Associate Professor Glenda Gobe

Associate Professor

School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 334 65159


I was awarded a PhD in pathology from the University of Queensland in 1989 researching apoptosis in kidney diseases, something that was a bit out there at the time. My publication on apoptosis in hydronephrosis was the first ever on kidney apoptosis, anywhere. My how things have changed. By end of 2017, there were 13500 publications in PubMed on “kidney apoptosis”. After completing my PhD, I took up a position as Manager of the Cell Culture Unit at Pathology before finally being appointed on the academic staff as Head of the Apoptosis Research Group in the Department of Pathology/Oncology Laboratory QIMR. I completed post-doctoral studies at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York (Prof Ralph Buttyan) and then at Mt Sinai Hospital, Department of Nephrology, New York (trained in gene therapy techniques). There I investigated the molecular characteristics of apoptosis in kidney failure and kidney cancer. In particular I have developed tools for using specialised imaging techniques in order to better understand the role of particular signalling pathways in complex kidney diseases, working with causes like obesity and aging.

Research Interests

I am a Research Director of the Centre for Kidney Disease Research (CKDR) Collaborative at PAH, and Assoc Prof in the School of Biomedical Sciences, co-ordinating the pathology research and teaching group. I lead the Kidney Cancer Research Group with Dr Simon Wood, Head of Urology, PAH. I am recognised internationally for my research, attract international trainees and provide them with an educational, enjoyable and enriching environment for their training; publish my research in top journals in my fields, attract funding, and provide leadership and mentoring to many staff and students at my own university as well as at other tertiary institutions. At SBMS, I am a member of the Teaching & Learning Committee, and assist with Director Research Training tasks. I sit on/chair many awards selection panels at TRI.

I am a molecular biologist with a well-established international record of achievements in kidney disease research. I produced the first study, internationally, on the role of apoptosis in kidney disease (on renal tubular atrophy in hydronephrosis; Gobe and Axelsen, Lab Invest 1987; 56:273-281). I have provided continual leadership in this field over 30 years. By 2017 there are almost 13000 publications in PubMed with “kidney apoptosis” as the search criterion. I am frequently consulted, locally, nationally and internationally, for my knowledge and expertise in apoptosis identification.

In January 2013, the CKDR moved into the new Translational Research Institute (TRI), a joint venture between The University of Queensland, the Quensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Mater Medical Research Institute and the Princess Alexandra Hospital. The facilities are multi-disciplinary, world-class, and conducive to achieving the best results, with the goal of minimising time between a basic laboratory discovery and its effective application in people. As Co-Director of the CKDR, I work with clinicians to direct clinically-relevant projects, especially in chronic kidney disease and kidney cancer. I am a Caucus member of the TRI and was a member of its Research Committee (2 year appointment), so am active in strategic planning to ensure translational research is a priority. I provide academic leadership in formulating models of disease, including the use of high powered imaging techniques such as electron microscopy, multi-photon microscopy, photo-acoustic in vivo imaging. I am Curator of the Kidney Cancer Biobank at PAH and of a new Biobank for an NHMRC Centre of Excellence called “CKD.Biobank”, at the TRI. I have been the ERA Discipline Expert on cardiovascular research for UQ’s ERA submission. I am a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics: COPE (2016-). I am a member of the NHMRC CKD.CRE Consultation and Engagement Committee which assesses progress, budget, education and capacity, translational potential, as well as grant opportunities and future directions.

Research Interests

  • Kidney cancer
  • Kidney cancer imaging
  • Acute kidney injury and cell death
  • Chronic kidney disease and biomarkers

Research Impacts

Some of my publications have found translation to pre-clinical testing. For example, I have published on applying biomarkers to identify cell injury, cell death and regeneration in kidney disease (eg. Bcl-2 as a biomarker of acute kidney injury; kidney injury biomarkers in toxin and drug-induced injury; biomarkers of regeneration after injury such as clusterin; biomarkers of subtype, stage and grade in kidney cancers). I also provided experimental evidence that stopped a too-rapid application of the drug erythropoietin for aiding kidney repair after acute kidney injury in patients – I identified and published progress to fibrosis and chronic kidney disease as an outcome of high dose erythropoietin for healing of acute kidney injury, in an animal model.


Best poster/abstract award, ESUOS, Barcelona 2017

Inter-Institutional Collaborative Research Award TRI 2016

Best poster award, International Academy of Pathology Annual Scientific Meeting 2009

Special Studies Program Award 2006

International Collaborative Research Award UQ 2004

Queensland Cancer Fund Travel Award 2000

RBH Clinical Pathology Research Incentive Award 2000

In 2010, I was invited to give a series of 12 lectures on basic pathology/pathophysiology for the Toxicology Graduate Program, Department of Clinical and Toxicological Analysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil. This eventuated from recognition of my teaching expertise in this field after my supervision of an occupational trainee/PhD student Maria Augusta Carvalho Rodrigues, from this Department.

At the American Society of Nephrology Graduate Education Course on Renal Pathology, St Louis, USA and through my international standing in renal pathology and the role of apoptosis, I was invited to lecture on my specialty research topic “Apoptosis in acute renal failure: the cytopathology of human acute renal failure.”

All of my students have received awards and honours, including winning a Dean’s commendation for high achievement (Betty Pat; David Small) or being recommended for the same award (Nigel Bennett), a Dean’s PhD award in 2017 (Hafiz Suleria) and a UQ Alumni Young Leader Award and Malaysian Australian Alumni Award winner (Retnagowri Rajandram, 2017). The PhD graduates have all found placements for formal post-doctoral studies through my contacts or training.


  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Queensland
  • Graduate Diploma of Education, The University of Queensland
  • Masters of Science, The University of Queensland
  • PhD, The University of Queensland


View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • Small, David M., Sanchez, Washington Y. and Gobe, Glenda C. (2016). Intravital multiphoton imaging of the kidney: tubular structure and metabolism. Kidney research: experimental protocols. (pp. 155-172) edited by Tim D. Hewitson, Edward R. Smith and Stephen G. Holt. New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3353-2_12

  • Simon, Turibius, Gobe, Glenda C., Wu, Chung-Shu, Ko, Fu-Hsiang and Morais, Christudas (2014). Molecular mechanisms of sunitinib resistance in renal cell carcinoma. Advances in Drug Resistance Research. (pp. 225-246) edited by Christudas Morais. New York, United States: Nova Biomedical.

  • Gobe, Glenda C. (2014). Oxygen, Free Radicals, and Renal Function. Systems Biology of Free Radicals and Antioxidants. (pp. 2581-2603) edited by Ismail Laher. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-30018-9_113

  • Wojcikowski, Ken and Gobe, Glenda C. (2014). Use of phytochemicals as adjuncts to conventional therapies for chronic kidney disease. Phytochemicals of nutraceutical importance. (pp. 20-32) edited by Dhan Prakash and Girish Sharma. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: CABI. doi: 10.1079/9781780643632.0000

  • Bennett, Nigel C., Hooper, John and Gobe, Glenda C. (2012). Endogenous strategies for steroidogenesis and androgen signalling in prostate cancer cells. Androgens: production, functions and disorders. (pp. 99-114) edited by Berkley F. Thompson and Devon J. Robinson. New York, NY, United States: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Morais, Christudas, Johnson, David W. and Gobe, Glenda C. (2012). The VHL-HIF signaling in renal cell carcinoma: promises and pitfalls. Emerging research and treatments in renal cell carcinoma. (pp. 57-82) edited by Robert J. Amato. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech. doi: 10.5772/27009

  • Gobe, Glenda C., Fassett, Robert G. and Coombes, Jeff S. (2011). Bioactive nutritional supplements for chronic kidney disease: potential cost benefits. Nutrients, dietary supplements, and nutriceuticals: Cost analysis versus clinical benefits. (pp. 301-314) edited by Ronald Ross Watson, Joe K. Gerald and Victor R. Preedy. New York, United States: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60761-308-4

  • Gobe, Glenda and Winterford, Clay (2010). Quantification of apoptosis. Apoptosis. (pp. 621-634) edited by Victor R. Preedy. Enfield, NH, U.S.A.: Science Publishers. doi: 10.1201/9781439845431-48

  • Gobe, Glenda and Winterford, Clay (2010). Quantification of apoptosis. Apoptosis: modern insights into disease from molecules to man. (pp. 619-632) edited by Victor R. Preedy. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/9781439845431

  • Gobe, G. (2009). Identification of apoptosis in kidney tissue sections. Kidney Research. Experimental Protocols. (pp. 175-192) edited by Hewitson, T. D. and Becker, G. J.. New York: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-352-3-13

  • Gobe, Glenda and Harmon, Brian (2008). Apoptosis: morphological criteria and other assays. eLS. (pp. 1-8) Hoboken, NJ, United States: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002569.pub3

  • Venkatesh, Balasubramanian, Gobe, Glenda C. and Morgan, Thomas J. (2003). Critical tissue oxygen thresholds for the induction of apoptosis in critical illness. Yearbook of intensive care and emergency medicine. (pp. 545-552) edited by J.-L. Vincent. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision