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Professor Nigel Stepto

PhD (RMIT), MSc, BSc Med (Hons), BSc (University of Cape Town), Accredited Exercise Physiologist (ESSA)

Professor of Clinical Exercise Science, College of Sport & Exercise Science

Professor Nigel Stepto completed his studies at the University of Cape Town South Africa before completing his PhD at RMIT University in 2002. He joined Victoria University in 2007 after working at Monash University.

Professor Stepto contributes to undergraduate teaching in the Exercise Science and Clinical Exercise Science Streams and the Clinical exercise science master’s program. He supervises honours, masters (minor thesis) and PhD students in his area of research expertise.

His current research focus is on the role of exercise on health outcomes in people with chronic disease.

This includes investigating:

  • the role of exercise in the treatment and management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • clinical exercise models of care for women (ActiV4her©)
  • the role of high intensity intermittent training (HIIT)
  • molecular mechanisms responsible for training adaptations in health and disease.

Recent publications

Professor Stepto has 52 publications, 2 book chapter, 40 conference abstracts and 1264 citations with H index=19.

Refereed journal articles

Levinger I, Shaw CS, Stepto NK, Cheetham C, Maiorana A. What doesn't kill you makes you fitter: A systematic review of high intensity interval exercise for patients with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, Clinical Medicine Insights: Cardiology. (2015):9 53-63.  

Conte F, Banting L, Teede HJ, Stepto NK. Mental health and exercise in woman with PCOS: A brief review, Sports Medicine. 2015 Apr;45(4):497-504.

Cassar, Samantha and Teede, Helena J and Harrison, Cheryce L and Joham, Anju E and Moran, Lisa J and Stepto, N (2014) Biomarkers and insulin sensitivity in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Characteristics and predictive capacity, Clinical Endocrinology, 83 (1). 50 - 58. ISSN 0300-0664. 2014 Sep 26.

Banting, Lauren K and Gibson-Helm, Melanie and Polman, Remco and Teede, Helena J and Stepto, N (2014) Physical activity and mental health in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. BMC Women's Health, 14 (1). ISSN 1472-6874.

Stepto, N and Cassar, Samantha and Joaham, Anju E and Hutchison, Samantha K and Harrison, Cheryce L and Goldstein, Rebecca F and Teede, Helena J (2013) Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have intrinsic insulin resistance on euglycaemic-hyperinsulaemic clamps, Human Reproduction, 28 (3). pp. 777-784. ISSN 0268-1161 (print), 1460-2350.

Refereed chapters

Thomson, Rebecca L and Teede, Helena J and Stepto, Nigel and Banting, Lauren K and Moran, Lisa J (2015)The Role of Diet and Lifestyle Modification in the Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. In: Nutrition, Fertility, and Human Reproductive Function. Tremellen, Kelton and Pearce, Karma, eds. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 27-50. ISBN 9781482215304.

Levinger, Itamar and Stepto, Nigel (2011) Exercise as therapy in metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome. In: Clinical exercise : a case-based approach. Cameron, Melainie and Selig, Steve E and Hemphill, Dennis, eds. Churchill Livingstone, Chatswood, N.S.W, pp. 84-98. ISBN 9780729539418.

Evidence based guidelines

Teede, Helena J and Misso, Marie L and Deeks, Amanda A and Norman, Robert J and Moran, Lisa J and Stuckey, Bronwyn G A and Wong, Jennifer L A and Costello, Michael F and Clarke, David and Boyle, Jacqueline and Davis, Elizabeth and Downes, Linda and Eden, John and Frearson, Meredith and Hester, Debbie and Lim, Ee Mun and Melder, Angela and Apostolopoulos, Irene and Brennan, Leah and Garrubba, Marie and Lombard, Cate and Thondan, Mala and Vollenhoven, Beverley and Hart, Roger and Moss, John and Rombauts, Luk and Ko, Henry and Marsh, Kate and Noakes, Manny and Brown, Wendy and Dixon, John and Strauss, Boyd and Vincent, Amanda and Stepto, Nigel and Thredgold, Narelle and Talbot, Mac (2011) Assessment and management of polycystic ovary syndrome: summary of an evidence-based guideline. Medical Journal of Australia, 195 (6). S65-S112. ISSN 0025-729X () 

Popular media

Stepto NK. And Shaw CS. Fast and Furious: exercise intensity the key to health and fitness. The conversation (15-11-2012)

Stepto NK and Shaw CS. Health Check: High-intensity micro workouts vs. traditional regimens (21-10-2013)

Teaching responsibilities

Lecture into Masters of Clinical Exercise Science Program

Lecturer into Undergraduate Exercise Science Program


  • SCL3001 Exercise, Health and Disease

Postgraduate research students and fellows


  • 2 Postdoctoral Fellows
  • 1 PhD as principle supervisor
  • 6 PhD’s as co-supervisor
  • 16 Honours as principle supervisor
  • 6 Honours as co-supervisor
  • 2 international internship students

Current supervision

  • 1 Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 5 PhD’s as principle supervisor
  • 1 Masters student as principle supervisor

Research grants

Professor Stepto has been a leader of or contributor to more than 10 external grant applications with a total funding allocation of more than $AUD 2 million.

Research grants include:

  • NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in the evaluation, management and health care needs of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and related health implications (Stepto was an AI), $2.5million
  • NHMRC Project grant Insulin resistance in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, the role of Exercise, $412,000
  • Growing a healthy baby: getting the balance right in pregnancy. Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Exploration Grant Community & Preventative Health, $49,000
  • ActiV4her©- A pilot study in inter-professional practice and education in a clinical model of lifestyle change for women. Interprofessional education program (IPEP) research grants scheme. 2014, $50,000
  • 2 x Australian Institute of Sport High Performance Funds, $40 000
  • Musashi, $20,000.

Professional memberships

  • Member of the PCOS Alliance Australia
  • Member of Australian Physiological Society
  • Member of Exercise and Sport Science Australia
  • Member of Australian Diabetes Society

Appearances in the media

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: The Guideline, Rural Health Education Foundation - Live webcast and simultaneous satellite television broadcast Tuesday 27th March 2012.

The 2.5 minute workout, Today Tonight Channel 7, Friday 4th January 2013.


Areas of expertise

  • Clinical exercise science
  • High intensity intermittent training (HIIT)
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic function
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Women's health

Contact details

+61 3 9919 5416