Steven K. Chen

Steven K. Chen

Graduate Student
Department of Cell and Systems Biology
University of Toronto
25 Harbord St., Toronto, ON M5S 3G5


Current Research

  • Using protein engineering techniques to investigate rhodopsin variants of uncertain significance using yeast
  • Engineering the yeast endogenous heat shock response to detect misfolded rhodopsin mutants


MSc. (Present) — University of Toronto, Cell and Systems Biology

H.B.Sc. (2018) — University of Toronto, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology and Immunology

International Baccalaureate Program (2014) — Upper Canada College

Academic Awards

Cell Systems Biology Undergraduate Research Day – Michael J. Barrett Award for Best Poster, 2018
University of Toronto Arts & Science – Undergraduate Research Fund, 2018
Toronto Sci-Tech Fair – Gold & Amgen Biotechnology Award, 2012


  • Scott B.M., Chen S.K., Bhattacharyya N., Heon, E., Moalim A.Y., Plotnikov S.V., Peisajovich S.G., Chang B.S.W. Coupling of Human Rhodopsin to a Yeast Signaling Pathway Enables High-Throughput Characterization of Mutations Associated with Retinal Disease. Genetics, 211(2), pp. 597–615. doi: 10.1534/genetics.118.301733.

Selected Contributed Presentations

  • Chen S.K., Scott B.M., Bhattacharyya N. Peisajovich S., Chang B.S.W.
    High-throughput Investigation of Rhodopsin Function using Yeast. Biophysical
    Society of Canada Annual Meeting, University of Toronto Mississauga,
    Mississauga ON. (Oral & Poster)
  • Chen S.K., Scott B.M., Peisajovich S., Chang B.S.W. 2018. Engineering a Yeast Platform for Characterizing Rhodopsin Variants of Uncertain Significance. International Conference for Retinal Proteins, Hockley Valley Resort, Mono ON. (Poster)
  • Chen S.K., Scott B.M., Chang B.S.W. 2018. High-Throughput Characterisation of Rhodopsin of Rhodopsin: A Functional Assessment. Cell Systems Biology Undergraduate Research Day, University of Toronto, Toronto ON. (Poster)
  • Scott B.M. Chen S.K., Peisajovich S.G., Chang B.S.W. 2017. High-Throughput Studies of GPCRs using Yeast. Gordon Research Seminar & Gordon Research Conference on Synthetic Biology. Stoweflake Conference Center, Stowe VT. (Poster & Presentation)
  • Chen S.K., Scott B.M., Chang B.S.W. 2017. Detecting GPCR Misfolding with Heat Shock Proteins in Yeast. Molecular Genetics & Microbiology Undergraduate Research Forum, University of Toronto, Toronto ON. (Poster)
  • Chen S.K., Scott B.M., Chang B.S.W. 2016. Heterologous Expression of GPCRs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Stem Cells: The Future of Medicine  2016 Conference, University of Toronto, Toronto ON. (Poster)
  • Chen S.K., Swamy K.B.S., Leu, J.-Y. 2015. Providing evidence for Proteotoxic Stress in Chromosome Replacement Lines. Academia Sinica: Summer Internship, Academia Sinica, Nangang TP. (Presentation)