Professor Ray NortonProfessor Raymond S. Norton
Medicinal Chemistry
Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Monash University

Abstract: Animal venoms are a rich source of peptides that are potent and often exquisitely selective probes of the structure and function of ion channels and receptors. I will describe our studies on peptides from sea anemones and scorpions that are potent blockers of Kv1.3 channels and show considerable potential as therapeutics for autoimmune diseases.

As another example, we identified insulins in the venom of a fish-hunting cone snail. We determined the structure of one of these insulins and modelled its interaction with the insulin receptor. Con-Ins G1 has the potential to guide the development of novel rapidly-acting human insulin analogues.

Bio: Ray Norton holds a personal chair at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He obtained his PhD in chemistry from ANU and undertook postdoctoral studies in the US before returning to Australia as a QEII Fellow at the Roche Research Institute of Marine Pharmacology in Sydney. His group at Monash employs a range of biophysical approaches (NMR, SPR, ITC and X-ray crystallography) in studies of peptide and protein toxins and infectious diseases. One of the venom-derived peptides he works with is about to enter phase 2 clinical trial for autoimmune diseases. He has published over 350 articles, received numerous national awards, and is an inventor on several patents.


Queensland Bioscience Precinct
Room 80
The University of Queensland, St Lucia