Dr Justine Stehn

Fields of research: Cancer Cell Biology

Contact Details

Phone: +61 2 9385 8591
Email: j.stehn@unsw.edu.au


  • PHD
  • Masters
  • Honours


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).


University role

Conjoint Senior Lecturer

SEO tags

  • Cancer and Related Disorders