Dr Steven Zuryn

Stafford Fox SRF

Queensland Brain Institute
+61 7 334 66477


In September 2015 Dr Zuryn was awarded the Stafford Fox Senior Research Fellowship and opened his new lab at QBI. One of the main focuses of the Zuryn group is the emerging role of epigenetic mechanisms that help preserve correct cell function. They have recently found that specific types of histone methylation ensure robust neuronal function in the face of stressful conditions, research that was published in the prestigious journal Science. The team’s next goal is to understand how this occurs, and to be able to predict outcomes under alternative epigenetic criteria that may influence disease progression.

The Zuryn group is also interested in understanding fundamental aspects of neuronal mitochondrial biology. To do this, they have developed novel genetic tools in 2015 that will allow them to probe neuronal responses under stresses that model stroke and dementia. They aim to develop means to protect robust neuronal function from these types of diseases.

Research Impacts

With life expectancies increasing around the world, neurodegenerative disorders represent an enormous disease burden on individuals, families, and society. Two forms of cellular stress are associated with practically every single age-related neurodegenerative disease: mitochondrial dysfunction, and toxicity resulting from conformationally challenged, aggregate-prone proteins. Although direct links between these factors and human disease are sometimes elusive, it is clear that such stresses ultimately lead to a decline in individual neuron function over time.

To sustain correct function, terminally differentiated post-mitotic neurons must preserve their subtype identity, morphology, activity, and connectivity even in the presence of these chronic insults. The Zuryn lab uses cutting-edge molecular genetic techniques in the highly successful model organism C. elegans to understand the fundamental mechanisms neurons use to mitigate disease-related threats. The beauty of such a model is that they are able to accurately distil complex phenotypic phenomena down into single-cell and single-gene resolution.


  • PhD, The University of Queensland


  • Hahn, Anne and Zuryn, Steven (2019). Mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) mutations that generate reactive oxygen species. Antioxidants, 8 (9) 392, 392. doi: 10.3390/antiox8090392

  • Cummins, Nadia, Tweedie, Andrea, Zuryn, Steven, Bertran‐Gonzalez, Jesus and Götz, Jürgen (2019). Disease‐associated tau impairs mitophagy by inhibiting Parkin translocation to mitochondria. The EMBO Journal, 38 (3) e99360, e99360. doi: 10.15252/embj.201899360

  • Bezawork-Geleta, Ayenachew, Wen, He, Dong, LanFeng, Yan, Bing, Vider, Jelena, Boukalova, Stepana, Krobova, Linda, Vanova, Katerina, Zobalova, Renata, Sobol, Margarita, Hozak, Pavel, Novais, Silvia Magalhaes, Caisova, Veronika, Abaffy, Pavel, Naraine, Ravindra, Pang, Ying, Zaw, Thiri, Zhang, Ping, Sindelka, Radek, Kubista, Mikael, Zuryn, Steven, Molloy, Mark P., Berridge, Michael V., Pacak, Karel, Rohlena, Jakub, Park, Sunghyouk and Neuzil, Jiri (2018). Alternative assembly of respiratory complex II connects energy stress to metabolic checkpoints. Nature Communications, 9 (1) 2221, 2221. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04603-z

View all Publications


View all Grants


View all Supervision


Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Kuang, J., Zuryn, S., Valmas, N., Cha'on, U, Cui, Y.W., Cheng, Q., Tuck, A., Collins, P.J. and Ebert, P.R. (2008). Biochemical mechanisms of phosphine action and resistance. 8th International Conference on Controlled Atmosphere and Fumigation in Stored Products, Chengdu, China, 21-26 September 2008. China: Sichuan Publishing house of Science & Technology.

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision