Researchers in this area are focused on the discovery and biochemical characterisation of venoms and marine toxins, especially the conotoxins produced by cone snails to rapidly immobilise their prey. These toxins modulate a variety of membrane proteins, including important drug targets like sodium and calcium channels, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), monoamine transporters, and G-protein coupled receptors. Their high selectivity makes them important research tools and potential therapeutics. Through a multidisciplinary research program, including peptide and target molecular pharmacology, and integrated proteomics and transcriptomics, researchers continue to discover and develop the potential of these interesting molecules, particularly in the area of pain research.

Traineeships, honours and PhD projects include

  • Discovery of novel analgesic venom peptides from cone snails
  • Integrated proteomics and transcriptomics to investigate the evolution and structure-function of cone snail venoms
  • Ultrastructural studies of the venom apparatus of cone snails
  • Mechanisms of venom peptide regulation in cone snails
  • Genomics studies of cone snails.

Project members

Group Leader

Professor Richard Lewis

Professorial Research Fellow - GL
Institute for Molecular Bioscience