Dr Sonia Troeira Henriques

ARC Future Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience
+61 7 334 62026


Sónia Troeira Henriques graduated in Biochemistry in 2003, and obtained a PhD degree in Molecular Biophysics in 2008 (University of Lisbon, Portugal). In 2008, Dr Henriques was awarded an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship and started her postdoctoral research at Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB). In 2009, Dr Henriques was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship and was appointed as invited lecturer in Portugal (Medicine School, University of Lisbon). Dr Henriques returned to IMB in 2012 upon reception of an ARC DECRA and was recently awarded an ARC Future Fellowship. Dr Henriques research is focused on the study of biologically-active peptides, their mode of action, their potential use for drug design and as tools to deliver macromolecules into cells.

Research Interests

  • Biologically-active Peptides and Membrane biology
    Dr Henriques interests are biologically-active peptides and membrane biology. She has been focused in understanding the mechanism of action, delivery and design of membrane-active peptides, namely antimicrobial, anti-cancer and cell-penetrating peptides, including linear and cyclic disulfide-rich peptides. Her research focuses on the concept that examination of the role of the cell membrane in the activity of therapeutic peptides is essential to improve potency and reduce toxicity of peptide-based drugs. Her research activities involve biophysical studies (e.g. fluorescence spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance, flow cytometry and confocal microscopy) with model membranes to identify the membrane properties that modulate peptide bioactivity and correlating them with cells. Currently, Dr Henriques is a chief investigator in projects that are focused in the design of peptide-based drugs to treat pain by targeting ion channels located at the cell membrane, or in the use of cyclic cell-penetrating peptides able to cross the cell membrane to inhibit cancer pathways. Her Future Fellowship program “Breaching membrane barriers” aims at developing a platform technology based on cell-penetrating peptides to deliver genes, proteins, or biomarkers inside cells to modulate intracellular pathways.


  • Bachelor of Science, UL
  • PhD, UL


  • Lawrence, Nicole, Dennis, Adelaide S. M., Lehane, Adele M., Ehmann, Anna, Harvey, Peta J., Benfield, Aurélie H., Cheneval, Olivier, Henriques, Sónia Troeira, Craik, David J. and McMorran, Brendan J. (2018) Defense peptides engineered from human platelet factor 4 kill Plasmodium by selective membrane disruption. Cell Chemical Biology, . doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2018.06.009

  • Agwa, Akello J., Peigneur, Steve, Chow, Chun Yuen, Lawrence, Nicole, Craik, David J., Tytgat, Jan, King, Glenn F., Henriques, Sonia Troeira and Schroeder, Christina I. (2018) Gating modifier toxins isolated from spider venom: modulation of voltage-gated sodium channels and the role of lipid membranes. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293 23: 9041-9052. doi:10.1074/jbc.RA118.002553

  • Velkov, Tony, Gallardo-Godoy, Alejandra, Swarbrick, James D., Blaskovich, Mark A. T., Elliott, Alysha G., Han, Meiling, Thompson, Philip E., Roberts, Kade D., Huang, Johnny X., Becker, Bernd, Butler, Mark S., Lash, Lawrence H., Henriques, Sónia Troeira, Nation, Roger L., Sivanesan, Sivashangarie, Sani, Marc-Antoine, Separovic, Frances, Mertens, Haydyn, Bulach, Dieter, Seemann, Torsten, Owen, Jeremy, Li, Jian and Cooper, Matthew A. (2018) Structure, Function, and Biosynthetic Origin of Octapeptin Antibiotics Active against Extensively Drug-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria. Cell Chemical Biology, 25 4: 380-391.e5. doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2018.01.005

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  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Henriques, Sonia Troeira and Craik, David J. (2015). Discovery of peptide drugs from natural sources. In Ben M. Dunn (Ed.), Peptide chemistry and drug design (pp. 203-245) Hoboken NJ, United States: John Wiley & Sons. doi:10.1002/9781118995303.ch6

  • Craik, David J., Henriques, Sonia Troeira, Mylne, Joshua S. and Wang, Conan K. (2012). Cyclotide isolation and characterization. In David A. Hopwood (Ed.), Natural product biosynthesis by microorganisms and plants, part B (pp. 37-62) Burlington, USA: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-394291-3.00024-1

  • Kaas, Quentin, Westermann, Jan-Christoph, Troeira Henriques, Sonia and Craik, David J. (2010). Antimicrobial Peptides in Plants. In Guangshun Wang (Ed.), Antimicrobial Peptides: Discovery, Design, and Novel Therapeutic Strategies (pp. 40-71) Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK: CAB International. doi:10.1079/9781845936570.0040

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision