Steffen Lab


Principal Investigator: Martin Steffen

Our research efforts focus on two broad areas: (1) the experimental determination of gene function, and (2) the development of biomarkers for the detection and treatment of cancers.  For the determination of gene function, I work with Simon Kasif (BME) and Rich Roberts (NEB) on the COMBREX project. This project considers a global perspective on the function of microbial proteins, and aims to provide a bridge between computational and experimental scientists, coordinating efforts on this significant problem. One aspect of COMBREX is the distribution of grants to researchers nationwide in an effort to get high value proteins validated. A second aspect is making all gene annotation traceable to experiment. A particular focus is the development of new technologies to enable high-throughput biochemistry. For cancer biomarkers, efforts are directed to using signals within the immune system to help ascertain the likelihood of prostate cancer, and the use of phosphopeptide-based signatures to predict drug response.