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 murine models of disease. 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 patients with Motor Neurone Disease and developed a research platform that has received traction for improved detection of hypermetabolism in neurodegenerative disease. Dr Steyn currently oversees a pre-clinical and clinical research program that aims to increase our understanding of the physiological response to disease, and specifically neurodegenerative diseases that are defined by the loss of upper and lower motor neurones. Within this program, he conducts studies on the role of metabolism on the progression of neurodegenerative disease (MEND-MND), and the effects of loss of appetite and impaired body weight regulation (EATT4MND) quality of life and disease progression.

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


  • Nabizadeh, Jamileh A., Manthey, Helga D., Panagides, Nadya, Steyn, Frederik J., Lee, John D., Li, Xaria X., Akhir, Fazrena N. M., Chen, Weiyu, Boyle, Glen M., Taylor, Stephen M., Woodruff, Trent M. and Rolfe, Barbara E. (2019) C5a receptors C5aR1 and C5aR2 mediate opposing pathologies in a mouse model of melanoma. FASEB Journal, fj201800980RR. doi:10.1096/fj.201800980rr

  • 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

  • Ngo, Shyuan T., Van Eijk, Ruben P. A., Chachay, V. , Van Den Berg, Leonard H., Mccombe, Pamela A., Henderson, Robert D. and Steyn, Frederik J. (2019) Loss of appetite is associated with a loss of weight and fat mass in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 1-9. doi:10.1080/21678421.2019.1621346

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)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision