About Us

Penny Jeffery

Penny Jeffery


  • Research Fellow, APCRC-Q, Queensland University of Technology
  • Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland

Contact Details

+61 7 3138 5177


PhD, Molecular Biotechnology, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, 2006

BSc App Sci (Hons), Applied Science, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, 2001


Dr Jeffery is a mid-career medical researcher with a focus on the action and regulation of metabolic hormones in the context of endocrine disorders and cancer. Dr Jeffery has extensive experience with animal models of metabolic dysfunction and cancer and collaborates with researchers and clinicians in the UK, Europe and the USA. Dr Jeffery has published in high impact journals including Nature Genetics, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and Gastroenterology and has received funding from national and international funding agencies. She has a strong commitment to education and training and has supervised many successful higher degree students and currently teaches medical and biomedical science students at all levels.

Awards and grants





QUT Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence (PhD)


Finalist, Queensland Premier’s Awards for Medical Research, Australian Society for Medical Research


Winner of the QLD government Smart Women, Smart State Award


Finalist, Young cancer researcher of the year, Cure Cancer Foundation, Australia


QUT travel award to give invited seminars and lab visits in the National Institute of Medical Research (London) and Faculty of Medicine, University of Cordoba, Cordoba Spain


Finalist, Novartis junior Investigator Awards, Endocrine Society of Australia


Postgraduate Travel Award, Endocrine Society of Australia, Oral Presentation, Adelaide


Australian Postgraduate Award plus Dean’s top up Scholarship





Funding Agency




Australian Pediatric Endocrinology Group (APEG)

Predicting good and poor responders to recombinant human growth hormone therapy

R Pelekanos, Y Musthaffa, P Jeffery, M Harris, I Hughes


School of Biomedical Sciences, QUT

HDAC11 as a novel target for obesity

P Jeffery, G Crisp


Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (USA)

Characterisation of autoantibodies in Prader-Willi Syndrome


L Chopin, P Jeffery, M Harris, I Seim, G Crisp, I Hughes


Australian Pediatric Endocrinology Group (APEG) and Novonordisk

Energy Homeostasis in Prader-Willi Syndrome

Jeffery P, Harris J, Nyunt


Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology

Insights into growth outcomes in paediatric Turner Syndrome from high-throughput epigenome and transcriptome analyses - a pilot study

P Jeffery


Queensland Government

Smart Futures Fellowship

P Jeffery


Perpetual Foundation

Ghrelin in Paediatric IBD

P Jeffery


NHMRC Project Grant

Novel therapeutics in IBD

P Jeffery, R Eri



Peter Doherty Biomedical Training Fellowship

P Jeffery

Research interests

Animal models of metabolic dysfunction, cancer, prostate cancer, Prader-Willi Syndrome, autoantibodies, paediatric Turner syndrome, high-throughput epigenome and transcriptome analyses

Current research projects

Predicting good and poor responders to recombinant human growth hormone therapy.

HDAC11 as a novel target for obesity.

Top publications

  1. Seim I, Jeffery PL, Thomas PB, Nelson CC, Chopin LC (2017) Whole-Genome Sequence of the Metastatic PC3 and LNCaP Human Prostate Cancer Cell Lines. G3 7:1731-1741.
  2. Seim I, Crisp GJ, Shah ET, Jeffery PL, Chopin LK (2017) Abundant ghrelin gene expression by monocytes: Putative implications for fat accumulation and obesity. Obesity Medicine 5:1-3.
  3. Maugham ML, Thomas PB, Crisp GJ, Philp LK, Shah ET, Herington AC, Chen C, Gregory LS, Nelson CC, Seim I, Jeffery PL*, Chopin LK* (2017) Insights from engraftable immunodeficient mouse models of hyperinsulinaemia. Sci Rep 7:491. *Co-corresponding author
  4. Sheng Y, Ng CP, Lourie R, Shah ET, He Y, Wong KY, Seim I, Oancea I, Morais C, Jeffery PL, Hooper J, Gobe GC, McGuckin MA (2017) MUC13 overexpression in renal cell carcinoma plays a central role in tumor progression and drug resistance. Int J Cancer 140:2351-2363.
  5. Seim, Jeffery, Herington and Chopin (2014) Turtle ghrelin. Nature Genetics 46:525
  6. Fung, Jeffery, Lee, Seim, Roche, Obermair, Chopin, Chen (2013) Silencing of Ghrelin Receptor Expression Inhibits Endometrial Cancer Cell Growth in vitro and in vivo Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 305(2):E305-13.
  7. Yeh AH*, Jeffery PL*, Duncan RP, Herington AC, Chopin LK (2005) Ghrelin and a novel preproghrelin isoform are highly expressed in prostate cancer compared to normal prostate tissue and ghrelin-mediated prostate cancer cell line proliferation involves the MAPK pathway. Clin Cancer Res 11:8295-8303.  *equal first authorship
  8. Jeffery PL, Murray RE, Yeh AH, McNamara JF, Duncan RP, Francis G, Herington AC, Chopin LK (2005) Expression and function of the ghrelin axis, including a novel preproghrelin isoform, in human breast cancer tissues and cell lines. Endocr Relat Cancer 12:839-850.
  9. Jeffery PL, Herington AC, Chopin LK (2003) The potential autocrine/paracrine roles of ghrelin and its receptor in hormone-dependent cancer.  Cytokine Growth Factor Rev 14: 113-122.
  10. Jeffery PL, Herington AC, Chopin LK (2002) Expression and action of the growth hormone releasing peptide ghrelin and its receptor in prostate cancer cells lines.  J Endocrinol 172: 7-11.


Higher degree student supervision:  Primary: Gabrielle Crisp; Associate: Patrick Thomas, Michelle Maugham, Esha Shah, Hongzhuo Li (UQ)


Dr Mark Harris, Dr Yassmin Musthaffa, Dr Emily Papadimos (Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital); Professor Chen Chen, Dr Rebecca Pelekanos (UQ), Claudio Pietra (Helsinn Pharmaceuticals)

Professional memberships and associations


Title, Organisation

2006 - present 

Australian Society for Medical Research

2016 - present

European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology

2001 - present

Endocrine Society of Australia, Australian Society for Medical Research