Steven Spoel graduated with a master's degree in biology from Utrecht University in the Netherlands before moving to Duke University, Durham, NC, for his PhD with Xinnian Dong. There, he worked on plant immune response pathways. In 2008, Steven moved to Edinburgh, UK, to work with Gary Loake with the help of an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship and a Netherlands Science Foundation Rubicon Fellowship. In 2010, he set up his own laboratory in Edinburgh as a Royal Society University Research Fellow. He has been awarded a BBSRC New Investigator Award and an ERC Starting Grant, and has been the recipient of the New Phytologist Tansley Medal for Excellence in Plant Science (2009) and an Early Excellence in Science Award from the Bayer Foundation (2013). Steven's research group studies the regulation in gene expression in response to pathogen attack and oxidative distress, in both plant and yeast cells with a particular focus on how transcription factors themselves are controlled in these processes.