Martin Steffen MD PhD


Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Director, Proteomics Core Facility.

Contact Information

Dept of Pathology and Biomedical Engineering
Boston University School of Medicine
670 Albany Street, Rm 512
Boston MA, 02118
617-414-7935 (ph)
617-414-1646 (fax)


Dartmouth College




Stanford University




Stanford University




Harvard Medical School




Research Interests or Interests

Proteomic and Computational studies of complex mammalian diseases. Recent studies have defined molecular signatures based on phosphopeptides for the classification of lung cancers, and proteomic studies using mass spectrometry on brain microvessels of hypertensive, hyperlipidemic, stroke-prone rodents.


1. C. Schenk, D. Gaul, M. Steffen, S. Boxer, L. McDowell, C. Kirmaier, D. Holten.Site-Directed Mutations Affecting Primary Photochemistry in Reaction Centers: Effects of Dissymetry in the Special Pair. in Springer Series in Biophysics M. Beyerle, Ed. (Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1990), vol. 6, pp. 229-38.

2. D. S. Gottfried, M. A. Steffen, S. G. Boxer, “Large protein-induced dipoles for a symmetric carotenoid in a photosynthetic antenna complex.” Science 251, 662-5 (1991).

3. D. S. Gottfried, M. A. Steffen, S. G. Boxer, “Stark effect spectroscopy of carotenoids in photosynthetic antenna and reaction center complexes.” Biochim Biophys Acta 1059, 76-90 (1991).

4. S. Boxer, S. Franzen, K. Lao, D. Lockhart, R. Stanley, M. Steffen, J. Stocker.Electric Field Effects on the Quantum Yields and Kinetics of Fluorescence and Transient Intermediates in Bacterial Reaction Centers. in The Photosynthetic Bacterial Reaction Center II – Structure, Spectroscopy and Dynamics J. Breton, A. Vermeglio, Eds. (Plenum, New York, 1992) pp. 271-82.

5. T. Middendorf, L. Mazzola, K. Lao, M. Steffen, S. Boxer, “Stark Effect (Electroabsorption) Spectroscopy of Photosynthetic Reaction Centers at 1.5 K: Evidence that the Special Pair has a Large Excited-State Polarizability.” Biochim Biophys Acta 1144, 223-34 (1993).

6. M. A. Steffen, K. Lao, S. G. Boxer, “Dielectric Asymmetry in the Photosynthetic Reaction Center.” Science 264, 810-6 (1994).

7. K. Lao, S. Franzen, M. Steffen, D. Lambright, R. Stanley, S. Boxer, “Effects of Applied Electric Fields on the Quantum Yields for the Initial Electron Transfer Steps in Bacterial Photosynthesis. II. Dynamic Stark Effect.” Chemical Physics 197, 259-75 (1995).

8. L. Beekman, M. Steffen, I. van Stokkum, J. Olsen, C. Hunter, S. Boxer, R. van Grondelle, “Characterization of the Light Harvesting Antennas of Photosynthetic Purple Bacteria by Stark Spectroscopy: I. LH1 Antenna Complex and the B820 Subunit from Rhodospirillum rubrum.” J Phys Chem 101, 7284-92 (1997).

9. F. J. Livesey, T. Furukawa, M. A. Steffen, G. M. Church, C. L. Cepko, “Microarray analysis of the transcriptional network controlled by the photoreceptor homeobox gene Crx.” Curr Biol 10, 301-10 (2000).

10. M. Steffen, A. Petti, J. Aach, P. D’Haeseleer, G. Church, “Automated modelling of signal transduction networks.” BMC Bioinformatics 3, 34 (2002).

11. A. M. Dudley, J. Aach, M. A. Steffen, G. M. Church, “Measuring absolute expression with microarrays with a calibrated reference sample and an extended signal intensity range.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 99, 7554-9 (2002).

12. R. Ahmad, D. H. Nguyen, M. A. Wingerd, G. M. Church, M. A. Steffen, “Molecular Weight Assessment of Proteins in Total Proteome Profiles Using 1D-PAGE and LC/MS/MS.” Proteome Sci 3, 6 (2005).

13. K. L. Van Dellen, A. Chatterjee, D. M. Ratner, P. E. Magnelli, J. F. Cipollo, M. Steffen, P. W. Robbins, J. Samuelson, “Unique posttranslational modifications of chitin-binding lectins of Entamoeba invadens cyst walls.” Eukaryot Cell 5, 836-48 (2006).

14. A. Saharia, L. Guittat, S. Crocker, A. Lim, M. Steffen, S. Kulkarni, S. A. Stewart, “Flap endonuclease 1 contributes to telomere stability.” Curr Biol 18, 496-500 (2008).

15. X. Jiang, N. Nariai, M. Steffen, S. Kasif, E. D. Kolaczyk, “Integration of relational and hierarchical network information for protein function prediction.” BMC Bioinformatics 9, 350 (2008).

16. V. L. Herrera, J. L. Decano, P. Bagamasbad, T. Kufahl, M. Steffen, N. Ruiz-Opazo, “Sex-specific hippocampus-dependent cognitive deficits and increased neuronal autophagy in DEspR haploinsufficiency in mice.” Physiol Genomics 35, 316-29 (2008).

17. D. M. Ratner, J. Cui, M. Steffen, L. L. Moore, P. W. Robbins, J. Samuelson, “Changes in the N-glycome, glycoproteins with Asn-linked glycans, of Giardia lamblia with differentiation from trophozoites to cysts.” Eukaryot Cell 7, 1930-40 (2008).

18. V. L. Herrera, J. L. Decano, M. Steffen, N. Ruiz-Opazo, “Autophagy: insights from DEspR-deficiency and haploinsufficiency.” Autophagy 5, 259-62 (2009).

19. Steiling KA, Kadar A, Bergerat A, Ahmad QR, Steffen M, and Spira A. Proteomic And Transcriptional Changes In Airway Epithelium In Response To Cigarette Smoke. Accepted. PlosOne.

20.      Chatterjee A, Banerjee S, Steffen M, O’Connor RM, Ward HD, Robbins PW, Samuelson J. Evidence for mucin-like glycoproteins that tether sporozoites of Cryptosporidium parvum to the inner surface of the oocyst wall. Eukaryot Cell. 2009 Nov 30.

21.      Bushkin GG, Ratner DM, Cui J, Banerjee S, Duraisingh MT, Jennings CV, Dvorin JD, Gubbels MJ, Robertson SD, Steffen M, O’Keefe BR, Robbins PW, Samuelson J. Suggestive evidence for Darwinian selection against asparagine-linked glycans of Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. Eukaryot Cell. 2009 Oct 16.

22.      Wu CJ, Cai T, Rikova K, Merberg D, Kasif S, Steffen M. A predictive phosphorylation signature of lung cancer. PLoS One. 2009 Nov 25;4(11):e7994.

23.       Kasif S, Steffen M. Biochemical networks: The evolution of gene annotation. Nat Chem Biol. 2010 Jan;6(1):4-5.

24.     Roberts RJ, Chang YC, Hu Z, Rachlin JN, Anton BP, Pokrzywa RM, Choi HP, Faller LL, Guleria J, Housman G, Klitgord N, Mazumdar V, McGettrick MG, Osmani L, Swaminathan R, Tao KR, Letovsky S, Vitkup D, Segrè D, Salzberg SL, Delisi C, Steffen M, Kasif S.  COMBREX: a project to accelerate the functional annotation of prokaryotic genomes. Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan;39(Database issue):D11-4.

25.     Bergerat A, Decano J, Wu CJ, Choi H, Nesvizhskii A, Moran AM, Ruiz-Opazo N, Steffen M, Herrera VL.  Pre-stroke proteomic changes in cerebral microvessels in stroke-prone, transgenic[hCETP]-hyperlipidemic, Dahl salt-sensitive hypertensive rats.  Mol Med. 2011 Apr 14. doi: 10.2119/molmed.2010.00228. [Epub ahead of print]