Professor Jennifer Stow is a molecular cell biologist. She has had a lifelong fascination with cells, the ‘ultimate factories’, and how they work.  After being awarded a PhD from Monash University, and training at Yale University School of Medicine, her first faculty appointment was at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. 

Professor Stow is renowned for her research on protein trafficking which has revealed how proteins critical for inflammation and cancer are moved around inside cells or transported out of cells. The cell signalling pathways that regulate these processes are also investigated in her search for ways to combat disease. Advanced imaging of molecules in living cells provides Professor Stow’s group with a remarkable window into the sub cellular universe and a way to observe cell behaviour.  

Publications by Jenny Stow

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 nine 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, most recently awarded the 2019 President's Medal from the Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology. 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 the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).

Professor Stow's research is identifying the molecules, cell compartments and pathways that contribute to inflammatory responses in macrophages, epithelial and cancer cells. At a fundamental level this research is defining cell signalling and trafficking pathways that underpin cell and tissue functions that are often impaired in disease. In immune cells such as macrophages, inflammation triggered in response to pathogens helps to fight off infection, but uncontrolled inflammation is a major factor that contributes to the onset and persistence of inflammatory conditions, 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.