About Us

Jennifer Gunter

Jennifer Gunter


  • Senior Research Associate (Cancer Metabolism), APCRC-Q
  • Advance Queensland Fellow
  • Member, IHBI, QUT

Contact Details

+61 7 3443 7337
Linkedin profile


  • PhD, Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Oxford University, 2005
  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science, University of Technology, Sydney, 1999


Jenni is a mid-career researcher, with a metabolic research background spanning almost 15 years. She leads a research team examining the metabolic plasticity of cancer cells with the aim of identifying therapeutic targeting strategies that extend patient survival. 

Jenni completed her PhD in 2005 at the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at Oxford University. Her thesis examined lipid metabolism in islet cell biology related to type-2 diabetes and the emerging 'lipotoxicity' hypothesis.  


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      She returned to Australia in 2006 with a University of Queensland Postdoctoral Fellowship at the UQ Diamantina Institute. Her project investigated a key enzyme in purine biosynthesis, with particular focus on the enzyme in adipocyte biology and newly described retinal-specific isoforms. During this work, she and her colleagues discovered a remarkable clustering of this enzyme into macrostructures regulated by intracellular levels of the pathway end-product, GTP.

      In 2010, Jenni  joined the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, at QUT to research the intersection between chronic metabolic disorders and their emerging relationship to cancer. These studies were focused on the role of insulin and the relationship between the insulin and androgen signalling axes.

      Jenni has authored over 20 peer-reviewed manuscripts in high-impact journals, including 6 first or senior-author papers, 4 reviews and 3 book chapters and has been awarded over $7.9 million in competitive grants. 

      Awards and grants


      2017 PCFA New Concept Grant ($100K, Davis, Sadowski, Nelson, Gunter)
      2017-2020 Advance Queensland Mid-Career Fellowship ($600K, 2017-2020)
      2017-2019 Movember Revolutionary Team Award (APCRC-Q-led consortium, $2m)
      2015 Best MCR Keynote Presentation, TRI Poster Symposium, Brisbane
      2014 TRI Collaborative Team Award
      2014-2016 Movember Revolutionary Team Award (APCRC-Q-led consortium, $4.25m)
      2014 'It’s A Blokes Thing’ charity fundraiser, PA Research Foundation (Nelson, Williams, Hollier, Gunter, Sadowski, Otvos, O’Leary, $300, 000

      Cancer Council Queensland Research Project Grant (Nelson, Hollier, Gunter, Ho, O’Leary, Finn - $200, 000)

      2014 PA Research Foundation Research Support Scheme (Nelson, Hollier, Gunter, Wood, Ho - $50, 000)
      2013-2015 PCFA Movember/Cure Cancer Australia Young Investigator Fellowship
      2008 PAH Society Young Investigator Award (Higher Degree Scholar) Finalist
      2007 PAH Society Young Investigator Award (Higher Degree Scholar) Finalist
      1999 Awarded a place on the Faculty of Science Dean's Merit List for Academic Excellence


      2008 Diabetes Australia Research Trust Grant Gunter J, Moffitt, Whitehead
      2008 PA Foundation Research Grant (Metabolic Program) Gunter J
      2006-2008 UQ Postgraduate Fellowship Gunter J

        Research interests

        cancer metabolism, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)

        Current research projects


        • Metabolic rewiring in advanced prostate cancer. 
        • Re-purposing metabolic inhibitors to prevent therapy resistance in advanced prostate cancer.
        • Development of novel therapeutics from nature for advanced prostate cancer.

        Top publications

        • MJ Sweet, K Das Gupta, MR Shakespear, JEB Curson, AMV Murthy, A Iyer, MP Hodson, D Ramnath, VA Tillu, JB von Pein, RC Reid, K Tunny, DM Hohenhaus, SV Moradi, GM Kelly, T Kobayashi, JH Gunter, AJ Stevenson, W Xu, A Jones, W Johnston, A Blumenthal, K Alexandrov, BM Collins, JL Stow. Class IIa histone deacetylases drive the toll-like receptor-inducible glycolytic switch and macrophage inflammatory responses via pyruvate kinase M2. Accepted Cell Reports, Jan, 2020.
        • Sarkar PL, Lee W, Williams ED, Lubik AA, Stylianou N, Shokoohmand A, Lehman ML, Hollier B, Gunter JH*, Nelson CC*. Insulin accelerates invasion in prostate cancer cells by upregulation of FOXC2. (Joint senior author. Front. Endocrinol., 17 July 2019 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2019.00481)
        • Nataly Stylianou, Melanie L. Lehman, Chenwei Wang, Atefeh Taherian Fard, Anja Rockstroh, Ladan Fazli, Lidija Jovanovic, Micheal Ward, Martin C. Sadowski, Abhishek S. Kashyap, Ralph Buttyan, Martin E. Gleave, Thomas F. Westbrook, Elizabeth D. Williams, Jennifer H. Gunter, Colleen C. Nelson & Brett G. Hollier. A molecular portrait of epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity in prostate cancer associated with clinical outcome. Oncogene volume 38, pages 913–934 (2019)
        • Leisl M. Packer  Samantha J. Stehbens  Vanessa F. Bonazzi  Jennifer H. Gunter  Robert J. Ju  Micheal Ward  Michael G. Gartside  Sara A. Byron  Pamela M. Pollock. Bcl‐2 inhibitors enhance FGFR inhibitor‐induced mitochondrial‐dependent cell death in FGFR2‐mutant endometrial cancer. https://doi.org/10.1002/1878-0261.12422
        • Tse BWC, Volpert M, Ratther E, Stylianou N, Nouri M, McGowan K, Lehman ML,  McPherson SJ, Roshan-Moniri M, Butler MS, Caradec J, Gregory-Evans CY, McGovern J,  Das R, Takhar M, Erho N, Alshalafa M, Davicioni E, Schaeffer EM, Jenkins RB, Ross AE,  Karnes RJ, Den RD, Fazli L, Gregory PA, Gleave ME, Williams ED, Rennie PS, Buttyan R, Gunter JH, Selth LA, Russell PJ, Nelson CC, Hollier BG. Neuropilin-1 is up-regulated in the adaptive response of prostate tumors to androgen targeted therapies and is prognostic of metastatic progression and patient mortality. Oncogene 2017;36(24):3417-27
        • Shah ET, Upadhyaya A, Philp LK, Tang T, Skalamera D, Gunter J, Nelson CC, Williams ED, Hollier BG. Repositioning “old” drugs for new causes: identifying new inhibitors of prostate cancer cell migration and invasion. Clinical and Experimental Metastasis. 2016;33(4):385-99
        • Rhee H, Gunter JH, Heathcote P, Ho K, Stricker P, Corcoran NM, Nelson CC. Adverse effects of androgen-deprivation therapy in prostate cancer and their management. BJU Int. 2015 Apr;115 Suppl 5:3-13. doi: 10.1111/bju.12964.
        • Sadowski MC, Pouwer RH, Gunter JH, Lubik AA, Quinn RJ, Nelson CC. The fatty acid synthase inhibitor triclosan: repurposing an anti-microbial agent for targeting prostate cancer. Oncotarget, 2014, 15;5(19):9362-81.
        • Gunter JH, Sarkar P, Lubik AA, Nelson CC. New players for advanced prostate cancer and the rationalisation of insulin-sensitising medication. International Journal of Cell Biology. 2013 doi:10.1155/2013/834684
        • Lubik AAGunter JHHollier BGFazli LEttinger SStylianou NAdomat HHendy SCGleave MPollak MNHerington ANelson CC. Insulin-like growth factor-2 increases de novo steroidogenesis in prostate cancer cells. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2013 20(2):173-86; doi: 10.1530/ERC-12-0250]
        • Gunter JH, Lubik AA, McKenzie I, Pollak M, Nelson CC. The Interactions between Insulin and Androgens in Progression to Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer. Adv Urol. 2012;2012:248607. doi: 10.1155/2012/248607. Epub 2012 Apr 3.
        • Lubik AA, Gunter JH, Hendy SC, Locke JA, Adomat HH, Thompson V, Herington A, Gleave ME, Pollak M, Nelson CC. Insulin increases de novo steroidogenesis in prostate cancer cells. Cancer Research 2011 Sep1:71)17):5754-64.
        • Su H, Gunter JH, de Vries M, Connor T, Wanyonyi S, Newell FS, Segal D, Molero JC, Reizes O, Prins JB, Hutley LJ, Walder K, Whitehead JP. Inhibition of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase reduces adipogenesis and diet-induced obesity.
        • Different characteristics and nucleotide binding properties of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) isoforms. Thomas EC, Gunter JH, Webster JA, Schieber NL, Oorschot V, Parton RG, Whitehead JP. PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51096. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051096. Epub 2012 Dec 7.
        • The long lifespan and low turnover of human islet beta cells estimated by mathematical modelling of lipofuscin accumulation. Cnop M, Hughes SJ, Igoillo-Esteve M, Hoppa MB, Sayyed F, van de Laar L, Gunter JH, de Koning EJ, Walls GV, Gray DW, Johnson PR, Hansen BC, Morris JF, Pipeleers-Marichal M, Cnop I, Clark A. Diabetologia. 2010 Feb;53(2):321-30. doi: 10.1007/s00125-009-1562-x. Epub 2009 Oct 24.
        • Inhibition of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase reduces adipogenesis and diet-induced obesity. Su H, Gunter JH, de Vries M, Connor T, Wanyonyi S, Newell FS, Segal D, Molero JC, Reizes O, Prins JB, Hutley LJ, Walder K, Whitehead JP. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Aug 21;386(2):351-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.06.040. Epub 2009 Jun 11.
        • Characterisation of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase expression during retinal development: differences between variants and isoforms. Gunter JH, Thomas EC, Lengefeld N, Kruger SJ, Worton L, Gardiner EM, Jones A, Barnett NL, Whitehead JP. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2008;40(9):1716-28. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2007.12.018. Epub 2008 Jan 18.
        • Adverse physicochemical properties of tripalmitin in beta cells lead to morphological changes and lipotoxicity in vitro. Moffitt JH, Fielding BA, Evershed R, Berstan R, Currie JM, Clark A. Diabetologia. 2005 Sep;48(9):1819-29. Epub 2005 Aug 11.
        • Islet amyloid polypeptide gene promoter polymorphisms are not associated with Type 2 diabetes or with the severity of islet amyloidosis. Esapa C, Moffitt JH, Novials A, McNamara CM, Levy JC, Laakso M, Gomis R, Clark A. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 Apr 15;1740(1):74-8. Epub 2005 Feb 23.
        • Apolipoprotein E genotype, islet amyloid deposition and severity of Type 2 diabetes. Powell DS, Maksoud H, Chargé SB, Moffitt JH, Desai M, Da Silva Fihlo RL, Hattersley AT, Stratton IM, Matthews DR, Levy JC, Clark A. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2003 May;60(2):105-10.
        More publications are available on PubMed


        Mahmudul Haque (PhD candidate)

        Charles Bidgood (PhD candidate)

        Maedeh Koohi (PhD cancdidate)