Dr Stephanie Shepheard

Research Associate

College of Medicine and Public Health

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

Dr Shepheard has over 10 years experience in translational research with interests in biological markers of motor neuron disease (MND), project management, and human research ethics. She is is part of the Motor Neuron Disease and Neurotrophic Research Laboratory under the supervision of Assoc Prof Mary-Louise Rogers, and is a panel member of the Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee.

In her PhD she was the first to describe and quantify a protein detectable in urine of people with MND as a biomarker of disease. This protein, called neurotrophin receptor p75 extracellular domain (p75ECD) is now being tested in clinical trials by the MND&NR Lab in the Ian Davis Flinders University Biomarker facility. This research helps to develop new treatments for MND, for which there is currently limited treatment options and no cure.

Dr Shepheard also completed a post doctoral position at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) at the University of Sheffield, leading the laboratory arm of a multicentre longitudinal biomarker study, collecting, processing and testing biological samples and clinical information from people with MND from 2016-2019.


2015  Doctor of Philosophy, Flinders University: Thesis title: Neurotrophin receptor p75 extracellular domain as a novel urinary biomarker in Motor Neuron Disease

2010  1st Class Honours, Bachelor of Science, Flinders University

2007-2009  Bachelor of Medical Science, Flinders University: Double major: Molecular Biology/ Neuroscience

Other: Good Clinical Practice courses, Introduction to Supervision

Honours, awards and grants

2022  Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute (FHMRI) Kickstart Grant $20K - Can a urine biomarker panel distinguish between Primary Lateral Sclerosis and Motor Neuron Disease?, Flinders University

2019  Dedicated Outstanding Thesis Mentor - student nomination for providing excellent 1-to-1 mentoring when supporting timely PhD thesis submission, University of Sheffield

2015  Vice Chancellor's Prize for Doctoral Thesis Excellence - judged competitively to recognise outstanding academic performance in the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Research Higher Degrees Committee and the University Research Higher Degrees Committee, Flinders University

2014  Kathleen V Russell Prize in Neurobiology - judged competitively as the student showing most promise in his/her particular field, Flinders Medical Centre Foundation, Centre for Neuroscience, Flinders University

2011  York Family/Rotary Health PhD Scholarship for Motor Neuron Disease - Australian Rotary Health & Flinders University

2010  Flinders University Medal - outstanding academic achievement in the final two years of a course, Flinders University

2010  Glaxosmithkline David Ovedoff Prize - best seminar by an Honours student, Centre for Neuroscience, Flinders University

2010  Neil Della Scholarship - Honours student with highest undergraduate Grade Point Average in the School of Medicine, Flinders Medical Centre foundation

2008-2010  Chancellor’s Letter of Commendation high GPA, Flinders University

Key responsibilities
  • Record keeping and database management of confidential clinical trial data
  • Analysing candidate biomarkers of motor neuron disease (MND) in clinical trial and research samples using a high-throughput robot and by-hand with in-house and commercial assays
  • Coordination, collection, and processing human biofluid samples
  • Producing human and animal ethics applications including site specific assessments
  • Statistical data analysis using Excel, GraphPad Prism and IBM SPSS
  • Day-to-day supervision of undergraduate placement and Honours students, and junior laboratory staff
  • Cell culture, antibody purification, SDS-PAGE, Immunoprecipitation, and Western blot