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


  • Steyn, Frederik J and Ngo, Shyuan T (2020). Prognostic value of weight loss in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 91 (8), 813-813. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2020-323440

  • Scaricamazza, Silvia, Salvatori, Illari, Giacovazzo, Giacomo, Loeffler, Jean Philippe, Renè, Frederique, Rosina, Marco, Quessada, Cyril, Proietti, Daisy, Heil, Constantin, Rossi, Simona, Battistini, Stefania, Giannini, Fabio, Volpi, Nila, Steyn, Frederik J., Ngo, Shyuan T., Ferraro, Elisabetta, Madaro, Luca, Coccurello, Roberto, Valle, Cristiana and Ferri, Alberto (2020). Skeletal-Muscle Metabolic Reprogramming in ALS-SOD1G93A Mice Predates Disease Onset and Is A Promising Therapeutic Target. iScience, 23 (5) 101087, 101087. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101087

  • Nabais, Marta F., Lin, Tian, Benyamin, Beben, Williams, Kelly L., Garton, Fleur C., Vinkhuyzen, Anna A. E., Zhang, Futao, Vallerga, Costanza L., Restuadi, Restuadi, Freydenzon, Anna, Zwamborn, Ramona A. J., Hop, Paul J., Robinson, Matthew R., Gratten, Jacob, Visscher, Peter M., Hannon, Eilis, Mill, Jonathan, Brown, Matthew A., Laing, Nigel G., Mather, Karen A., Sachdev, Perminder S., Ngo, Shyuan T., Steyn, Frederik J., Wallace, Leanne, Henders, Anjali K., Needham, Merrilee, Veldink, Jan H., Mathers, Susan, Nicholson, Garth ... Wray, Naomi R. (2020). Significant out-of-sample classification from methylation profile scoring for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. npj Genomic Medicine, 5 (1) 10, 1-9. doi: 10.1038/s41525-020-0118-3

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Book Chapter

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

  • Steyn, Frederik J. and Chen, Chen (2013). Adiponectin. Handbook of biologically active peptides. (pp. 983-989) edited by Abba J. Kastin. 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

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision