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Dr Garth Stephenson



Senior Lecturer in Medical Biotechnology, Infection and Immunity


Faculty of Health


School of Medicine


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus




Title: Bachelor of Science, Biotechnology
Institution: Deakin University
Year: 2000

Title: Honors Degree, Biochemistry
Institution: Deakin University
Year: 2001

Title: Doctor of Philosophy, Molecular and Biochemical Science
Institution: Melbourne University MDHS,
Year: 2014

Title: Graduate Certificate of Higher Education Learning and Teaching
Institution: Deakin University
Year: Currently studying

Title: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Read more on Garth's profile

Biography summary

Garth Stephenson completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne and CSIRO AAHL in 2014. In 2015 he joined the School of Medicine and is currently Course Director of the Biomedical Molecular Majors stream. His research is focused on neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) such as autism spectrum disorder and the relationship of the human Gastrointestinal (GIT) and Female Reproductive Tract (FRT) microbiotas to the development of these conditions during gestation. His current studies aim to investigate the impact of the Maternal Immune Activation and the effect of proinflammatory cytokines on neurodevelopmental genes during gestation with an aim to identify epigenetic changes in neural gene regulation.

Research interests

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a term describing a range of neurodevelopmental conditions which include characteristics such as impaired social behavior, communication and language, and a narrow range of interests. ASD is thought to be the outcome of a combination of both genetic and environmental influences and that external and biological environmental influences can lead to a state of elevated Maternal Immune Activation (MIA) which can result in fetal neural inflammation resulting in ASD. My research focus is on the relationaship between maternal inflammatory  and the development of neural develomental disorders.


My current teaching research is focused on teaching anatomy to rural students through the use of virtual reality.

Teaching interests

My primary interest is in the areas of Medical Biotechnology and Immunity. My current research focus in on the immunological and inflammatory causes of neurodenvelopmental disorders. 

Units taught

HMM203 - Human Anatomy - Current

HMM302 - Innovations in Medical Biotechnology - Current

Guest Lecturer

HMM305 - Cell and Tissue Engineering

Previous Units

HMM301 Principles of Pharmacology

HMM304 Therapeutic Developments.

HBS400 - Research Methods - Current

Knowledge areas

Mammalian Heamatopoiesis and the inflammatory immune response.

Cell and tissue engineering


Human Anatomy


Research groups

Early Life Epigenetics


•Identifying varying states of inflammation which may relate to disease, from neonatal cord blood white blood cell differential counts within a twin birth cohort. (Peri/Postnatal Epigenetics Twin Study (PETS)) Garth Stephenson, Jeff Craig.
• Identifying Perinatal and Obstetric Risk Factors for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Twin Study. (PETS). Garth Stephenson, Jeff Craig.
• Identifying inflammation and risk factors in cord blood from children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A multiplex analysis of proinflammatory cytokines. Garth Stephenson, Jeff Craig.
• Diet and the microbiome: implications for neurodevelopment in early to mid-childhood. Garth Stephenson, Amy Loughman, Tim Silk, Jeffrey Craig
• Identifying CPR levels in cord blood as an early indicator of cardiometabolic disorders. A twin’s longitudinal study. (Deakin University). Garth Stephenson, Jeff Craig.
• The role of faecal microbiome in mediating disease risk in children: a longitudinal twin study.  Dr Amy Loughman, Dr Yen Ting Wong, Dr Stella Loke, Dr Garth Stephenson, Dr Martin O’Hely, Professor Peter Vuillermin, Associate Professor Andres Gomez.

• Identifying placental Inflammatory mediators that may influence epigenetic modification to neurodevelopmental genes. Garth Stephenson, Bryony McNeil

• Relationship between epigenetic state and inflammatory markers at birth, and BMI level  at two age point: a longitudinal twin study Garth Stephenson, Mojgan Gharipour, Jeffrey Craig


Filter by


The effects of normobaric hypoxia on the leukocyte responses to resistance exercise

Giselle Allsopp, Jackson Barnard, Samuel Goodear, Samantha Hoffmann, Garth Stephenson, Alex Addinsall, Craig Wright

(2023), Vol. 40, pp. 101-109, Biology of Sport, Poznan, Poland, C1

journal article

The acute leukocyte and cytokine response of older adults to resistance exercise in normobaric hypoxia

Giselle Allsopp, Alex Addinsall, Garth Stephenson, Faiza Basheer, Paul Della Gatta, Samantha Hoffmann, Aaron Russell, Craig Wright

(2023), Vol. 40, pp. 425-438, Biology of Sport, Poznan, Poland, C1

journal article

Augmented reality in medical education: students' experiences and learning outcomes

P Dhar, T Rocks, R Samarasinghe, G Stephenson, C Smith

(2021), Vol. 26, Medical Education Online, United States, C1

journal article

Characterisation of the porcine cytokines which activate the CD131βc common sub-unit, for potential immune-augmentation

G Stephenson, K Morris, T O'Neil, M Bruce, A Strom, A Bean

(2018), Vol. 102, pp. 131-140, Cytokine, England, C1-1

journal article

Development of an anti-porcine CD34 monoclonal antibody that identifies hematopoietic stem cells

D Layton, A Strom, T O`Neil, M Broadway, G Stephenson, K Morris, M Muralitharan, M Sandrin, F Ierino, A Bean

(2007), Vol. 35, pp. 171-178, Experimental hematology, Amsterdam, Netherlands, C1

journal article

Steroid 21-hydroxylase expression in cultured rat astrocytes

M Lovelace, T Watson, G Stephenson

(2003), Vol. 61, pp. 609-615, Brain research bulletin, New York, N.Y., C1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Industry and Other Funding

Diet and the microbiome: implications for neurodevelopment in early to mid-childhood

Prof Jeffrey Craig, Dr Amy Loughman, A/Prof Tim Silk, Dr Garth Stephenson

Waterloo Foundation - Child Development

  • 2022: $89,716


Associate Supervisor

Afrah Jalil Abd Al-Juhaishi

Thesis entitled: Novel nanoformulations to ameliorate aged macular degeneration in mammalian models

Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine), School of Medicine