Professor Jennifer Stow

Professorial Research Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience
+61 7 334 62159
+61 7 334 62034


Professor Jenny Stow is IMB’s Deputy Director (Research), where she is responsible for managing the scientific and competitive funding performance of the institute, as well as IMB’s postgraduate program.

Professor Stow completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Monash University in Melbourne, after which she undertook postdoctoral training at Yale University’s School of Medicine as a Fogarty International Fellow. She was soon appointed Assistant Professor in the renal unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she established an independent research group in cell biology. She returned to Australia in 1994 as a Wellcome Trust Senior International Fellow to join UQ’s Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology (now IMB).

Professor Stow leads her own IMB laboratory within IMB's divison of cell biology and molecular medicine, and is a current National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow.

Research Interests

  • How are cell adhesion proteins trafficked to and from different membranes in epithelial cells?
    Epithelial cells are asymmeteric with their apical surfaces designed to face the lumen of organs and their basolateral surfaces in contact with surrounding tissue and the vasculature. Protein sorting and vesicular transport through multiple pathways allow epithelial cells to transport different newly-synthesized and recycling proteins to opposite cell surfaces. Cadherins are an important family of adhesion proteins. E-cadherin is delivered to the lateral surface for cell-cell adhesion in epithelia, where it is important for organ development and as a key tumour suppressor. Our work in molecular cell biology is revealing new pathways and mechanisms for the control of cadherin trafficking and its functional regulation in epithelial cells and in cancer cells. Specific projects include:
  • Sorting and post-Golgi transport of E-cadherin We are using biochemical, genetic, proteomic and bioinformatic approaches to identify the sorting and vesicle-associated machinery involved in trafficking E-cadherin between the Golgi complex and the lateral cell surface. The dynamic assembly of the cadherin/catenin complex during trafficking is also being studied.
  • Regulated recycling of surface E-cadherin � pathways, signaling and relevance to cancer. There appear to be different pathways and a variety of physiological regulators for the internalization and recycling of surface E-cadherin. The regulated endocytosis of E-cadherin is being assessed in both normal cells and in cancer cells.
  • Carrier vesicles for E-cadherin transport. Imaging of fluorescently-tagged E-cadherin in live cells is used to track the intracellular transport of E-cadherin and to determine the roles of vesicle-associated proteins and other cargo proteins.
  • How are cytokines secreted by macrophages?
    Macrophages have essential roles in innate and acquired immunity, in which one of their main functions is to secrete inflammatory cytokines. Understanding the complex molecular and cellular machinery required for cytokine secretion is important for key aspects of immunity and for developing new therapeutics for chronic inflammatory diseases. We are applying new screening technologies, analysis of proteins and of live cells through fluorescence imaging to the study of cytokine secretion in macrophages and in disease. Specific projects include:
  • Functional genomics and proteomics of the secretory pathway in macrophages. Using a novel screening strategy and cell and molecular biology techniques we are characterizing the molecular machinery involved in cytokine secretion in macrophages. Novel roles for individual trafficking proteins are emerging from these studies.
  • Carrier vesicles in cytokine secretion. Fluorescently-tagged proteins expressed in cells and in transgenic mice are being used for imaging and biochemical studies to characterize the secretory vesicles involved in TNF secretion.
  • Trafficking and TNF in inflammatory disease. TNF is a potent proinflammatory cytokine and a major disease-causing entity in inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic disease. Findings emerging from our studies on the trafficking of TNF are providing new leads and drug targets for anti-TNF therapies.

Research Impacts

The movement of proteins within cells – protein trafficking – is fundamental to life, with trafficking pathways and molecules central to many human diseases. Our research in molecular cell biology seeks to better understand the basic biology of trafficking in human cells, to pinpoint key factors contributing to disease and to devise new strategies for treating disease.

Our work takes advantage of the cutting-edge facilities at IMB and of many valued collaborations with colleagues at the university, throughout Australia and around the world.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Monash University
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), Monash University


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Book Chapter

  • Condon, Nicholas D., Wall, Adam A., Yeo, Jeremy C., Hamilton, Nicholas A. and Stow, Jennifer L. (2017). Image-based analysis of phagocytosis: measuring engulfment and internalization. In Roberto Botelho (Ed.), Phagocytosis and phagosomes: methods and protocols (pp. 201-214) New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-6581-6_13

  • Stow, J. L. and Murray, R. Z. (2015). Post-golgi transport - cargo, carriers, and pathways. In Ralph A. Bradshaw and Philip D. Stahl (Ed.), Encyclopedia of cell biology (pp. 363-370) Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-394447-4.20035-7

  • Gual-Soler, Marga, Taguchi, Tomohiko, Stow, Jennifer L. and Wicking, Carol (2012). Rab23. In Sangdun Choi (Ed.), Encyclopedia of signalling molecules (pp. 1532-1536) New York, United States: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-0461-4

  • Stow, J. L. and Teasdale, R. D. (2005). Expression and localization of proteins in mammalian cells. In P S E Little and J S E Quackenbush (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioformatics (pp. ---) London, England: John Wiley & Sons.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

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

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision