About Us

Nataly Stylianou

Nataly Stylianou


  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Cancer Plasticity), APCRC-Q
  • US Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Early Investigator
  • Centre for Genomics and Personalised Health, QUT
  • School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health, QUT
  • Translational Research Institute (TRI)

Contact Details

+61 7 3443 7262


PhD, Faculty of Health (2012-17: Queensland University of Technology, Queensland)

BSc, Hons, Faculty of Health (2011: Queensland University of Technology, Queensland)

BSc Applied Medical Science (2007-10: Queensland University of Technology, Queensland)


Dr Stylianou is an early career researcher at the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre-Queensland. Dr Stylianou’s studies are focused on identifying genetic adaptations that arise as a survival tactic in response to stress (i.e., from therapeutic agents, viral infection). Specifically, Dr Stylianou has an interest on epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity as a genetic reprograming response to overcome and survive therapy stress. During her PhD studies with the Australian Prostate Cancer Center – Queensland, and under the supervision of Dr Brett Hollier, Dr Jennifer Gunter, and Professor Colleen Nelson, Dr Stylianou developed cancer cell models that recapitulate cell transdifferentiation processes including epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), mesenchymal-epithelial reverting transition (MErT), and neuroendocrine transdifferentiation (NEtD). Using these models, Dr Stylianou defined how cancer cells can transdifferentiate to facilitate therapeutic resistance and metastatic spread, revealing for the first time the transcriptional dynamics and complexities that accompany these transitions. Dr Stylianou’s efforts have been awarded with a highly competitive and prestigious US Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Early Investigator Award, where under the mentoring of Dr Brett Hollier and Professor Colleen Nelson, Dr Stylianou continues her studies to identify druggable targets that directly inhibit the growth and metastasis of aggressive cancer variants (i.e., castration resistant prostate cancer, neuroendocrine prostate cancer, MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma). As current therapies for patients with aggressive cancer variants are limited, Dr Stylianou is driven to discover new and effective therapeutic avenues for these patients.

Awards and grants




United States Department of Defence Prostate Cancer Early Investigator Research Award


Queensland University of Technology Early Career Research Support Scheme


Nominated for Outstanding PhD Thesis Award


Best Poster Presentation Award at the Novel Concepts in the Biology and Treatment of Metastatic Cancer Conference held in Paphos, Cyprus


Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship


Best Early Career Researcher Oral Presentation Award at “The 8th Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition International Association” conference held in Melbourne, Australia


Runner-up – Best Poster Presentation Award at the Translational Research Institute Annual Symposium held in Brisbane, Australia


Runner-up – Best Poster Presentation Award at the Translational Research Institute Annual Symposium held in Brisbane, Australia


Best Poster Presentation (Judges Award) at the IHBI Inspires Postgraduate Student Conference held at the Gold Coast, Australia


START QUT award recipient

Research interests

Prostate cancer, epithelial plasticity, metabolic plasticity, SARS-CoV-2, placenta

Current research projects

Targeting the Plastic Nature of Prostate Cancer Metastasis to Improve Therapeutic Strategies for Advanced Disease

Deep spatiotemporal insights into vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 immunopathology

Top publications

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, 2019 Feb;38(7):913-934. doi: 10.1038/s41388-018-0488-5. Epub 2018 Sep 7. IF:8.0

Phoebe Sarkar, Wendy Lee, Elizabeth D. Williams, Amy Lubik, Nataly Stylianou, Ali Sookoohmand, Melanie Lehman, Brett Hollier, Jennifer Gunter, Colleen C Nelson. Insulin enhances migration and invasion in prostate cancer cells by up-regulation of FOXC2. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 2019 Jul 17;10:481. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00481. eCollection 2019. IF:3.7

Katherine A Pillman, Caroline A Phillips, Suraya Roslan, John Toubia, B Kate Dredge, Andrew G Bert, Rachael Lumb, Daniel P Neumann, Xiaochun Li, Simon J Conn , Dawei Liu, Cameron P Bracken, David M Lawrence, Nataly Stylianou, Andreas W Schreiber , Wayne D Tilley, Brett G Hollier, Yeesim Khew-Goodall, Luke A Selth, Gregory J Goodall, & Philip A Gregory. miR-200/375 control epithelial plasticity-associated alternative splicing by repressing the RNA-binding protein Quaking. The EMBO Journal, 2018 Jul 2;37(13):e99016. doi: 10.15252/embj.201899016. Epub 2018 Jun 5. IF:10

Brian W.C. Tse,*, Marianna Volpert,*, Ellca Ratther,*, Nataly Stylianou, Mannan Nouri, Kayla McGowan, Melanie L. Lehman, Stephen J. McPherson, Mani Roshan-Moniri, Miriam S. Butler, Josselin Caradec, Cheryl Y. Gregory-Evans, Jacqui McGovern, Rajdeep Das, Mandeep Takhar, Nicholas Erho, Mohamed Alshalafa, Elai Davicioni, Robert B. Jenkins, R. Jeffrey Karnes, Robert B. Den, Ladan Fazil, Luke A. Selth, Philip A. Gregory, Martin E. Gleave, Elizabeth D. Williams, Paul S. Rennie, Ralph Buttyan, Jennifer H. Gunter, Pamela J. Russell, Colleen C. Nelson & Brett G. Hollier . Neuropilin-1 is up-regulated in castrate resistant prostate cancer, promotes metastasis and is a prognostic biomarker of metastatic relapse and patient mortality. Oncogene, 2017 Jun 15;36(24):3417-3427. doi: 10.1038/onc.2016.482. Epub 2017 Jan 16. IF:8.0

L. A. Selth, R. Das, S. L. Townley, I. Coutinho , A. R. Hanson, M. M. Centenera, N. Stylianou, K. Sweeney, C. Soekmadji5, L. Jovanovic, C. C. Nelson, A. Zoubeidi, L. M. Butler, G. J. Goodall, B. G. Hollier, P. A. Gregory and W. D. Tilley. A ZEB1-miR-375-YAP1 pathway regulates epithelial plasticity in prostate cancer. 2017 Jan 5;36(1):24-34. doi: 10.1038/onc.2016.185. Epub 2016 Jun 6. IF:8.0

More publications are available on PubMed