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We are pleased to present Dr Fernanda Caldas Cardoso to speak on Venom-based drug discovery focused on ion channels modulation.

When: Thursday 25th May

Where: AIBN Level 1 Seminar room or online via zoom

Time: 11am-12pm


Venoms contain a wealth of cysteine-rich peptides that alter ion channel properties using a conserved modulatory mechanism which provides better potency and selectivity than small molecules. By systematically interrogating venoms via high throughput cellular screens and assay-guided fractionation, I have discovered and optimized venom peptides that target specific clusters of ion channels in disease pathways with the potential to reverse neuropathologies. In the peripheral nervous system, the venom peptide Tap1a from the tarantula Theraphosa aphophysis reverts chronic visceral pain in a mouse model of irritable bowel syndrome via intracolonic administration. In the central nervous system, the venom peptide ProTx-III from the tarantula Thrixopelma pruriens reverted motor neuron hyperactivity associated with the early stages of neurodegeneration and rescued mobility in a zebrafish model of motor neurodegeneration. My research is focused on the development of venom-derived pharmacological tools for ion channel research and unravelling the potential of venom peptides in translational drug discovery.


Dr Fernanda Cardoso is a biologist with passion for biodiversity, biodiscovery and drug development, and an emerging leader in studies of animal venoms applied to drug development. In 2011, Dr Cardoso joined the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland as a Research Fellow to explore the amazing world of venom-derived bioactive molecules and to study their effects on human physiology with applications in neurologic disorders such as chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and motor neuron disease. Since 2018, Dr Cardoso has led academic and industry research projects in drug discovery and development, and in 2023 she was awarded a U.S. Department of Defence Research program to develop drugs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dr Cardoso is an expert in high-throughput screens, molecular pharmacology, biodiscovery, and optimization of venom-derived drug candidates targeting ion channels, particularly voltage-gated ion channels. Her research has unravelled unique venom peptides used in studies of ion channels pharmacology and drug development and has provided novel insights in the optimization of peptide drugs derived from venoms.

About AIBN Seminar Series

The AIBN Seminar series showcases a range of seminars across different topics and disciplines


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