Johanna Steen

Johanna was born and raised in Åkersberga northeast of Stockholm and carried out her undergraduate studies in Uppsala. In 2003 she received her Master´s degree in Biology from Uppsala University. Shortly thereafter she obtained a position as a research engineer at The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) working within the newly started Human Protein Atlas project.

“I was one of the first people they hired and I was involved in establishing the entire lab-flow from scratch. We called ourselves “the protein factory” because the work was high-throughput and automated”, she says.

After a year, Johanna started PhD studies under the supervision of Professor Sophia Hober and Dr. Jenny Ottosson Takanen at the KTH. In 2010 she defended her thesis entitled “Characterization of antigenic properties and high throughput protein purification”. During her postdoc period in the research groups of Lars Klareskog and Vivianne Malmström at Karolinska Institutet, Johanna was again involved in setting up a new lab, this time for production of recombinant antibodies from patient samples. After four years Johanna was offered the opportunity to become senior lab manager in the research groups.

“Together the Klareskog and Malmström groups study rheumatology. I like doing experimental work, but I have come to realize that the role of lab manager suits me better. I feel that I am good at organizing things and want to continue to work hands-on.”

With structure and order as key words Johanna is eager to start working as lab manager and head of the technical group at MBW. Creating a good infrastructure is important.

“My ambition is that the rooms and spaces at MBW shall be used as efficiently as possible. I am especially passionate about how to plan a lab to create an efficient flow. The technical group should help maintain a well-organized infrastructure so the researchers can concentrate on doing what they are good at”, she says.

How do you look at yourself as head of the technical group?
“I am a natural leader and find that part of the job extra fun and interesting. A good working environment with satisfied colleagues is super important.”

What part do you find most motivating?
“To be able to change something for the better, both regarding space and how the technical group works. My task is to make sure that all logistical things run smoothly. That is my driving force.”

Are you equally well structured in your everyday life?
“The funny thing is that it is not the case. I am more unorganized at home.”


Name: Johanna Steen
Age: 40
Comes from: Born in Lidingö but raised in Åkersberga
Family: Husband and three daughters aged 4, 9 and 11
Lives: House in Älvsjö
Interests: I love sailing and bought my first sailing boat when I was 16
Talent: I am handy and good at finding my proper place in every situation

Johanna sits in room F335b and can be reached by phone 08-16 41 82/ 073-622 14 73 or mail

We welcome Johanna to MBW!