Associate Professor Fiona Young

Academic Status

College of Medicine and Public Health

place Flinders Medical Centre
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

After 30 years association with Flinders University, and the last 20 (part-time) years devoted to research and teaching in Biotechnology, I have retired to pursue long-standing interests in writing and environmental conservation. I continue to hold adjunct academic status.

BSc. (Hons), PGCE, PhD
Honours, awards and grants


Sandoz Junior Scientist Award (1992) Awarded by the Endocrine Society of Australia

CoOp Bookshop Dialogica Award (2002) “Stems Cells & Cloning” Highly Commended published in Campus Review 2002 vol12 (44)

SA Australian Water Association (2008) Co-supervised PhD student Dina Zebian- Best Scientific Presentation for 'Blooming Problems in Water, and Possible Effects on Future Baby Booms'.

Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry (2012) Memorable Conference Presentation for 'Establishment of methods & measurement of hormones in river source water and its derived potable water supply'.

Ozwater (2014) Co-supervised Honours student Anna Wilson - National Undergraduate Water Prize for “Development of rapid tools for Cryptosporidium species identification”.

Ozwater (2018) Co-supervised Honours student Sarah Aucote - National Undergraduate Water Prize for “Developing quantitative Faecal Source Tracking PCR assays targeting bacteria and mitochondria from host faeces”.

Selected Grants

2005 - 2008 Development of a BioAssay to Measure Xenoestrogens in Environmental Water Samples, Fiona Young, Andrew Humpage, Barbara Sanderson, Greg Barritt, Richard Ivell, $355,077 awarded by ARC Linkage Grant / Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry).

2006 – 2009 Effects of Cylindrospermopsin toxin on human male and female reproduction, Fiona Young & Andrew Humpage, Australian Postgraduate Award awarded by Australian CRC for Water Quality and Treatment. $95,000.

2010 Safety of recycled wastewater for end-users determined by mouse in vivo studies Fiona Young, Humpage, Blackbeard, Chapman, Leusch, Water Quality Research Australia Ltd., $150,758

2012 - 2013, Development of a novel anticancer hormone replacement therapy from a marine mollusc, Flinders Foundation, Fiona Young, Edwards, Benkendorf, $100,000.

2013 - 2014 Microarray study to elucidate the mechanism of action of a novel class of anti-cancer agents against estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells, Blue Sky Beat Cancer, Fiona Young, Edwards, Benkendorf, Abbot, $40,000

2017 - 2019 Fiona Young, Anton Blencowie, “Bioprinted oviduct model to screen novel contraceptives”, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, US$99,900

Key responsibilities
  1. Design, implementation and delivery of research
  2. Supervision of research students
  3. Coordination, design and delivery of a number of topics including Medical Biotechnology, Legal, Ethical and Social Aspects of Bioscience, and Molecular Biotechnology.
Research expertise
Environmental biotechnology
Medical biotechnology
Molecular biology
Oncology and carcinogenesis
Other medical and health sciences
Reproductive health
Research interests

Research Overview:


  • Anti-cancer radiotherapy and chemotherapy can cause early menopause and infertility. This research area is about developing approaches to preserving the fertility of female cancer survivors.

Medical Biotechnology and Reproductive Toxicology

  • The early lab-based development of therapies with the potential to prevent breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
  • The use of human reproductive cells in vitro (including primary-derived human granulosa cells and spermatozoa, embryonic stem cells, and human breast, uterine and ovarian cancer cell lines), as well as in vitro mouse cultures, to assess the toxicity, or the activity, of novel bioactive extracts, nanoparticles, agrichemicals (eg pesticides and herbicides), new pharmaceutical agents or bioremediation products.
  • Development and application of 3D cell culture methods, and their application to developing novel contraceptives.

Environmental Biotechnology

  • The development and application of assays to detect and quantify endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in surface and drinking waters, recycled water and wastewater, using SPE-ELISA, HPLC, E-screen, and human cell lines in novel in vitro assays.
  • The characterisation of particles in wastewater, and their effects on recycling
Teaching interests

Conceived, designed and organised research projects, then supervised and trained 20 students during implementation of these (9 month full time) Honours research projects, and 10 international students during their (9 month full time) Masters of Biotechnology research projects. Also supervised 9 PhD students; 2 did not complete, 2 have submitted and are being examined, and 5 have completed and graduated with PhDs (see following page).

I conceived, designed, organised and coordinated, and/or taught and assessed, the following topics:

  • Introduction to Biotechnology (1st year)
  • Genetic and Cell Biotechnology (2nd year)
  • Agricultural and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (2nd year)
  • Legal, Ethical and Social Aspects of Bioscience (2nd year)
  • Environmental Biotechnology (3rd year)
  • Medical Biotechnology (3rd year)
  • Biobusiness (4th year)
  • Molecular Biotechnology (postgraduate Masters course)
  • Masters of Biotechnology Research Project
Higher degree by research student achievements
Dina Zebian

PhD - DEC 2011

Dan Inglis

PhD - DEC 2011

Vicki Edwards

PhD - DEC 2016

Mohammad Asaduzzaman

PhD - DEC 2018

Katie O'Neill

PhD - DEC 2017

Expert for media contact
Anti-cancer therapeutic drug development
Reproductive Toxicology
Water Quality
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713

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