Dr Volker Herzig

Senior Research Officer

Institute for Molecular Bioscience
+61 7 334 62018


Dr Herzig is a Senior Research Officer at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), UQ. His focus of research is the biodiscovery of novel arthropod venom components, in particular venom peptides, for potential applications in basic science, medicine and agriculture. For this purpose, Dr. Herzig compiled the world's largest collection of arachnid venoms (currently comrpising venoms from 520 spiders and 130 scorpions). These venoms are currently utilized in a wide range of collaborative research projects all around the world - please contact Dr. Herzig if you have an interesting molecular target or target organism that could benfit from screening a diverse collection of arachnid venoms.

Research Interests

  • Toxins as bioinsecticides or antiparasitic agents
    The agricultural sector is plagued by a number of pests and parasites that cause significant economic damage. Furthermore, development of resistance to current treatments further threatens agricultural industries. My research focuses on discovering novel and environmentally safe treatment options by using molecules isolated from arthropod venoms.
  • Toxins as tools in medical research
    Ion channels and receptors play an important role in controlling physiological processes in living organisms. Many diseases are caused by a dysregulation of the activity of these channels and receptors. My research with arthropod venoms aims at the discovery of novel modulators of these molecular targets that might help in restoring their proper activity.
  • Toxins as tools in basic research
    Most arthropod toxins target ion channels and receptors in the nervous system, which helps them to overcome prey or fend of predators. These toxins include specific agonists as well as antagonists of various molecular targets. Some of these targets have not been studied properly due to a lack of specific modulators. My research therefore aims as identifying specific modulators of on channels and receptors that help in understanding the physiological role of these targets.

Research Impacts

Dr Herzig has made significant international contributions to the field of toxinology, including the development of ArachnoServer, an online resource for spider venom peptides that is highly regarded and widely used by fellow toxinologists. In establishing and operationalising the world’s largest arachnid venom collection, which he initiated in 2008, Dr Herzig has developed a worldwide network of collaborators who enable the screening of venoms against a broad range of molecular and in vivo targets. Dr Herzig’s current research ranges from the discovery of novel toxins to a range of potential applications in basic research, pharmacology (e.g. analgesics), and agriculture (e.g. bioinsecticides).


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Tuebingen


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Fry, B. G., Undheim, E. A. B., Jackson, T. N. W., Georgieva, D., Vetter, I., Calvete, J. J., Schieb, H., Cribb, B. W., Yang, D. C., Daly, N. L., Manchadi, M. L. Roy, Gutierrez, J. M., Roelants, K., Lomonte, B., Nicholson, G. M., Dziemborowicz, S., Lavergne, V., Ragnarsson, L., Rash, L. D., Mobli, M., Hodgson, W. C., Casewell, N. R., Nouwens, A., Wagstaff, S. C., Ali, S. A., Whitehead, D. L., Herzig, V., Monagle, P., Kurniawan, N. D., Reeks, T. and Sunagar, K. (2015). Research methods. In Venomous reptiles and their toxins: evolution, pathophysiology and biodiscovery (pp. 153-214) New York, NY, United States: Oxford University Press.

  • Smith, Jennifer J., Lau, Carus Ho Yee, Herzig, Volker, Ikonomopoulou, Maria P., Rash, Lachlan D. and King, Glenn F. (2015). Therapeutic applications of spider-venom peptides. In Glenn F. King (Ed.), Venoms to Drugs: Venom as a Source for the Development of Human Therapeutics (pp. 221-244) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Royal Society of Chemistry.. doi:10.1039/9781849737876-00221

  • Herzig, Volker and King, Glenn F. (2013). The Neurotoxic Mode of Action of Venoms from the Spider Family Theraphosidae. In Wolfgang Nentwig (Ed.), Spider Ecophysiology (pp. 203-215) Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-33989-9_15

  • Herzig, V. and King, G. F. (2010). Addendum: Spider toxins and their potential for insect control. In Lawrence I. Gilbert and Sarjeet S. Gill (Ed.), Insect pharmacology: Channels, receptors, toxins and enzymes (pp. 119-123) London, U.K.: Academic Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors: