<b>Professor Glenn King</b><br>
Laboratory Head, Chemistry and Structural Biology Division<br><p>
P: +61 7 3346 2025<br>
E: glenn.king@imb.uq.edu.au<p>
<b>Keywords</b><br>
- chronic pain<br>
- stroke<br>
- biotechnology<br>
- insect venom<br>
- insecticides<br>
- agriculture
Professor Glenn King
Laboratory Head, Chemistry and Structural Biology Division

P: +61 7 3346 2025
E: glenn.king@imb.uq.edu.au

Keywords
- chronic pain
- stroke
- biotechnology
- insect venom
- insecticides
- agriculture

Bugs and drugs

Our research harnesses the chemistry of venoms from arthropod predators, such as spiders, scorpions and centipedes, to develop novel pharmaceuticals to treat chronic pain and stroke. Stroke is the second-leading cause of death worldwide. In addition, it causes an extremely high incidence of disability in surviving victims due to the brain damage suffered during stroke. Likewise, chronic pain is a huge medical problem that affects one in five adults. There are few drugs available for treating chronic pain, and many of these have limited efficacy and dose-limiting side effects.

Animal venoms are a rich source of stable natural peptides that potently modulate the activity of a wide range of neuronal ion channels and receptors. We have the largest collection of arthropod venoms in the world, a high-throughput pipeline for venoms-based drug discovery, protocols for rapid protein expression and structure determination, and links to key laboratories for testing the efficacy of lead molecules in rodent models of pain and stroke. We are using these world-class resources to move us closer to achieving our aim of developing novel analgesics for pain relief and novel neuroprotective agents for treating stroke victims.

An equally important focus of our research is on helping to safeguard Australia’s agricultural crops and reduce the spread of disease from insect pests by discovering new environmentally friendly insecticides. Currently, arthropod pests destroy approximately 15 per cent of the world’s food supply and spread pernicious diseases such as dengue and malaria. Our work is finding better, safer ways to control disease-spreading pests and protect crops.

During 2013 we reported the first orally active insecticidal toxin isolated from spider venom, with potential for the control of insect pests. We also reported a novel peptide isolated from centipede venom that proved to be a more potent painkiller than morphine in a variety of rodent pain models.

  

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Research in the news

1 October - No sting in centipede painkiller, The Australian

1 October - Centipede venom may fight chronic pain, ABC Science

12 SeptemberTarantula toxin could save farmers billions, The Australian

Research training opportunities

Please see IMB's postgraduate website for more information. 

Key publications

View more publications by Professor King via Pubmed his via UQ Researchers. 

Bonning, B.C., Pal. N., Liu, S., Wang, Z., Sivakumar, S., King, G.F., and Miller, W.A. (2014) Toxin delivery by the coat protein of an aphid-vectored plant virus provides plant resistance to aphids. Nature Biotechnology 32: 102–105

Bende, N., Dziemborowicz, S., Mobli, M., Herzig, V., Gilchrist, J., Nicholson, G.M., King, G.F., and Bosmans, F. (2014) A distinct voltage-sensor locus determines the insect selectivity of a unique sodium channel modulator found in venom of the desert bush spider. Nature Communications 5: 4350

de Araujo, A.D., Mobli, M., Brierley, S.M., Castro, J., Harrington, A.M., Vetter, I., Dekan, Z., Muttenthaler, M., Wan, J., Lewis, R.J., King, G.F., Brierley, S.M., and Alewood, P.F. (2014) Selenoether oxytocin analogues have analgesic properties in a mouse model of chronic abdominal pain. Nature Communications 5: 3165.

Yang, S., Xiao, Y., Kang, D., Liu, J., Li, Y., Undheim, E.A.B., Klint, J.K., Rong, M., Lai, R. and King, G.F. (2013) Discovery of a selective NaV1.7 blocker from centipede venom with analgesic efficacy exceeding morphine in rodent pain models. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110: 17534–17539.

King, G.F., and Hardy, M.C. (2013) Spider-venom peptides: structure, pharmacology, and potential for control of insect pests. Annual Review of Entomology 58: 475-496.

King, G.F. (2011) Venoms as a platform for human drugs: translating toxins into therapeutics. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy 11: 1469–1484.

Lab contacts

Mr Shohidul Alam
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62322
+61 7 334 62326
s.alam@imb.uq.edu.au

Ms Jessie Er
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62322
+61 7 334 62325
s.er@imb.uq.edu.au
Dr Sandy Pineda Gonzalez
Research staff
+61 7 334 62011
+61 7 334 62322
s.gonzalez@imb.uq.edu.au
Dr Raveendra Anangi
Research staff
+61 7 334 62018
+61 7 334 62322
r.anangi@imb.uq.edu.au
Dr Margaret Hardy
Research staff
+61 7 334 62018
+61 7 334 62322
m.hardy@imb.uq.edu.au
Mr Sassan Rahnama
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62015
+61 7 334 62322
s.rahnama@imb.uq.edu.au
Mr Niraj Bende
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62322
+61 7 334 62326
n.bende@imb.uq.edu.au
Dr Volker Herzig
Research staff
+61 7 334 62018
+61 7 334 62322
v.herzig@imb.uq.edu.au
Dr Lachlan Rash
Research staff
+61 7 334 62985
l.rash@imb.uq.edu.au
Ms Irene Chassagnon
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62322
+61 7 334 62325
irene.chassagnon@imb.uq.edu.au
Dr Maria Ikonomopoulou
Research staff
+61 7 334 62018
+61 7 334 62322
m.ikonomopoulou@imb.uq.edu.au
Ms Darshani Rupasinghe
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62322
d.rupasinghe@imb.uq.edu.au
Dr Yanni Chin
Research staff
+61 7 334 62015
+61 7 334 62322
y.chin@uq.edu.au
Dr Linlin Ma
Research staff
+61 7 334 62322
+61 7 334 62325
linlin.ma@imb.uq.edu.au
Mr Sebastian Senff
Research staff
+61 7 334 62322
+61 7 334 62326
s.senff@imb.uq.edu.au
Mr Ben Cristofori-Armstrong
Research staff
+61 7 334 62322
+61 7 334 62325
ben.cristoforiarmstrong@uqconnect.edu.au

Mr Bruno Madio
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62326
+61 7 334 62322
b.madio@imb.uq.edu.au

Dr Jennifer Smith
Research staff
+61 7 334 62018
+61 7 334 62322
jennifer.smith@imb.uq.edu.au
Dr Evelyne Deplazes
Research staff
+61 7 334 62100
e.deplazes@imb.uq.edu.au

Ms Rosa Martinez
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62322
+61 7 334 62326
r.martinez@imb.uq.edu.au

Mr Eivind Undheim
Research staff
+61 7 334 62322
e.undheim@imb.uq.edu.au
     

 

 

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