Pharmacology of marine toxins

Venoms: predatory, defensive, and a treatment for chronic pain


Our lab researches the venoms of cone snails and spiders to better understand their evolution and potential as research tools and therapeutics to treat pain.

Research areas and current projects

  • Proteomic studies of cone snail venoms
  • Transcriptomic studies of cone snail venoms
  • Origin and diversification of conotoxins for predation and defence
  • Pharmacological studies of cone snail and tarantula venoms
  • Structure-function of venom peptides targeting sodium and calcium channels, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, GPCRs and monamine transporters
  • Discovery, characterisation and development of sodium channel inhibitors of pain


Cone snail venom peptides in drug discovery

Cone snail venom peptides in drug discovery

Striatus fish feeding

Group leader

Prof Richard Lewis

Professor Richard Lewis

Group Leader, Chemistry and Structural Biology Division

Director, Centre for Pain Research

  +61 7 334 62984
  UQ Researcher Profile

Our team

Group Leader



Research excellence

$1.3 billion+ commercial investment attracted to IMB research
1454 international collaborators
385 original publications in 2020
$28M in research funding last calendar year
20%+ of patent families at UQ are derived from IMB research
100% of donations go to the cause

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