Dr. K.E (Kelly) Stecker

Stecker LAB

Assistant ProfesSor |
Pharmaceutical Sciences

In my research group we apply innovative mass spectrometry approaches to understand protein regulation in cancer.

Research Areas

  • Protein signalling in immuno-oncology
  • Protein regulation in cytokine-mediated cell death
  • Developing innovative mass spectrometry methods to study protein post-translational modifications 


Kelly Stecker studied biochemistry at the University of Washington and worked in the plant biotech industry for several years before obtaining her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kelly was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for her PhD work studying plant proteomics and plant signal transduction events in response to acute water loss. In 2016 she moved to the Netherlands for a post-doc in the Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry & Proteomics (BMSP) group at Utrecht University and began her work on protein regulation and protein expression in cancer, with a specific focus on signal transduction events that regulate tumor-immune cell interactions.  She became an Assistant Professor in the BMSP group in 2021. 

Our 2023 research group! We miss @Maarten @Cristina in the photo



  • Ibáñez-Molero, S., Pruijs, J. T., Atmopawiro, A., Wang, F., Terry, A. M., Altelaar, M., Peeper, D.S., & Stecker, K. E. (2024). Phosphoprotein dynamics of interacting T cells and tumor cells by HySic. Cell Reports, 43(1).


  • Debets, D. O., Stecker, K. E., Piskopou, A., Liefaard, M. C., Wesseling, J., Sonke, G. S., … & Altelaar, M. (2023). Deep (phospho) proteomics profiling of pre-treatment needle biopsies identifies signatures of treatment resistance in HER2+ breast cancer. Cell Reports Medicine, 4(10).


  • Wang, Wang, F., Veth, T., Kuipers, M., Altelaar, M., & Stecker, K. E. (2023). Optimized Suspension Trapping Method for Phosphoproteomics Sample Preparation. Analytical Chemistry. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.3c00324


  • van de Berg, C.M., Volkov, C.M., Volkov, V.A., Schnorrenberg, S., Huang, Z., Stecker, K.E., Grigoriev, I., Gilani, S., Frikstad, K.A.M., Patzke, S., Zimmermann, T. and Dogterom, M., 2023. CSPP1 stabilizes growing microtubule ends and damaged lattices from the luminal side. Journal of Cell Biology, 222(4), p.e202208062


  • Zhang, Z., Kong, X., Ligtenberg, M. A., van Hal-van Veen, S. E., Visser, N. L., de Bruijn, B., Stecker, K., van der Helm, P. W., Kuilman, T., Hoefsmit, E. P., Vredevoogd, D. W., Apriamashvili, G., Baars, B., Voest, E. E., Klarenbeek, S., Altelaar, M. and Peeper, D. S. (2022). RNF31 inhibition sensitizes tumors to bystander killing by innate and adaptive immune cells. Cell Rep Med, 3(6), 100655. doi:10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100655
  • Vredevoogd, D. W., Kuilman, T., Ligtenberg, M. A., Boshuizen, J., Stecker, K. E., de Bruijn, B., . . . Peeper, D. S. (2019). Augmenting Immunotherapy Impact by Lowering Tumor TNF Cytotoxicity Threshold. Cell, 178(3), 585-599 e515. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.06.014
  • Schmidlin, T., Debets, D. O., van Gelder, C., Stecker, K. E., Rontogianni, S., van den Eshof, B. L., . . . Altelaar, M. (2019). High-Throughput Assessment of Kinome-wide Activation States. Cell Syst, 9(4), 366-374 e365. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cels.2019.08.005
  • Volkening, J. D., Stecker, K. E., & Sussman, M. R. (2019). Proteome-wide Analysis of Protein Thermal Stability in the Model Higher Plant Arabidopsis thaliana [S]. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics18(2), 308-319. https://doi.org/10.1074/mcp.RA118.001124
  • Tomoko Hirano, Kelly Stecker, Teun Munnik, Haoxing Xu, Masa H. Sato, Visualization of Phosphatidylinositol 3,5-Bisphosphate Dynamics by a Tandem ML1N-Based Fluorescent Protein Probe in Arabidopsis, Plant and Cell Physiology, Volume 58, Issue 7, July 2017, Pages 1185–1195, https://doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcx011
  • Haruta, M., Sabat, G., Stecker, K., Minkoff, B. B., & Sussman, M. R. (2014). A peptide hormone and its receptor protein kinase regulate plant cell expansion. Science343(6169), 408-411. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1244454
  • Kelly E. Stecker, Benjamin B. Minkoff, Michael R. Sussman, Phosphoproteomic Analyses Reveal Early Signaling Events in the Osmotic Stress Response    , Plant Physiology, Volume 165, Issue 3, July 2014, Pages 1171–1187, https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.114.238816
  • Shih-Heng Su, Susan M. Bush, Najia Zaman, Kelly Stecker, Michael R. Sussman, Patrick Krysan, Deletion of a Tandem Gene Family in Arabidopsis: Increased MEKK2 Abundance Triggers Autoimmunity when the MEKK1-MKK1/2-MPK4 Signaling Cascade Is Disrupted  , The Plant Cell, Volume 25, Issue 5, May 2013, Pages 1895–1910, https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.113.112102