Associate Professor Frederik Steyn

Associate Professor

School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 334 65555


Dr. Steyn began his career as a Biomedical Researcher, conducting detailed investigations into the hypothalamic regulation of energy homeostasis, growth, and reproduction. He was instrumental in the creation of robust methodologies that are now considered the industry standard for the evaluation of patterned hormone release in murine models. In 2015, Dr. Steyn broadened his research scope to focus on studies on neurodegenerative diseases. He created methods for a more precise assessment of energy expenditure in Motor Neurone Disease (MND) patients and set up a research platform at the University of Queensland for the better analysis of hypermetabolism's role in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. This platform has since evolved to support studies aimed at improving our understanding of the heterogeneity of disease, and specifically MND.

Dr. Steyn currently manages a dual pre-clinical and clinical research program aimed at enhancing our knowledge of the diversity of neurodegenerative diseases. As part of this research, Dr. Steyn's team is working to further our understanding of the physiological response to disease, particularly in neurodegenerative diseases marked by the loss of upper and lower motor neurons. In this program, he leads studies on the impact of metabolism on neurodegenerative disease progression (MEND-MND), the consequences of appetite loss and impaired body weight regulation (EATT4MND) on disease progression, and the impact of the burden of disease on patient outcomes and disease progression. In conjunction with these studies, he collaborates with industry to develop new treatment approaches for MND and is working on refining digital health technologies for improved monitoring of disease progression and the effectiveness of therapy on disease outcomes.

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.


  • Doctoral Diploma, University of Otago


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  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

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Book Chapter

  • Castles, Zoe, Buckett, Lauren, Jiang, Leanne, Steyn, Frederik J. and Ngo, Shyuan T. (2023). Diet, disease severity, and energy expenditure in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Diet and nutrition in neurological disorders. (pp. 123-140) edited by Colin R. Martin, Vinood B. Patel and Victor R. Preedy. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-323-89834-8.00007-6

  • Holdom, Cory J., Steyn, Frederik J., Henderson, Robert D., McCombe, Pamela A., Rogers, Mary-Louise and Ngo, Shyuan T. (2022). Biofluid biomarkers of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neurodegenerative diseases biomarkers: towards translating research to clinical practice. (pp. 263-306) edited by Philip V. Peplow, Bridget Martinez and Thomas A. Gennarelli. New York, United States: Springer . doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1712-0_11

  • Ahmed, Rebekah M., Steyn, Frederik and Dupuis, Luc (2021). Hypothalamus and weight loss in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Handbook of clinical neurology. (pp. 327-338) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-820107-7.00020-3

  • 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

Other Outputs

  • Anna Freydenzon, Allan F. McRaee, Shyuan Ngo, Naomi R. Wray, Leanne Wallace, Anjali K. Henders, Pamela A. McCombe, Robert D. Henderson and Frederik J. Steyn (2023). Skeletal muscle and blood RNA-seq counts in motor neurone disease cases and controls. The University of Queensland. (Dataset) doi: 10.48610/b722f1f

  • Ngo, Shyuan, Power, Dominique, Andersen, Stacey, Taherian Fard, Atefeh, Chang, Jeryn and Steyn, Frederik (2022). snrRNA-seq_muscle_dataset. The University of Queensland. (Dataset) doi: 10.48610/0106c8e

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision