on neurodegenerative diseases like Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease. Outside of the lab Ceren practices and teaches Yoga and enjoys cooking for friends and family.



Amanda Guise joined the Steen Lab as a postdoc in 2015. She received a B.A. in Biological Sciences and German Literature from Cornell University, and spent a year as an English teacher in Erlangen, Germany before reuniting with molecular biology in graduate school. Amanda completed her Ph.D. in Ileana Cristea's lab at Princeton University, where she studied the regulation of histone deacetylases and their roles during viral infection. Amanda is interested in understanding the functions of non-canonical RNAs and translation products in response to viral challenge and in autoimmune diseases. Outside of the lab, Amanda enjoys rock climbing, dogs, and Diet Coke.




Ying Xiong graduated from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. During her Ph.D, she focused on identifying suppressors of abnormal phenotypes associated with tau aggregation in Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies through genetic screen. She joined the Steen’s Lab as a postdoc seeking to identify potential biomarkers for another group of neurodegenerative diseases - synucleiopathies using proteomics. She is also interested in understanding the pathological mechanism of Parkinson’s Disease by identifying novel pathways and substrates affected by LRRK2. Ying likes music and enjoys spending time with friends and family.​




Melissa Rotunno received her B.A in English with a focus on publishing and writing from the University of Rhode Island before switching to a career in science. She then returned to RI to obtain both a certificate of Biotechnology Manufacturing and a B.A in Microbiology and Chemistry. She then went on to complete her Ph.D. at UMass Medical School in Biomedical sciences where her love for mass spec began, which eventually drew her to the Steen Lab where she is currently a research fellow. Aside from her growing love for DIA, Melissa enjoys baking goodies with her 4 year old son and painting imaginary landscapes.




Tue Bennike, a visiting student in the Steen Lab, was born and raised as a true Viking in the northern parts of Denmark. He obtained his MSc in Nanotechnology at Aalborg University (AAU) Denmark, and as of 2012 began his PhD. He is researching biological triggers of various inflammatory diseases through differential mass spectrometry. His work, furthermore, involves the optimization of MS methods and sample preparation. Whenever the mass specs are humming nicely, he enjoys running/biking/hiking, messing with computer networks, reading fantasy and sci-fi books and cooking international food.