Steven Backues

A photo of Steven Backues

Associate Professor


501F Science Complex


[email protected]


  • BA, Gustavus Adolphus College, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, Biochemistry
  • Postdoc, University of Michigan

Interests and Expertise

My general area of interest is membrane trafficking, and how proteins control the shape and dynamics of cellular membranes. I am currently studying the membrane trafficking involved in the process of autophagy in yeast. Autophagy ("self-eating") is a both a means of surviving starvation and a method of disposing of damaged or unwanted cytoplasmic constituents by wrapping them up in a double-membraned autophagosome and sending them to the vacuole to be degraded. It is conserved through eukaryotes, and in humans helps to protect against neurodegeneration and other diseases of aging. I am using yeast genetics and in vitro binding studies to examine the molecular details of how the autophagosome is formed. I am looking for both undergraduates (especially freshman and sophomore level) and master's students to participate with me in this exciting research!


  • CHEM 451 and 453 Biochemistry
  • CHEM 122 General Chemistry Lab

Publications and Presentations

Additional Information

Visit my EMU people site.