Tomoko Steen, Ph.D.



  • Cornell University – Ph.D., Genetics
  • Cornell University – Ph.D., Science, Tech, & Int’l Affairs
  • Cornell University – M.A., Science, Tech, & Int’l Affairs
  • Kyushu University – M.S., Pharmacology
  • Former Associate Editor of The Journal of Heredity
  • Adjunct Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
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Dr. Tomoko Y. Steen is the Director of the Biomedical Science Policy and Advocacy M.Sc. program at Georgetown University, and a faculty member at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology (Georgetown University Medical Center). Over the years, Dr. Steen has been active in a broad range of scientific research projects ranging from theoretical population genetics to the epidemiology of antibiotic resistant strains. Dr. Steen came to Washington DC two decades ago to take up a tenured position as a Senior Research Specialist at the leading government agency.  Before taking the current position at Georgetown University, she held a faculty position at George Washington University’s Center for Recent History of Science working under the leading historian of recent science, Professor Horace Freeland Judson. She also held joint departmental appointments at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to her move to Washington DC, Dr. Steen was a faculty member jointly at the Museum of Comparative Zoology and History of Science Department at Harvard University.

Currently, she is working on microbiomics, focusing on the biological effects of radiation on gut microbiota and the gut-brain axis. Dr. Steen has been regularly invited to be on the advisory board for various research grant committees such as NIH, NSF, US Department of State and DoD and also to review for leading academic journals published from Nature, Springer, and Elsevier.  For almost two decades she has been running a science policy discussion group “Global S&T Forum” in Washington, collaborating with colleagues from the US Department of State, DTRA and the Library of Congress. Since 2014, she has organized an annual nuclear security summit at Georgetown University – the “Nuclear Security Summit at Georgetown.” The main purpose of this summit is to generate cross-disciplinary discussions on nuclear security issues. Dr. Steen has advised various governmental and non-profit organizations both domestically and internationally on everything from big data to public health and WMD. She leads several working groups including, Emerging Technology Working Group, East Asian STM Working Group, and leads BioNuclear Working Group with colleagues at DTRA. She currently teaches MICB 589, MICB 603, and MICB 705 in the M.S. Biomedical Science Policy & Advocacy program.


Anne Ruffing, Charles Turick, Eric Winder, Helen Cui, Kathleen Buckley,

Randy Lacey, Robert Volpe, Robyn Barbato, Steen, T.Y., Vatsan Raman,

William McKendree, (2018) BioNuclear Working Group:  2019 Technology Investment Strategy

Glenn Curtis, Steen, T.Y. et al. (2009) CYBERCRIME: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SELECT FOREIGN-LANGUAGE ACADEMIC LITERATURE, An Annotated Bibliography Prepared by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress under an Interagency Agreement with the National Institute of Justice

Steen, TY. (2017) Chapter 13 “Architects of ABC Weapons for the Japanese Empire: microbiology vs. theoretical physicist.” In Part IV: “Scientific Weapons and the Transformation of Pacific War Aims,” in Science, Technology, and Medicine in the Modern Japanese Empire (Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia). Taylor & Francis, March 2017.

Ramón C. Hermida, Michael H. Smolensky, Horia Balan, Richard J. Castriotta, Juan J. Crespo, Yaron Dagan, Sherine El-Toukhy, José R. Fernández, Garret A. FitzGerald, Akio Fujimura, Yong-Jian Geng, Ramón G. Hermida-Ayala, Antonio P. Machado, Luiz Menna-Barreto, Artemio Mojón, Alfonso Otero, R. Daniel Rudic, Eva Schernhammer, Carsten Skarke, Steen, T.Y.,  Martin E. Young & Xiaoyun Zhao (2021) Guidelines for the design and conduct of human clinical trials on ingestion-time differences – chronopharmacology and chronotherapy – of hypertension medications, Chronobiology International, 38:1, 1-26, DOI: 10.1080/07420528.2020.1850468

CHOLERA, CONFLICT, CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND IMPLICATIONS ON THE YEMEN PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM Destini M. Garrison, Radina P. Soebiyanto, Sarah Hutchinson, Assaf Anyamba and Steen, T. Y. in the Global Health Governance: The Scholarly Journal for The New Health Security Paradigm, Volume X, No. 1 Spring Special Issue: Climate Change and Global Health Governance Guest Editor: Robert L. Ostergard, Jr.


“Ecological Impacts of Ionizing Radiation: Follow-up Studies of Nonhuman Species at Fukushima” Journal of Heredity, Volume 109, Issue 2, 14 February 2018, Pages 176–177,

Steen, T. Y. Ecological Impacts of Ionizing Radiation: Follow-up Studies of Nonhuman Species at Fukushima, Journal of Heredity, Volume 109, Issue 2, 14 February 2018, Pages 176–177,

Amy Zhang and Steen, T.Y. “Gut Microbiomics—A Solution to Loosen the Gordian Knot of Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation,” Journal of Heredity, Volume 109, Issue 2, 14 February 2018, Pages 212–221,

Shoji Kawamura, Manabu Fukumoto, Steen T.Y. (2015) “福島第一原子力発電所事故後3年を経た野生ニホンザルの保護,管理,研究の現状と課題.” [Managing Japanese Wild Macaques After 3 years since Fukushima Daiichi Accident] 霊長類研究/ Primate Research, January 2015

Steen, T.Y. and Timothy, Mousseau, ed. (2014) Special Issue: “Genetic Effects of Radiation on Non-Human Species.”  Journal of Heredity, Volume 105, No. 4, September/August 2014. *Online publication, August 14, 2014.

Steen, T.Y. and Marta Wayne. (2013) Nature | Correspondence “Fukushima: ‘Ecolab’ branding insensitive.” Nature. 500, 400. (22 August 2013)

Steen, T.Y. (2013) “e-Scienceと情報科学: パラダイムシフトに乗る” [e-saiensu to jyouhoukagaku: paradigm shift to ni nor (e-Science: Present and Future. e-Science and Information Science: Riding Paradigm Shift).]” in 情報の科学と技術 [Jyouhou no Kagaku to gijyutsu (Science and Technology Information)] Vol. 63, No. 9, 358~362.

Steen, T.Y. (2008) “The Case of Ohta Tomoko: A Woman Geneticist in the Neutralist-Selectionist Evolution Controversy.” Historia Scientiarum Vol. 18–2 (2008), 172-184.

Steen, T.Y. (2003) “Review of Crow and Dove (eds.) Perspectives on Genetics.”  ISIS. Vol. 94: 414.

Steen, T.Y. (1996) “Always an Eccentric: A Brief Biography of Motoo Kimura.” Journal of Genetics: 75, 19-25.

Steen, T.Y. (1996). “Review of the book Man and Microbes: Disease and plagues in history and modern times.” By Arno Karlen, The Quarterly Review of Biology 71: 155-156.

Steen, T.Y. (1996).  “A Tribute to Motoo Kimura.” Historia Scientiarum 6, 159-169.

Steen, T.Y. (2016) Joshua Lederberg, Reference Module in Life Sciences.

Steen, T.Y. (2016) Motoo Kimura, Reference Module in Life Sciences.

Steen, T. Y. (2013) Motoo Kimura: Botanist and Pioneer in Japan’s Population Genetics, in Brenner’s Encyclopedia of Genetics, 2nd Edition. March 2013.

Steen, T.Y. (2013) Joshua Lederberg in Brenner’s Online Encyclopedia of Genetics, 2nd Edition. March 2013. 

Steen, T.Y. (1999) John Thomas Gulick (13 Mar. 1832-14 Apr. 1923): Naturalist and missionary to Japan. American National Biography. John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carne, eds., Vol. 4

Committee Work

Emerging Technologies Working Group (cross disciplinary and cross organizational group), Co-Chair (fall 2019-present)

Radiation Effects & Events Archive Project at McGovern Historical Center, National Library of Medicine, Organizing Committee and Advisor (2018-present)

BioNuclear Working Group at Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Advisory Board Member (2014-present)

Global S&T Policy Forum, Chair (2007 – present)

Working Group on East Asian Science, Technology and Medicine (EAST ASIAN

STM), Co-Chair with Laura Wong, National Library of Medicine(2006 – present)