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, an NHMRC Leadership Fellow and head of the Protein Trafficking and Inflammation research laboratory in The University of Queensland's Institute of Molecular Bioscience (IMB). Her previous leadership appointments include as Division Head and Deputy Director (Research) at IMB (12 years) and she currently serves on national and international advisory boards, editorial boards and steering committees, and as an elected Associate Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).

Jenny 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. With training as a microscopist in kidney research, she gained further experience at Yale as a postdoc in the lab of eminent cell biologist and microscopist, Dr Marilyn Farquhar, where protein trafficking was both a theme and a passion. Jenny then took up her first faculty appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Renal Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School in Boston USA, where her research uncovered new roles for a class of enzymes, GTPases, in regulating trafficking within cells. At MGH her research also formed part of a highly successful NIH Renal Cell Biology Program. In late 1994, Jenny moved her research lab back to Australia, to The University of Queensland, in late 1994 as a Wellcome Trust International Medical Research Fellow. As part of IMB since, the Stow lab has continued a focus on protein trafficking, including pioneering live-cell imaging, to spearhead their work on trafficking in inflammation, cancer and chronic disease. Major discoveries include identifying new proteins and pathways for recycling adhesion proteins in epithelial cells, inflammatory cytokine secretion in macrophages and immune signalling through Toll-like receptors in inflammation and infection. Small GTPases of the Rab family, signalling adaptors and kinases feature among the molecules studied in the Stow lab for their functional roles and their potential as drug targets in inflammation and cancer. A keen focus is to understand the role of the fluid uptake pathway, macropinocytosis, in controlling inflammation, cancer and mucosal absorption.

Professor Stow has been awarded multiple career fellowships including from American Heart Association, Wellcome Trust and NHMRC. She has published >200 papers, cited over 15,500 times and she is the recipient of awards and honours, most recently including the 2019 President's Medal from the Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology. She is also academic head of IMB Microscopy, a world-class fluorescence microscopy and image analysis facility. Her research is funded by a variety of agencies and industry partnerships, in addition to NHMRC and ARC, including through the ARC Centre of Excellence in Quantum Biotechnology, QUBIC. The Stow lab work with national and international collaborators and welcome students and postdoctoral trainees to participate in their research. We value having a diverse, inclusive and supportive culture for research and celebrate the many diverse and wonderful successes of Stow lab alumni.