Researcher biography

Professor Jennifer Stow is a molecular cell biologist and head of the Protein Trafficking and Inflammation research laboratory in The University of Queensland's, Institute of Molecular Bioscience (IMB). Professor Stow received her undergraduate and PhD qualifications at Melbourne's Monash University before undertaking postdoctoral training in the Department of Cell Biology at Yale University School of Medicine, USA. Her first faculty appointment was in the Renal Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston USA, where her research uncovered new roles for a class of enzymes, GTPases, in regulating how proteins are trafficked within cells. Jenny moved her research back to Australia, to The University of Queensland, in late 1994 where her research has continued to uncover molecules and cellular pathways important in immune cells for triggering inflammation, cancer and chronic disease. Her research uses cutting-edge microscopy and live cell imaging and she collaborates nationally and internationally to advance these technologies. Professor Stow has been awarded eight career fellowships including from American Heart Association, Wellcome Trust and NHMRC. She has published >160 papers, cited over 11,500 times and she is the recipient of awards and honours. She has previously served as Division head and Deputy Director (Research) at IMB, she currently serves on national and international advisory boards, editorial boards and steering committees and she is an elected Associate Member of EMBO.

Specifically, research in the Stow laboratory is currently identifying the molecules, cell compartments and pathways that activate immune cells, like macrophages. Inflammatory responses triggered in these cells are important for fighting infection, but uncontrolled inflammation is a major underlying factor in many inflammatory and chronic diseases and cancer. Our research has described how macrophages traffic and secrete inflammatory cytokines or chemical messengers, including through GTPase regulation, and how receptor signalling modulates the cytokine program to control inflammation. These insights reveal new strategies for future control of inflammation through new or existing drugs.