Venoms to Drugs

Venom from cone snails, scorpions, spiders, snakes and other species continue to provide an immense reservoir of potent bioactive peptides that target specific enzymes, ion channels and receptors. As such they represent major sources of lead compounds for both the development of pharmacological tools and novel drugs


Professor David Adams

     CEO and Executive Director: Illawarra Health & Medical Research Institute, Wollongong, Australia

     Proposed Title: Mechanisms of Action of Analgesic α-Conotoxins. Why the GABAB Receptor and Not the α9α10 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor is                                                                     the Neuropathic Pain Target

Associate Professor Frank Bosmans

     Associate Professor of Physiology: Johns Hopkins Medicine Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, Baltimore, USA

     Proposed Title: Investigating the sodium channel complex with animal toxins

Associate Professor Stuart Brierley

     Associate Professor: Flinders University and SAHMRI, Adelaide, Australia

     Proposed Title: Peripheral targeting of ion channels and GPCRs in the treatment of chronic visceral pain

Professor Brian Chait

     Camille and Henry Dreyfus Professor: The Rockefeller University, New York, USA

     Proposed Title: Method for Determining the Mass, Composition and Stoichiometry of Macromolecular Assemblies

Professor MacDonald Christie

     Professor: The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

     Proposed Title: Agonist Residence Time At Opioid Receptors Determines Biased Signalling

Dr Richard Clark

     ARC Future Fellow: The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

     Proposed Title: Structure/Activity Relationships Of Alpha-Conotoxins Targeting The Gaba(B) Receptor

Professor Norelle Daly

     Professorial Research Fellow: James Cook University, Cairns, Australia

     Proposed Title: Development of novel wound healing peptides: The link between conotoxins and worm proteins

Professor Angela Dulhunty

     Group Leader: The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra, Australia

     Proposed Title: The Ryanodine Receptor: A Therapeutic Target in Heart, Skeletal Muscle and Brain

Professor Robert J French

     Professor: The University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

     Proposed Title: Sodium Channel Conduction, Gating And Structure Probed By Natural Small Organic Molecules And Peptides

Associate Professor Bryan Fry

     Associate Professor: The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

     Proposed Title: Endless forms most beautiful: using evolution as a roadmap for biodiscovery

Professor Igor Kasheverov  

     Director of Department: Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemsitry RAS, Moscow, Russia

     Proposed Title: Peptide  Ligands of Nicotinic Receptors: From Research Tools to Practical  Application

Professor Kini R Manjunatha 

     Professor: Department of Natural Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore

     Proposed Title: Natriuretic peptide analogs with vasodilatory or renal activities: personalized care of heart failure patients

Professor J. Michael McIntosh

     Professor and Director of Research of Psychiatry: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA

     Proposed Title: α-Conotoxin RgIA: a template for drugs to treat neuropathic pain

Dr Les Miranda

     Executive Director Research: Amgen, California, USA

Professor Ray Norton

     Professor: Medicinal Chemistry, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Melbourne, Australia

     Proposed Title: Kv1.3-blocking peptides: opportunities and challenges en route to the clinic

Professor James M Olson

     Director, Project Violet: University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, USA

     Proposed Title: Tumor Paint and Optides: Building on 3.6 billion years of drug discovery

Dr Toby Passioura

     Assistant Professor: University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

     Proposed Title: Fit Shrinking: Rapid Transformation Of Venom Peptides Into Drug-Like Molecules

Dr Peter Prentis

     Lecturer: Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

     Proposed Title: Using gene expression patterns to identify sea anemone peptides

Dr Christina Schroeder

     Australian Future Fellow: Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Brisbane, Australia

     Proposed Title: The Importance Of Peptide-Membrane Interactions In Toxin Inhibition Of Sodium Channels 

Dr Irina Vetter

     Group Leader: Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Brisbane, Australia

     Proposed Title: The When, Where and How of Nav1.7-Mediated Analgesia: Insights from Subtype-Selective Venom Peptides

Professor James Whisstock

     Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Professor Gerald W. Zamponi

     Professor and Senior Associate Dean (Research): The University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

     Proposed Title: Post Translational Modification Of T-Type Channels: A Novel Target For Pain Relief