Dr Christina Schroeder is a bioactive peptide engineer who uses venom-derived peptides from spiders, cone snails and snakes to develop novel treatments for chronic and neuropathic pain. Dr Schroeder is particularly fascinated by the possibility of harnessing the venom from an animal that has evolved to kill its prey to develop something that could benefit human kind.

The ultimate result of Dr Schroeder's research is to develop a treatment that allows people to manage chronic pain, a condition that one out of five Australians suffers from, and which currently has inadequate treatments. To that end, she is exploring the relationship between drugs and receptors, focusing on expanding on the traditional lock and key mechanism to include the membrane surrounding the receptors. Dr Schroeder aims to unlock a detailed understanding of how these venom-derived peptides engage with receptors in the body and how we can use this knowledge to design more potent drugs with fewer side effects.

Dr Schroeder completed her PhD in Pharmacology at The University of Queensland and after working at institutes overseas and in Australia, including The Scripps Research Institute and the University of New South Wales, has returned to IMB to establish her research group working alongside her long term mentors Prof David Craik and Prof Richard Lewis.

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