Understanding the causes and consequences of metabolic dysfunction in neurodegeneration

A/Prof Shyuan Ngo completed her undergraduate and PhD training at UQ. After completing her PhD in 2009, she took up a postdoctoral position at UQCCR to introduce a translational edge to her research program. In 2012, she was awarded a Bill Gole Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from Motor Neurone Disease Research Australia (MNDRA) and returned to the School of Biomedical Sciences to continue her research program in motor neuron disease (MND). In 2015, Dr Ngo was awarded the Scott Sullivan MND Research Fellowship, during which, she established a translational research program aimed at enhancing our knowledge of the drivers of neurodegenerative diseases. In 2017, she relocated to the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology to implement the use of induced pluripotent stem cells for disease modelling and therapeutic development. In 2020, she was awarded a FightMND Mid-Career Fellowship to further her translational research and to establish clinical trials for MND.

Dr Ngo’s research integrates studies in MND patients with studies in human-derived cell models (including stem cell-derived neurons, and human primary myosatellite cells and myotubes) and mouse models of MND. Projects utilise a range of techniques including indirect calorimetry, assessment of mitochondrial respiration (e.g. Seahorse Extracellular Flux Analyzer), imaging of mitochondrial dynamics, -omics (including bulk, single-nuclei, and single-cell RNA sequencing, proteomics, lipidomics, and spatial transcriptomics) to decipher the molecular drivers of MND. Dr Ngo also has a strong interest in developing biomarkers for human MND. This includes the assessment of human biofluids and the integration of the use of digital health technologies to track disease progression and outcomes.


A/Prof Ngo collaborates with international researchers and neurologists in Paris, Strasbourg, Utrecht, and London, and with a strong clinical team at the Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital and Wesley Hospital with the broader goal of translating basic research to the clinic. In collaboration with researchers in China and Australia, she is also interested in investigating how induced pluripotent stem cells may be used as a therapeutic avenue in MND.



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For a full list of publications, please click here.


  • 2022-2024: Steyn, Ngo. Aeterna Zentaris (AEZS)
  • 2022: Steyn, Ngo, Teifel. MNDRA NTI MND Research Grant ($99,976)
  • 2021-2023: Turner, Vucic, Kiernan, Ngo, Spedding, Loeffler. FightMND Clinical Trials Grant ($2,000,000)
  • 2021: Ngo, Steyn, Shaker, Ng, Nguyen. MNDRA Charcot Award, funded by the NTI MND Research Grant – awarded to the highest-ranking Innovator Grant submitted to MNDRA in 2020 ($100,000)
  • 2021: Steyn, Ngo, Minchin, van Eijk, Henderson, Wray, McCombe, van den Berg. MNDRA MonSTaR MND Research Grant ($100,000)
  • 2021: Steyn, Henderson, McCombe, Ngo, Minchin. RBWH Foundation Research Grant ($49,170)
  • 2020-22: Ngo, Steyn, Noakes. National Health and Medical Research Council Ideas Grant ($696,210)
  • 2020-22 : Ngo, Wang, Steyn, Walker, Garton. MNDRA Betty Laidlaw MND Research Prize ($249,720)
  • 2020-22: Ngo, Henderson, van den Berg, Al-Chalabi, Steyn, van Eijk, Loeffler. FightMND Drug Development Grant ($718,125)
  • 2020-22: Steyn, Ngo, Henderson, van den Berg, van Eijk. FightMND IMProving and Accelerating Translation (IMPACT) Grant ($249,931)
  • 2020: Steyn, Ngo, Noakes, Gordon. MNDRA Fat Rabbit MND Research Grant ($100,000)
  • 2020 : Ngo, Henderson, McCombe, Steyn, Gordon. RBWH Foundation Research Grant ($39,964)
  • 2019 : Wolvetang, Mar, Ngo. UQ Genome Innovation Hub Project ($50,000)
  • 2018-19: Steyn, Guo, Henderson, McCombe, Ngo. Wesley Medical Research Grant ($84,120)
  • 2018: Ngo, Steyn, Powell. MNDRA MonSTaR MND Research Grant ($99,960)
  • 2018 : Steyn, Ngo, Chachay. MNDRA Marie McGrath MND Research Grant ($99,453)