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Steven Boeynaems, PhD


Hi, my name is Steven.

I am a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University. My work focuses on understanding the molecular underpinnings of neurodegenerative diseases and stress tolerance.

Besides this, I have a general interest in evolution, RNA and protein metabolism, and tandem repeats. Aside from doing research in the lab, I am an avid science communicator and freelance writer, aiming to spread my passion for science. I am also an aspiring science artist, and amateur photographer and painter.

Education & Positions


2017    Ph.D., KU Leuven, Belgium
2012    M.Sc. (Magna Cum Laude), KU Leuven, Belgium
2010    B.Sc. (Cum Laude), KU Leuven, Belgium
2009   Erasmus student, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain


2019-now   Associate editor, Bio-Protocol, USA
2017-now    Postdoctoral fellow, Stanford University, USA
04.2016       Visiting scientist (Fawzi lab), Brown University, USA
2012-17        Doctoral researcher, VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium
2011-12        Undergraduate researcher, VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium

As a child I grew up in a small town in Belgium, where I spent my days catching bugs, collecting fossils, and pretending I was David Attenborough on an expedition through our garden. Reading On the Origin of Species at the age of 13, was the decisive moment that consolidated my love and passion for biology.

Years later, I ended up studying Bioscience Engineering at the University of Leuven. When obtaining my Master's degree, I worked in the lab of Dr. Kevin Verstrepen on the role of tandem repeats in evolution. Thereafter I continued my doctoral work on tandem repeats at the University of Leuven and VIB, but now in the context of ALS and FTD, under the supervision of Dr. Wim Robberecht and Dr. Ludo Van Den Bosch. During my doctoral years I have had the privilege to join forces with ALS patient organizations in our fight against this disease.

My dedication to ALS research and hope to one day contribute to a cure for this dreadful condition, has now brought me to California. At Stanford University, under the guidance of Dr. Aaron Gitler, I continue to study the pathobiology of ALS and other degenerative disorders to come up with novel therapeutic targets for these diseases.