Section: Overview
Overview
Key publications
Research funding
Supervising & teaching
Career

Key details

Areas of expertise

  • Polycystic Ovary syndrome
  • Exercise is Medicine
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance
  • Molecular and cellular mechanisms of adaptation to exercise
  • Women's health

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

About Nigel Stepto

Professor Nigel Stepto holds the following positions and awards:

  • Deputy Director - Research Training for the Institute of Health and Sport (IHES)
  • research fellow and group leader (Women’s health research theme) in the Mechanisms and Interventions in Health and Disease program in IHES
  • recipient of NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence and Project Grant Funding
  • recipient of Vice-Chancellor’s citation for Excellence in Research and Research Training (supervision; 2017)
  • project director in the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science
  • Honorary Research Fellow at Monash Institute for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI; Monash University)
  • Honorary Research Fellow, Medicine – Western Health, Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences (Melbourne University)
  • editor for PLOS ONE 
  • editorial board member for Sports Medicine
  • Accredited Exercise Physiologist Exercise and Sports Science Australia; ESSA)
  • member and Chair of the ESSA Research Committee.

 

Nigel earned his PhD degree in 2002 from RMIT University after extensive studies at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

After Post-doctoral work and lectureship at Monash University (2003-2007), Nigel was appointed as a lecturer in the Sport and Exercise Science at Victoria University (Nov 2007). Since then he has progressed to his current appointment of Professor of Clinical Exercise Science (awarded in Jan 2018).

His main area of research focus is in understanding the causes of insulin resistance in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and the impact lifestyle interventions such as diet and exercise. His excellent work in this area has resulted in invitations to help develop, disseminate and translate two internationally recognised and endorsed evidence-based guidelines for the assessment and treatment of women with PCOS. With NHMRC funding he now is leading the multi-centre FIREx study (Understanding the role of tissue Fibrosis in Insulin Resistance in PCOS and the impact of Exercise) in collaboration with the Mary McKillop Institute for Health Research,  MCHRI  and the Robinson Research Institute.

Nigel is currently supervising an outstanding postdoctoral fellow, and a number of PhD and Masters students.

Since 2008, Nigel has published 80 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts in endocrinology, reproductive, sport and exercise science, and clinical journals, and two book chapters. He has delivered a number of keynote/invited presentations in international conferences regarding the role of exercise in managing clinical features (cardio-metabolic, reproductive and mental health) in women with PCOS.

Qualifications

  • PhD, RMIT University, Australia 2002
  • BSc (med Hons) Sports Science, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 1997
  • MSc (zoology), University of Cape Town, South Africa, 1997
  • BSc (Hons), University of Cape Town, South Africa, 1993
  • BSc, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 1992

Key publications

Year Citation
2019 Stepto, N. K., Moreno-Asso, A., McIlvenna, L. C., Walters, K. A., & Rodgers, R. J. (191101). Molecular Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Unraveling the Conundrum in Skeletal Muscle?. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 104(11), (5372-5381).

doi: 10.1210/jc.2019-00167

2019 Stepto, N. K., Patten, R. K., Tassone, E. C., Misso, M. L., Brennan, L., Boyle, J., Boyle, R. A., Harrison, C. L., Hirschberg, A. L., & Marsh, K. (190801). Exercise Recommendations for Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Is the Evidence Enough?. Sports Medicine, 49(8), (1143-1157).

doi: 10.1007/s40279-019-01133-6

2019 Hiam, D., Patten, R., Gibson-Helm, M., Moreno-Asso, A., McIlvenna, L., Levinger, I., Harrison, C., Moran, L. J., Joham, A., & Parker, A. (190416). The effectiveness of high intensity intermittent training on metabolic, reproductive and mental health in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: Study protocol for the iHIT- randomised controlled trial. Trials, 20(1),

doi: 10.1186/s13063-019-3313-8

2019 Rodgers, R. J., Avery, J. C., Moore, V. M., Davies, M. J., Azziz, R., Stener-Victorin, E., Moran, L. J., Robertson, S. A., Stepto, N. K., & Norman, R. J. (190101). Complex diseases and co-morbidities: Polycystic ovary syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Endocrine Connections, 8(3), (R71-R75).

doi: 10.1530/EC-18-0502

2018 Teede, H. J., Misso, M. L., Costello, M. F., Dokras, A., Laven, J., Moran, L., Piltonen, T., Norman, R. J., Andersen, M., & Azziz, R. (180901). Recommendations from the international evidence-based guideline for the assessment and management of polycystic ovary syndrome. Clinical Endocrinology, 89(3), (251-268).

doi: 10.1111/cen.13795

2018 Costa, E. C., De, S., Stepto, N. K., Costa, I. BB., Farias-Junior, L. F., Moreira, S. DNT., Soares, E. MM., Lemos, T. MAM., Browne, R. AV., & Azevedo, G. D. (180701). Aerobic Training Improves Quality of Life in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 50(7), (1357-1366).

doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001579

2018 Shorakae, S., Abell, S. K., Hiam, D. S., Lambert, E. A., Eikelis, N., Jona, E., Sari, C. I., Stepto, N. K., Lambert, G. W., & de, Courten. (180301). High-molecular-weight adiponectin is inversely associated with sympathetic activity in polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertility and Sterility, 109(3), (532-539).

doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2017.11.020

2018 Teede, H. J., Misso, M. L., Costello, M. F., Dokras, A., Laven, J., Moran, L., Piltonen, T., Norman, R. J., Andersen, M., & Azziz, R. (180101). Recommendations from the international evidence-based guideline for the assessment and management of polycystic ovary syndrome. Human Reproduction, 33(9), (1602-1618).

doi: 10.1093/humrep/dey256

2017 Trewin, A. J., Levinger, I., Parker, L., Shaw, C. S., Serpiello, F. R., Anderson, M. J., McConell, G. K., Hare, D. L., & Stepto, N. K. (171101). Acute exercise alters skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration and H2O2 emission in response to hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp in middle-aged obese men. PLoS ONE, 12(11),

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188421

2017 Scott, D., Harrison, C. L., Hutchison, S., De, Courten., & Stepto, N. K. (170801). Exploring factors related to changes in body composition, insulin sensitivity and aerobic capacity in response to a 12-week exercise intervention in overweight and obese women with and without polycystic ovary syndrome. PLoS ONE, 12(8),

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182412

Research funding for the past 5 years

Please note:

  • Funding is ordered by the year the project commenced and may continue over several years.
  • Funding amounts for contact research are not disclosed to maintain commercial confidentiality.
  • The order of investigators is not indicative of the role they played in the research project.

Does the epigenome determine the response to exercise in women with PCOS?
From: NHMRC
Investigators: Dr Alba Moreno-asso, Dr Sarah Voisin
For period: 2019-2019
$12,900
Tissue Fibrosis and Exercise in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Linking Mechanisms to Therapy
From: NHMRC
Investigators: Prof Andrew Mcainch
For period: 2019-2022
$990,937

Intense Exercise for survival among men with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (Interval - MCRPC)
From: Movember Foundation
Investigators: Prof Alan Hayes
For period: 2018-2020
Not disclosed
The role of skeletal muscle extracellular matrix remodelling in the development of insulin resistance in women with PCOS
From: NHMRC
Investigators: Dr Alba Moreno-asso
For period: 2018-2019
$12,000
Mechanism of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle of women with PCOS: The role of Transforming Growth factor (TFG) and issue fibrosis
From: Diabetes Australia Research Trust
Investigators: Prof Andrew Mcainch, Dr Alba Moreno-asso
For period: 2018-2018
$58,162

Efficacy of HIIT for Improving Mental Health in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: a Pilot study
From: NHMRC - Centre for Research Excellence Award
For period: 2017-2018
$13,700
Mechanism of insulin resistance inskeletal muscle of women with PCOS: The role of Transforming Growth Factor (TGF) and tissue fibrosis
From: NHMRC - Centre for Research Excellence Award
Investigators: Dr Alba Moreno-asso
For period: 2017-2018
$15,000
Developing a tissue culture model of exercise training: Impacts of contraction on human myotube function and metabolism in health and disease.
From: Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living
For period: 2017-2018
$6,994
Active AMP Endurance Exercise Trial
From: Gencor Pacific
Investigators: Dr Xu Yan, Prof Andrew Mcainch, Prof Michael Mathai
For period: 2017-2018
Not disclosed
iHIT-PCOS: A small randomized control trial investigating the impact of High-intensity intermittent training of metabolic, reproductive and psychological health in young women at high-risk of chronic
From: NHMRC - Centre for Research Excellence Award
For period: 2017-2018
$6,000

Gene-specific methylation and its role in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
From: NHMRC - Centre for Research Excellence Award
For period: 2016-2017
$12,500
Secondment Grant
From: NHMRC - Centre for Research Excellence Award
For period: 2016-2017
$6,500

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: An Epigenetic Approach
From: NHMRC - Centre for Research Excellence Award
For period: 2015-2017
$5,000
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: an epigenetic approach
From: NHMRC (Non-Lead Org)
For period: 2015-2016
$5,000
Growing a healthy baby: Getting the balance right in pregnancy
From: Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation (LMCF)
Investigators: Prof Mary Carolan-olah
For period: 2015-2017
$49,849
1/2 HDR Scholarship: Lifestyle interventions for improved Fertility Outcomes in PCOS
From: NHMRC (Non-Lead Org)
For period: 2015-2016
$19,000

The associations between gene expression, muscle mass, strength and function in people with critical illness: a pilot study
From: Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS)
Investigators: Aspr Nir Eynon
For period: 2014-2014
$8,740

Supervision of research students at VU

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

Currently supervised research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
1 Masters by Research Principal supervisor
2 PhD Principal supervisor

Currently supervised research students at VU

Students & level Role
Masters by Research (1) Principal supervisor
PhD (2) Principal supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
6 PhD Principal supervisor
1 PhD Associate supervisor

Completed supervision of research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD (6) Principal supervisor
PhD (1) Associate supervisor

Other supervision of research students

Supervision of external students at Victoria University: 1 UROP student (AIMSS and IHES); 1 MDRP student (Melbourne University); 2 international visiting students; Monash University: 3 PhD students (associate supervisor), 3 honours students (principal supervisor), 3 honours students (associate supervisor)

Key academic roles

Dates Role Department / Organisation
Jan 2018 - Dec 2019
Deputy Director- Research Training
Institute for Health and Sport (IHES), Victoria University
Jan 2017 - Dec 2017
Director Research Training
College of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University
Dates Role & Department/Organisation
Jan 2018 -
Dec 2019
Deputy Director- Research Training
Institute for Health and Sport (IHES), Victoria University
Jan 2017 -
Dec 2017
Director Research Training
College of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University

Key industry, community & government roles

Dates Role Department/Organisation
Jan 2019 - Dec 2021
Chair of Research Advisory Committee
Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA)
Jan 2016 - Dec 2020
Committee/board member
Centre of Research Excellence for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Jan 2016 - Dec 2018
Committee Member – Position Statement and Research Committee
Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA)
Dates Role & Department/Organisation
Jan 2019 - Dec 2021
Chair of Research Advisory Committee
Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA)
Jan 2016 - Dec 2020
Committee/board member
Centre of Research Excellence for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Jan 2016 - Dec 2018
Committee Member – Position Statement and Research Committee
Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA)

Invited keynote speeches

Year Title/Description
2018

Lifestyle Recommendations and the Role of the Exercise (and the Exercise Physiologist) in the Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Australian Traditional Medicine Society Workshop on PCOS, Sydney Australia, 16 September 2018

2018

Exercise in PCOS- Evidence update.

The 8th Exercise and Sports Science Australia Conference, Research to Practice, Brisbane Exhibition Centre, Queensland, Australia, 27–29 March 2018

2017

Exercise and Insulin Action in PCOS

Melbourne Muscle and Exercise Meeting, Melbourne University, 16 November 2017

2017

Meet the Professor: Choosing the Exercise Program in Obese and Diabetic PCOS Patients

15th Annual AE-PCOS society meeting, San Antonio Texas USA, 26–28 October 2017

2016

Exercise and Physical Activity in PCOS: A Therapeutic Approach That Informs Aetiology

14th Annual AE-PCOS society meeting, Lorne Australia, 10–12 November 2016

Show more invited keynote speeches

Professional memberships

  • AEP/AES and member, Exercise & Sports Science Australia
  • Member, Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society
  • Member, Australian Diabetes Society
  • Member, Androgen Excess and PCO Society

Media appearances

11th July 2018

Movement is Medicine [for PCOS]

Podcast by fXmedicine

26th January 2016

Should women exercise during and after pregnancy?

theConversation article with Cheryce Harrison