Dr Justine Stehn
Field: Cancer Cell Biology
Phone: +61 2 9385 8591
Dr Justine Stehn is the Drug Development Coordinator and group leader of the Anti-tropomyosin Drug Development Group which is part of the Cellular and Genetic Medicine Unit (CGMU) in the School of Medical Sciences. Research projects in the Drug Development Group centre on the development of compounds which target an essential protein component of the actin cytoskeleton in tumour cells. By targeting an actin binding protein, tropomyosin, it is possible to break down the the cellular architecture of cancer cells and initiate cell death. Research is now focussed on the nature of the drug target interaction and the how this interaction causes tumour cell death. The primary objective is to take these anti-tropomyosin compounds through to the clinic for the treatment of childhood cancers such as neuroblastoma.
Justine Stehn received her PhD from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in 2000. She was awarded a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), CJ Martin Fellowship to support her post doctoral positions at Harvard University and the Centre for Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, USA. The fellowship also supported two years further research in Australia and upon her return in 2003 Dr Stehn took up a position in the Oncology Research Unit at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Her main research focus for the past 9 years has been investigating the biological function of the actin cytoskeleton in cancer cells. The Oncology Research Unit relocated to the University of New South Wales in 2008 and Dr Stehn is currently the group leader of the Drug Development Project in the Cellular and Genetic Medicine Unit in the School of Medical Sciences. In 2009 Dr Stehn was awarded an Oncology Children’s Foundation Research Fellowship supported by The Kids Cancer Project.
Honours and Awards
- Oncology Children’s Foundation –Cytoskeletal Cancer Consortium (C4 Research Fellow (2009-2012).
- Translational Research Award by Stiftung Dermatologikum Hamburg at the XXXIX Annual Meeting of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dermatologische Forschung (ADF) (2012).
- Ian Potter Foundation Travel award (2009).
- National Health and Medical Research Council CJ Martin Postdoctoral Fellowship (2001-2006).
- MIT Anna Fuller Fund Fellowship in Molecular Oncology (2000)
- Juvenile Diabetes Foundation travel award (1999).
- "Excellence In Research"- award, St Vincents' Campus Research Symposium (1999).
- American Society of Cell Biology predoctoral travel award (1999).
- European Association for the Study of Diabetes travel grant (1998).
- American Society of Cell Biology predoctoral travel award (1998).
Research Support Co-ordinator
- Cancer and Related Disorders
Stehn J; Schevzov G; Bonello T; McCluskey A; Haass N; Palmer S; Hardeman E; Allanson M; Reeve V; Gunning P, 2010, 'Tropomyosin Tm5NM1: A novel target for cancer therapy', in EJC SUPPLEMENTS
, PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, pp. 107 - 107, presented at 22nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, Berlin, GERMANY, 16 - 19 November 2010, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1359-6349(10)72041-3
Bach CTT; Creed S; Zhong J; Mahmassani M; Schevzov G; Stehn J; Cowell LN; Naumanen P; Lappalainen P; Gunning PW; O'Neill GM, 2009, '
Tropomyosin Isoform Expression Regulates the Transition of Adhesions To Determine Cell Speed and Direction', Molecular and Cellular Biology
, vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 1506 - 1514, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MCB.00857-08
Bonello T; Stehn J; Gunning P, 2009, 'New approaches to targeting the actin cytoskeleton for chemotherapy.', Future Medicinal Chemistry, no. 1, pp. 1311 - 1331
Creed SJ; Bryce N; Weinberger R; Stehn J; Gunning P; Naumanen P; Lappalainen P, 2008, 'Tropomyosin isoforms define distinct microfilament populations with different drug susceptibility', European Journal of Cell Biology
, vol. 87, no. 8-9, pp. 709 - 720, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejcb.2008.03.004
Gunning P; Stehn J; McCluskey A; Butler T; Dixon I, 2007, Compounds for treating Cancer, Australia, Patent No. Australian Provisional Patent Application No 2007906570, Patent Agent:
Floyd SR; Stehn JR; Wilker E; Yaffe MB, 2006, 'Chk1 phosphorylates poly-A binding protein, triggering translocation to the nucleus', in INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY BIOLOGY PHYSICS
, ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, pp. S574 - S575, presented at 48th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-for-Therapeutic-Radiology-and-Oncology, Philadelphia, PA, 5 - 9 November 2006, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.07.1071
Stehn JR; Schevzov G; Gunning PW; O'Neill GM, 2006, 'Specialisation of the tropomyosin composition of actin filaments provides new potential targets for chemotherapy', Current Cancer Drug Targets
, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 245 - 256, http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/156800906776842948
Ludowyke RI; Elgundi Z; Kranenburg TA; Stehn J; Schmitz-Peiffer C; Hughes WE; Biden TJ, 2006, 'Phosphorylation of nonmuscle myosin heavy chain IIA on Ser(1917) is mediated by protein kinase C beta II and coincides with the onset of stimulated degranulation of RBL-2H3 mast cells', Journal of Immunology, vol. 177, pp. 1492 - 1499
Mohammad D; Carrigan C; Nguyen A; Rothman DM; Manke IA; Stehn J; Lim D; Jouhin B; Tidor B; Imperiali B; Yaffe MB, 2005, 'Phosphoserine/threonine-binding domains as dynamic modulators of kinase-dependent protein-protein interactions', in FASEB JOURNAL, FEDERATION AMER SOC EXP BIOL, pp. A1689 - A1689, presented at Experimental Biology 2005 Meeting/35th International Congress of Physiological Sciences, San Diego, CA, 31 March - 6 April 2005
Gunning P; Stehn J; Schevzov G, 2005, Identification of compounds for the treatment of proliferative disorders, Australia, Patent No. Australian Provisional Patent Application No 2004906888, Patent Agent:
Nguyen A; Rothman DM; Stehn J; Imperiali B; Yaffe MB, 2004, 'Caged phosphopeptides reveal a temporal role for 14-3-3 in G1 arrest and S-phase checkpoint function', Nature Biotechnology
, vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 993 - 1000, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt997
Vazquez ME; Nitz M; Stehn J; Yaffe MB; Imperiali B, 2003, 'Fluorescent caged phosphoserine peptides as probes to investigate phosphorylation-dependent protein associations', Journal of the American Chemical Society
, vol. 125, no. 34, pp. 10150 - 10151, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja0351847
Stehn JR; Yaffe MB, 2002, 'A high-throughput proteomics approach to identifying cell cycle checkpoint pathways regulated by DNA damage kinases and 14-3-3 proteins', in MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY, pp. 417A - 418A, presented at 42nd Annual Meeting of the American-Society-for-Cell-Biology, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, 14 - 18 December 2002
Kanai F; Stehn J; Sarbassova D; Yaffe MB; Xu J; Brunet A; Greenberg ME; Frangioni JV; Dalal SN; Decaprio JA, 2002, '14-3-3 transits to the nucleus and participates in dynamic nucleocytoplasmic transport', The Journal of Cell Biology
, vol. 156, no. 5, pp. 817 - 828, http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.200112059
Johnson BA; Keith Blackwell T; Stehn JR; Yaffe MB, 2002, 'Cytoplasmic localization of tristetraprolin involves 14-3-3-dependent and -independent mechanisms', Journal of Biological Chemistry
, vol. 277, no. 20, pp. 18029 - 18036, http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110465200
Wilson JR; Ludowyke RI; Biden TJ, 2001, 'A redistribution of actin and myosin IIA accompanies Ca2+-dependent insulin secretion', FEBS Letters, pp. 101 - 106
Mitchell CJ; Kelly MM; Blewitt M; Wilson JR; Biden TJ, 2001, 'Phospholipase c-gamma mediates the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol, but not of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphospate, in carbamylcholine-stimulated islets of langerhans', Journal of Biological Chemistry, pp. 19072 - 19077
Iismaa TP; Kerr EA; Wilson JR; Carpenter L; Sims N; Biden TJ, 2000, 'Quantitative and functional characterization of muscarinic receptor subtypes in insulin-secreting cell lines and rat pancreatic islets', Diabetes, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 392 - 398
Wilson JR; Ludowyke RI; Biden TJ, 1999, 'Potential role of PKC-Mediated myosin II phosphorylation in insulin secretion.', Molecular Biology of the Cell, vol. 10, pp. 32A - 32A
Wilson JR; Biden TJ; Ludowyke RI, 1999, 'Increases in phosphorylation of the myosin II heavy chain, but not regulatory light chains, correlate with insulin secretion in rat pancreatic islets and RINm5F cells', Diabetes, pp. 2383 - 2389
Wilson JR; Ludowyke RI; Biden JT, 1998, 'Potential role of myosin heavy chain phosphorylation in Ca2+-dependent insulin secretion', in MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY, pp. 145A - 145A, presented at
Wilson JR; Ludowyke RI; Biden TJ, 1998, 'Nutrient stimulation results in a rapid CA2+-dependent threonine phosphorylation of myosin heavy chain in rat pancreatic islets and RINm5F cells', Journal of Biological Chemistry, pp. 22729 - 22737
Edwards MR; Knodler LA; Wilson JR; Schofield PJ, 1993, 'The transport and metabolism of alanine by Giardia intestinalis', Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 49 - 58, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0166-6851(93)90157-S
Schofield PJ; Edwards MR; Matthews J; Wilson JR, 1992, 'The pathway of arginine catabolism in Giardia intestinalis', Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 29 - 36, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0166-6851(92)90197-R