Animal venoms are increasingly being used in drug discovery efforts as they constitute a vast and largely untapped source of pharmacologically active molecules. Our group uses animal venoms as a source of ion channel modulators for targeting nervous system disorders (pain, epilepsy and stroke) in which the underlying molecular problem is dysfunction or altered expression of an ion channel. We maintain the world’s largest collection of >600 venoms that can be used in screens against drug targets of interest. We have developed a drug discovery pipeline that allows venom peptides to be efficiently isolated, structurally and functionally characterised, and tested in animal models of disease.

Traineeships, honours and PhD projects include

  • Development of first-in-class anti-stroke therapeutics
  • Discovery and development of analgesic venom peptides
  • Discovery and development of anti-epileptic venom peptides
  • Discovery and characterisation of novel compounds that target human parasites
  • Structural characterisation of the interaction between venom peptides and their ion channel targets using NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, and cryoelectron microscopy.

Project members

Group Leader

Professor Glenn King

Professorial Research Fellow
Institute for Molecular Bioscience