STEPP Lab Members
Cara E Stepp, Ph.D., directs the STEPP LAB for Sensorimotor Rehabilitation Engineering and is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. She received the S.B. in Engineering Science from Smith College, S.M. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology. Prior to joining BU, she completed postdoctoral training in Computer Science & Engineering and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington. Dr. Stepp's research uses engineering tools to rehabilitate sensorimotor function.
Lenny Varghese, Ph.D., is a Post-Doctoral Associate at the Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology at Boston University. He received a B.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Stony Brook University, and completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University.
Jessica Malloy is manager of STEPP Lab for Sensorimotor Rehabilitation Engineering in the Department of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences at Boston University. She received her B.A. in Neuroscience from Boston University. Her previous research has focused on investigating the role of auditory feedback in the online monitoring of speech. Jessica hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in computational neuroscience. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exploring the city, and marathoning TV shows.
Meredith Cler is a Ph.D. student in Computational Neuroscience at Boston University. She has a B.S. in Computer Science from Bradley University, received a Graduate Certificate in Cognitive Science from the University of Central Florida, and has studied brain-computer interfaces in Tübingen, Germany. Her research interests include brain-computer/human-machine interfaces and their application for the treatment of aphasia and other communicative disorders.
Liz Heller Murray is a Ph.D. student in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Boston University. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics from Emory University in 2009 and her M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology at MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2013. Her research interests involve working on improvements in both rehabilitation techniques and assistive devices for individuals with voice and swallowing dysfunction. Liz’s long-term goals involve both research and clinical work with patients. In her free time she enjoys traveling, reading, and baking.
Stephanie Lien is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. She received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2011. Her research interests include developing computational techniques for biomedical applications, improving medical diagnostics and treatment, and designing novel biotechnology. She enjoys singing, traveling, and reading.
Dante Smith is a is a Ph.D. student in Computational Neuroscience working collaboratively with BU's Neural Prosthesis Lab and the Stepp Lab. He graduated from BU in 2012 with a B.S. Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include Neural Prosthesis, Brain-Computer Interfaces, and Neural recording methods. He is currently exploring vibrotactile stimulation for BCIs. His interests are travel, Ultimate Frisbee, and cooking.
Carolyn Calabrese is a graduate student in the Master's program of Speech-Language Pathology. She received her BS in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from NYU in 2013 where she was involved in research examining child language disorders. In her spare time, Carolyn enjoys cooking and listening to stand-up comedy, especially when done at the same time.
Kerri Downing is currently a graduate student in the Masters in Speech-Language Pathology program. She received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Connecticut in 2010. Prior to joining BU, she worked on a longitudinal collaborative study investigating the development of infant siblings of children with autism and language delays using EEG, ERP, and eye-tracking techniques. In her spare time, Kerri enjoys cooking and reading.
Ali Martinson is a current Master's student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at Boston University. Ali received her undergraduate degree from Penn State in Biology, Neuroscience option. Her research at Penn State focused on the evolution of voltage-gated potassium channels. She is very excited to be involved with research combining neuroscience, biology, and speech science. In her free time, Ali loves to explore Boston, read new books, and try her hand at cooking.
Defne Abur just graduated from Smith College, where she received a B.S. in Engineering Science with a concentration in Biomathematics. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences. Defne loves to sing and play the ukulele. She has been in many choirs and directed an A Capella group in college.
Joe Mendoza is an undergraduate student studying Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. His research interests include prosthesis and other rehabilitation devices. Joe hopes to pursue a career in the medical technology industry, and his hobbies include playing basketball and guitar, and watching The Big Bang Theory.
Carolyn Michener is an undergraduate student in speech, language, and hearing sciences at Boston University. Her long-term research interests include neuroscience-speech rehabilitation. She hopes to pursue a career as a Speech-Language Pathologist, and enjoys reading, watching Sherlock Holmes movies, and FIRST Robotics. Check out her blog about people and projects in the STEPP Lab here.
Will Cunningham is currently 17 years old, and is a high school student in the Class of 2015 attending Boston University Academy. He has had some experience with both biology and programming and is very eager to help out in the lab. When he isn't either in school or working in the lab Will enjoys fencing, acting, and singing in an a cappella group.
Lab Alumni
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Current & Recent Collaborators

Jason Bohland, Ph.D., Boston University

Deanna Britton, MS, CCC-SLP, University of Washington

J. Edward Colgate, Ph.D., Northwestern University

Tanya Eadie, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, University of Washington

Frank Guenther, Ph.D., Boston University

James T. Heaton, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Robert E. Hillman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Harvard Medical School

Susan Langmore, Ph.D., Boston Medical Center

Eric Larson, Ph.D., University of Washington

Adrian KC Lee, Sc.D., University of Washington

Yoky Matsuoka, Ph.D., University of Washington

Albert L. Merati, MD, University of Washington

Pieter Noordzij, MD, Boston Medical Center

Tyler Perrachione, Ph.D., Boston University

Sujata Pradhan, PT, Ph.D., University of Washington