School of Health and Life Sciences

Dr Stephen Myers

Position:Honorary Research Fellow at FedUni
Lecturer Biomedical Sciences at University of Tasmania


  • Doctor of Philosophy (QUT, Brisbane, Australia)
  • Bachelor Applied Science Honours (1A)
  • Bachelor Applied Science, Biochemistry Major

Teaching areas

  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Genomics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular Biology

Professional associations

  • Zinc Net UK
  • Endocrinology Society Australia (ESA)
  • Australia Proteomics (APS)
  • Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR)
  • Australian Conservation Foundation
  • Australian Marine Sciences Associations
  • National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility

Grants and awards

  • Honorary Appointment Federation University Australia; (2014-2017)
  • Collaborative Research Network Senior Fellowship, Federation University Australia; (2011-2014)
  • School of Health Sciences Seeding Grant, Federation University Australia; (2012-2013)
  • CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland; (2010-2011)
  • University of Queensland Post-doctoral Fellowship Award, Brisbane; (2005-2008)
  • Queensland Cancer Fund Travel Award,Queensland; (2002)
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Postgraduate (PhD) Scholarship (Dora Lush), (2000-2004)

Research interests

Skeletal muscle insulin resistance (IR) is a co-morbidity and a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D). Skeletal muscle is the major site for disposal of ingested glucose in healthy normal glucose-tolerant individuals. However, in IR states, such as in T2D, insulin-stimulated disposal is markedly impaired. In peripheral tissue such as skeletal muscle, zinc ions play an important role in maintaining glucose homeostasis by facilitating insulin-induced glucose transport through the inhibition and activation of various cell signalling pathways. However, there is insufficient evidence on how the concentration of free zinc ions in cells is controlled. The proteins that transport zinc presumably facilitate cell signalling processes and contribute to glucose homeostasis in skeletal muscle through modulating ionic zinc concentrations in the cytoplasm. Accordingly, recent data on zinc transporters suggests that one family member of the twenty-four zinc transporter proteins (designated, Zip7), that controls zinc flux between intracellular organelles and the cytoplasm, modulates the genetic programs that contribute to glucose uptake and metabolism in skeletal muscle (Myers et al. 2013, Submitted to Biochemical Journal, Under Review). This unprecedented role for Zip7 in regulating glucose homeostasis stresses the importance to further explore the mechanisms of this transporter in disease processes associated with IR in skeletal muscle.

I also have a keen interest in environmental change and coastal systems and how societies respond and build adaptive capacity to these threats.

Supervised projects at FedUni

  • Insulin, zinc and glycaemic control in skeletal muscles
    with Alexander Nield (PhD student), A/Prof. Mark Myers

    This project will investigate the role of intracellular zinc as a second messenger in mediating cellular signalling cascades implicated in glucose homeostasis. Zinc plays a key role in the synthesis, secretion and action of insulin in both physiological and pathophysiological states. Recent studies highlight zinc's dynamic role as a 'cellular second messenger' in the control of insulin signalling and glucose homeostasis. Dysfunctional zinc signalling is of major significance as it is associated with several disease states including diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. This study will help elucidate the role of insulin-mediated zinc signalling and glycaemic control in skeletal muscle and aid in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance in this peripheral tissue. This previously unexplored concept would raise a whole new area of research into the pathophysiology of insulin resistance and introduce a new class of drug target with utility for diabetes pharmacotherapy.

  • Y chromosome-linked long non-coding RNAs and coronary artery disease with Elsa Molina (PhD student), Prof. Fadi Charchar

    Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality globally. The molecular mechanisms that promote CAD in individuals are not well understood. In this context, studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between increased hepatic free fatty acids (FFAs) in atherosclerosis and CAD. Recently, studies have shown that the human Y chromosome is associated with a greater risk of CAD in men. Moreover, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have gained focused attention as a new class of regulatory RNA molecules involved in cardiovascular function and associated disease however the molecular mechanisms implicated in disease-processes are not well defined. This study aims to rigorously examine the Y chromosome-linked lncRNAs expression in an atherosclerotic context to define specific transcripts that may help to understand the key differences in CAD between both sexes.

  • Orphan nuclear receptors and inflammatory bowel disease
    with Masocoro Gawned (Honours student), Dr Guat (Hannah) Chew

  • Orphan nuclear receptors (ONR) are members of the nuclear receptor (NR) super family of transcription factors that have been known to play a major role in lipid and glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle. Recently, pharmacological evidence supports the view that stimulation of NR alleviates Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). However the ligands and physiological functions of ONRs still remain unknown. To date, no systematic studies have been carried out to screen for ONRs expressed in insulin resistant skeletal muscle cells. Therefore, this project aims to established a model for insulin resistance (IR) by treating C2C12 skeletal muscle cells with insulin (10nM) for 48 hours in order to identify the number of the ONRs responding significantly during the progression of cellular insulin resistance which included Couptf1, Coup-tf2, Pparβ, NR4As, Reverbα, and Rorα.


  1. Smith, T F, Low Choy, D, Thomsen, D C, Newumann, S, Crick, F, Sano, M, Richards, R, Harman, B, Baum, S, Myers, S, Sharma, V, Bussey, M P, Matthews, J M, Roiko, A H and Carter, R W, (2014) Climate Change and the Coast: Building Resilient Communities / Bruce Glavovic; Robert Kay; Michael Kelly; Ailbhe Travers (eds): Chapter 10, URN:ISBN: 9780415464871 (
  2. S, Myers and A, Nield (2014). Zinc, zinc transporters and type 2 diabetes . Endocrine Disease, iConcept Press. ISBN: 978-1-922227-30-0
  3. Siddique, M. A. L, S. Zafrin, S, Myers, T. Smith, R. Babcock and R.W. Carter, (2013) Co-Learning in Marine Protected Areas for Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Global Challenges in Integrated Coastal Zone Management / pp.192-205, Moksness, E, Dahl, E, Stottrup, J (eds), Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd, URN: ISBN: 9780470657560 (
  4. Guat-Siew Chew, S, Myers, Kheng-Leong Ooi, Alexander Chong and Tengku Sifzizul Tengku-Muhammad, (2013). Interleukin-6 Induces the Down Regulation of Human Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor Alpha via the MAPK-induced STAT Pathway in Human Hepatocytes, Journal of Biochemical and Pharmacological Research, Vol 1(4):2040211 (
  5. Guat-Siew Chew, Stephen Myers, Alexander Chong Shu-Chien, Tengku Sifzizul Tengku Muhammad, (2013). Interleukin-6 inhibition of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha expression is mediated by JAK2- and PI3K-induced STAT1/3 in HepG2 hepatocyte cells, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, (
  6. Alex Nield, Sean Quarrell and Stephen Myers*, (2013). Community based early intervention for the prevention of type 2 diabetes: A Case Report of the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project, The journal of Diabetes and Metabolism, 4:277. doi: 10.4172/2155-6156.1000277. (*Equal first authors) [IF=4.39]
  7. Stephen Myers, Alex Neild, Hannah Chew and Mark Myers, (2013). The Zinc Transporter, Slc39a7 (Zip7) is implicated in glycaemic control in skeletal muscle cells, PLOS ONE, Vol 8, 11:e79316
  8. Fernandez-Rojo M. A, Gongora M, Fitzsimmons R. L, Martel N, Martin S. D, Nixon S. J, Brooks A. J, Ikonomopoulou MP, Martin S, Lo HP, Myers S, Restall C, Ferguson C, Pilch P. F, McGee S. L, Anderson R. L, Waters M. J, Hancock J. F, Grimmond SM, Muscat G. E, Parton R. G, (2013). Caveolin-1 Is Necessary for Hepatic Oxidative Lipid Metabolism: Evidence for Crosstalk between Caveolin-1 and Bile Acid Signalling, Cell, 4:1-10
  9. Myers S, Smith TF, Thibaud O, Dutra L, Nursey-Bray M & McAllister RRJ (2012). "Adaptive Learning and Coastal management in South East Queensland, Australia" in Stocker L, Wood D & Kenchington R (eds) Sustainable Coastal Management and Climate Change Adaptation: Lessons from Regional Approaches in Australia, CSIRO Publishing, ISBN: 9780643100275
  10. Stephen Myers, Alex Nield and Mark Myers (2012). Zinc transporters, mechanisms of action and therapeutic utility: Implications for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. Article ID 173712, doi:10.1155/2012/173712.
  11. Myers, S, Blackmore, MJ, Smith, TF and Carter, R. W, (2012). Climate change and stewardship: strategies to build community resilience in the Capricorn Coast. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management iFirst, 1-18, DOI:10.1080/14486563.2011.646755.
  12. Smith, T.F., Myers, S., Thomsen, D.C., and Rosier, J., (2011). Integrated coastal zone management and planning (Chapter 8). In W. Gullett, C. Schofield and J. Vince (Eds), Marine Resources Management. A comprehensive multidisciplinary analysis of Australia's marine resource management challenges. LexisNexis, Research Solutions, Australia, ISBN: 97800409327411.
  13. Stephen Myers, R. W (Bill Carter) and Tim Smith (2011). Climate Change in the Capricorn Coast: an analysis of stewardship potential. Research Publication 106, Commonwealth of Australia. Published by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) ISBN 978 1 921682 33 9.
  14. NCCARF National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Adaptation Research Network, Marine Biodiversity and Resources (2011). Community-based participatory research. Case Studies: Carpentaria Ghost Nets Programme; Protection and monitoring of turtle nesting activity: the case of Sunshine Coast Turtlecare volunteers; Community involvement in marine protected areas: The case of Puerto Morelos reef, Mexico; Lessons from the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project in Canada; Learning from a Community Action Plan to Promote Community Health.
  15. Stephen Myers*, S-C Mary Wang*, Natalie Eriksson, and George E.O. Muscat, (2011) Alpha-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone induces NR4A1-3 expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes:NR4A1 (Nur77) siRNA expression attenuates IL-6 induction and lipolysis, Molecular Endocrinology, 25:291-306. (*Equal first authors) [IF=5.257]
  16. Crowther L. M, Wang SC, Eriksson NA, Myers S, Murray L, Muscat GE, (2011). Chicken Ovalbumin Upstream Promoter-Transcription Factor II Regulates Nuclear Receptor, Myogenic And Metabolic Gene Expression In Skeletal Muscle Cells. Physiological Genomics, 43:213-227. [IF=3.931]
  17. Stephen Myers*, Suryaprakash Raichur*, Rebecca Fitzsimmons*, Patrick Lau, Natalie Eriksson, Shu-Ching M. Wang and George E.O Muscat, (2010). Identification and validation of the pathways and functions regulated by the orphan nuclear receptor, ROR alpha1, in skeletal muscle. Nucleic Acids Research, 38: 4296-4312. (*Equal first authors) [IF=8.026]
  18. Stephen Myers*, Shu-Ching M Wang*, Cedric Dooms, Robert Capon and George Muscat, (2010). An ERRbeta/gamma Agonist Modulates GRalpha expression, And Glucocorticoid Responsive Gene Expression In Skeletal Muscle Cells. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 315:146-152. (*Equal first authors) [IF=3.611]
  19. Marianne Diaz, Nick Martel, Steve Myers, Rebecca Fitzsimmons, Michael Pearen, George E.O. Muscat and Gary M. Leong, (2010). Ski transgenic mice are resistant to diet-induced obesity and have altered skeletal muscle metabolic gene expression. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, vol 4, Issue Suppl 1.
  20. Diaz, M, Martel, N, Myers, S, Fitzsimmons, R. L, Pearen, MA, Muscat, GEO and Leong, GM. (2010). c-Ski transgenic mice are resistant to diet-induced obesity, Endocrine Journal, vol 57, Supp. 2.
  21. Stephen Myers*, Natalie Eriksson*, Rachel Burrow, Shu-Ching Mary Wang and George EO Muscat, (2009). Beta-adrenergic signalling regulates NR4A nuclear receptor and metabolic gene expression in multiple tissues. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. 309:101-108. (*Equal first authors) [IF=3.611]
  22. Stephen Myers*, John Lai*, Mitchell G Lawrence, Dimitri M Odorico and Judith A Clements, (2009). Direct progesterone receptor and indirect androgen receptor interactions with the kallikrein-related peptidase 4 gene promoter in breast and prostate cancer. Molecular Cancer Research, 1:129-41. (*Equal first authors) [IF=4.317]
  23. Yaowu He, Deanne H. Hryciw, Melanie L. Carroll, Stephen Myers, Astrid K. Whitbread, Sharad Kumar, Philip Poronnik, John D. Hooper, (2008) The ubiquitin-protein ligase Nedd4-2 differentially interacts with and regulates members of the Tweety family of chloride ion channels, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 283:24000-24010. [IF=5.581]
  24. Yaowu He, Andrew J. Ramsay, Melanie L. Hunt, Astrid K. Whitbread, Stephen Myers and John D. Hooper, (2008). N-glycosylation analysis of the human Tweety family of putative chloride ion channels supports a penta-spanning membrane arrangement: impact of N-glycosylation on cellular processing of Tweety homologue 2 (TTYH2). Biochemical Journal, 412:45-55. [IF=4.009]
  25. Michael A. Pearen, Stephen Myers, James G. Ryall, Gordon S. Lynch, and George E.O. Muscat, (2008). The orphan nuclear receptor, NOR-1, a target of beta-adrenergic signalling, regulates gene expression that controls oxidative metabolism in skeletal muscle, Endocrinology, 149:2853-2865. [IF=5.042]
  26. Stephen Myers*, Aneel Kaushal*, Ying Dong, John Lai, Olivia L Tan, Loan T Bui, Melanie L Hunt, Matthew R Digby, Hemamali Samaratunga, Robert A Gardiner, Judith A Clements and John D Hooper, (2008). A novel transcript from the KLKP1 gene is androgen regulated, down-regulated during prostate cancer progression and encodes the first non-serine protease identified from the human kallikrein gene locus. The Prostate, 68:381-399. (*Equal first authors) [IF=3.674]
  27. Stephen Myers, Michael A Pearen, Gary Leong and George EO Muscat, (2007). Orphan nuclear receptor signalling and skeletal muscle: Insights into metabolic disorders, Australian Biochemist, Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Vol 38: 8-11
  28. Stephen Myers, S-C Mary Wang and George EO Muscat, (2006). The chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter-transcription factors modulate genes and pathways involved in skeletal muscle cell metabolism, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 281:24149-24160. [IF=6.355]
  29. Ying Dong, Loan T. Bui, Dimitri M. Odorico, Olivia Tan, Stephen Myers, Hemamali Samaratunga, Robert A. Gardiner and Judith A. Clements, (2005). Compartmentalized expression of kallikrein 4 (KLK4/hK4) isoforms in prostate cancer: nuclear, cytoplasmic and secreted forms, Endocrine Related Cancer. 12:875-879. [IF=8.894]
  30. Clements J. A, Willemsen N. M, Myers S. and Dong, Y., (2004). The tissue kallikrein family of serine proteases: functional roles in human disease and potential as clinical biomarkers. Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences.41:265-312. [IF=4.231]
  31. Stephen Myers and Judith A Clements, (2001). Kallikrein 4 (KLK4), a new member of the human kallikrein gene family is up-regulated by estrogen and progesterone in the human endometrial cancer cell line, KLE. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 86:2323-2326. [IF=5.873]
  32. John D. Hooper, Loan T. Bui, Fiona k. Rae, Tracey J. Harvey, Stephen Myers, Linda K. Ashworth, and Judith A. Clements, (2000). Identification and characterization of KLK14, a novel kallikrein serine protease gene located on human chromosome 19q13.4 and expressed in prostate and skeletal muscle Genomics. 73:117-122. [IF=3.488]
  33. Tracey J. Harvey, John D. Hooper, Stephen Myers, Sally-Anne Stephenson, Linda K. Ashworth and Judith A. Clements. (2000) Tissue-specific expression patterns and fine mapping of the human kallikrein (KLK) locus on proximal 19q13.4 Journal of Biological Chemistry. 275:37397-37406. [IF=6.482]

Manuscripts in preparation

  • Maciej Tomaszewski, Matthew Denniff, Stephen Myers, Radoslaw Debiec, Lisa Bloomer, Timothy Barnes, Pawel Bogdanski, Cara Busst, Paraskevi Christofidou, Christopher Nelson, Muntaser Musameh, Katarzyna Musialik, Anna F. Dominiczak, Martin Tobin, Gerjan Navis, Ewa Zukowska-Szczechowska, Stephen Harrap, Pim van der Harst, Nilesh J Samani, Fadi J Charchar. A functional genetic variant of FGF1 is associated with blood pressure in the general population. (In preparation)
  • Read, S, de Buhr, D, Mitchell, B and Myers, S. HDR Supervision-both sides of the story. In preparation for submission to Higher Education Research and Development.
  • Stephen Myers, Tony Cook and Rajaraman Eri. Orphan nuclear receptors and inflammatory bowel disease. (In Preparation)