Associate Professor Nigel Stepto – Victoria University
Associate Professor Nigel Stepto completed a substantial proportion of 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. He holds honorary appointments at Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) and the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS). A/Prof Stepto, while having a substantive teaching load in the Exercise Science and Clinical Exercise Science courses at Victoria University, he is servicing patients and actively undertaking basic and mechanistic, and clinical research in exploring impacts of exercise training in health and disease. His work aims to understand aetiologies of metabolic and endocrine diseases from the perspective of dysfunctional skeletal muscle and understanding how exercise therapy can be used to address these metabolic and endocrine disorders, specifically Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This work encompasses many disciplines including molecular biology and biochemistry, cell biology, muscle physiology and clinical trials and implementation science and is supported by many national and international collaborations. This work has resulted in 64 publications with >3000 citations. He obtained significant research income from NHMRC (project grants (CI) and Centre of Research Excellence (AI)), Diabetes Australia and other sources. He has developed expertise in research translation and implementation in lifestyle therapy in PCOS, serving on a national and international guideline development groups, contributing to the translation and implementation of research into practice via evidence synthesis, advocacy and dissemination of these guidelines to patients and healthcare practitioners. Overall A/Prof Stepto’s career has been driven by a passion to understand complex diseases and explore the role of exercise in prevention and treatment of these diseases. To achieve these goals he leads a growing team of dynamic early career researchers and research students (PhD, masters, honours and undergraduates) in work that extends from benchtop to bedside and back.
As a clinician for more than 10 years, Dr Stanton developed an interest in the association between mental illness and poor physical health, using exercise as medicine to treat the comorbid presentation of anxiety and depressive disorders, and chronic illness and injury. For the past 5 years, much of Dr Stanton’s research has focussed on the physical health of people with mental illness, the role of exercise in the treatment of people with mental illness, and translation of research to consensus and policy statements in mental health care. Dr Stanton co-authored the Exercise is Medicine fact sheet for Exercise and Depression, and the ESSA Consensus statement on the role of Accredited Exercise Physiologists within the treatment of mental disorders. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts, more than two-thirds of which are in the mental health space.