Dr Frederik Steyn

Lecturer - Anatomy & Pathology

School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 334 65555


Dr Steyn started his career as a Biomedical Researcher conducting mechanistic studies that define hypothalamic integration of energy homeostasis, growth and reproduction. He developed transformative methodologies that are the industry gold-standard for the assessment of patterned hormone release. In 2015, Dr Steyn expanded this research focus to conduct studies to improve our understanding of neurodegenerative disease. He co-pioneered methodologies for improved assessment of energy expenditure in humans and developed a research platform that has received traction for improved detection of hypermetabolism in neurodegenerative disease. Dr Steyn currently oversees a clinical research program that aims to increase our understanding of widespread changes in the brain that contribute to faster disease progression. Specifically, he conducts studies that document the impact and mechanisms associated with impaired appetite control and energy homeostasis in Motor Neurone Disease.

Research Impacts

I have developed a translational research focus where I am assessing the role of altered growth and metabolism on the rate of progression of neurodegenerative disease, and in particular Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Through patient and animal directed studies I seek to repurpose endocrine and metabolic-directed treatment strategies to slow disease progression and improve quality of life for those currently living with MND.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Otago


  • McCombe, Pamela A., Henderson, Robert D., Lee, Aven, Lee, John D., Woodruff, Trent M., Restuadi, Restuadi, McRae, Allan, Wray, Naomi R., Ngo, Shyuan and Steyn, Frederik J. (2019) Gut microbiota in ALS: possible role in pathogenesis?. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, . doi:10.1080/14737175.2019.1623026

  • Kirk, Siobhan E., Tracey, Timothy J., Steyn, Frederik J. and Ngo, Shyuan T. (2019) Biomarkers of metabolism in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Frontiers in Neurology, 10 191. doi:10.3389/fneur.2019.00191

  • Steyn, Frederik J., Ioannides, Zara A., van Eijk, Ruben P. A., Heggie, Susan, Thorpe, Kathryn A., Ceslis, Amelia, Heshmat, Saman, Henders, Anjali K., Wray, Naomi R., van den Berg, Leonard H., Henderson, Robert D., McCombe, Pamela A. and Ngo, Shyuan T. (2018) Hypermetabolism in ALS is associated with greater functional decline and shorter survival. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 89 10: jnnp-2017. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2017-317887

View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • Ngo, Shyuan T., Steyn, Frederik J., McCombe, Pamela A. and Borges, Karin (2015). High Caloric diets for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In Ronald Ross Watson and Victor R. Preedy (Ed.), Bioactive nutraceuticals and dietary supplements in neurological and brain disease: prevention and therapy (pp. 355-361) London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-411462-3.00036-9

  • Steyn, Frederik J. and Chen, Chen (2013). Adiponectin. In Abba J. Kastin (Ed.), Handbook of biologically active peptides 2nd ed. (pp. 983-989) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Academic Press/Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-385095-9.00130-5

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)