Dr Ryan Martinus

Senior Lecturer (Biological Sciences)

Qualifications: BSc, MSc Waikato, PhD Massey

Research Interests

I am interested in the relationships between mitochondrial stress and inflammatory responses in CNS, muscle, pancreas and reproductive processes.

Research Supervised


  • Najafzadeh, Vahid (in progress). Biochemical and metabolic foundations of pluripotent stem cells in cattle.
  • Jabed, Md Anower (2012). RNAi-mediated reduction of a major ruminant specific milk allergen using a transgenic mouse model.

MSc (Research)

  • Azfar, Afreen (in progress).
  • Chandra, Usharani (in progress). Further elucidating the mechanisms of cytotoxicity of pterocellin A from pterocella vesiculosa using breast cancer cells and non-cancerous cells.
  • Kaur, Supreet (2016). In vitro study of heat shock protein 60 expression and mitochondrial stress in HeLa cells.
  • Wang, Alice (2015). Elucidating the modes of action of the antitumour New Zealand marine natural product Pterocellin A.


  • Newland, Julia (submitted). Investigating anti-inflammatory modulators of primary glial cell inflammation.
  • Hall, Luke (2013). A model in vitro system to study Heat Shock Protein 60 (HSP60) expression in response to mitochondrial impairment in human cells.
  • Short, Matthew (2013). GFP tagged HSP60 used to investigate the translocation of HSP60 in response to mitochondrial stress in HeLa cells.
  • Tsuei, An-Chi (2010). Effects of metformin on human moncytic THP-1 cells - implications for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
  • Chou, Tzu-Wen Joy (2009). Inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction: is HSP60 the link?
  • Gong, Bei (2009). Developing a Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR)-based method for sub-nanomolar detecting of Heat Shock Proteins.
  • Sowry, Blair (2009). Epigenetic reprogramming of somatic cells by zygotic factors.
  • Puddick, Jonathan (2006). A comparartive proteomics approach to studying skeletal muscle mitochondria from myostatin knockout mice.
  • Collins, Tracey (2006). The role of mitochondrial oxidative stress in trophoblast cells and placentation of cloned embryos.
  • Hwang, Lisa (2006). Mitochondrial dysfunction and Inflammation in diabetic CNS.
  • Munif, Farina (2006). In vitro Investigation into the Health of Free and Encapsulated Porcine - Islet Cells Prior to Xenotransplantation.

BSc (Hons)

  • Steenkamer, Bridget (2015). The effect of physiological high glucose on HeLa cell groth, function and heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) expression.

Teaching Commitments


Biochemistry; Molecular Biology

Recent Publications

  • Wang, A. T., Prinsep, M. R., & Martinus, R. D. (2016). Pterocellin A isolated from marine bryozoan Pterocella vesiculosa is cytotoxic to human HeLa cells via mitochondrial apoptotic processes. SpringerPlus, 11 pages. doi:10.1186/s40064-016-2397-9 Open Access version: hdl:10289/10409

  • Juwono, J., & Martinus, R. D. (2016). Does Hsp60 provide a link between mitochondrial stress and inflammation in Diabetes Mellitus?. Journal of Diabetes Research. doi:10.1155/2016/8017571 Open Access version: hdl:10289/10509

  • Najafzadeh, V., Martinus, R., & Oback, B. (2015). Targeted screen for amino acids that regulate bovine inner cell mass development. In Reproduction, Fertility and Development Vol. 28 (pp. 156-157). Louisville, Kentucky, USA: CSIRO Publishing. doi:10.1071/RDv28n2Ab53

  • Wang, A. T., Martinus, R. D., & Prinsep, M. R. (2014). Elucidating the mechanism of cytotoxicity of pterocellin A using HeLa cells. Poster session presented at the meeting of Queenstown Molecular Biology - Cancer Biology and Drug Discovery Satellite Meeting. Queenstown, New Zealand.

View All research publications by Ryan Martinus

Contact Details

Room: E.3.08
Phone: +64 7 838 4375