Dr Fernanda Caldas Cardoso

Research Officer

Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Overview

Dr Fernanda Cardoso completed her MSc in Pharmacology (2002) and PhD in Immunology (2008) at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. In 2008 Dr Cardoso joined the Queensland Institute for Medical Research in Brisbane holding a prestigious CAPES Postdoctoral Fellowship to develop therapies to treat infectious diseases. During this period, she developed unique HTS platforms to identify key molecules for therapy development to combat schistosomiasis and malaria. In 2011, Dr Cardoso joined the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at UQ to develop therapies to treat unattainable complex diseases such as chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, epilepsy and motor neuron disease. Dr Cardoso is currently part of the Centre for Pain Research and Prof Richard Lewis’ group. She manages a number of industry and academia projects studying ion channels modulators from animal toxins and development of novel drugs.

Research Interests

  • Chronic and neuropathic pain - Mechanisms of pain and Therapeutics development
  • Motor Neuron Disease - Therapeutics development
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Therapeutics development
  • Natural Peptides Chemistry and Biology
  • Spider and Cone snails venoms peptides
  • Development of high throughput screen platforms for drug discovery
  • Sodium channels (Nav)
  • Calcium channels - Low voltage T-type calcium channels

Research Impacts

Dr Fernanda Cardoso's research has provided remarkable insights in the discovery biology of vaccines against tropical diseases, as well as in the identification of new agents for therapeutical use in complex disorders such as chronic pain and irritable bowel syndrome. Her discovery in vaccine research has the potential to improve the lifes of milllions of people in Africa, Asia and South America through a vaccine against schistosomiasis., and her research in ion channels modulators has provided unique leads for treating neuropthic pain disorders which could improve the lifes of at least 10% of the world population.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Masters of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Bachelor of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Publications

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Supervision

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Available Projects

  • T-type calcium channels play a crucial role in the neuronal firing in central and peripheral nervous systems and nociceptive processing in health and disease. Altered T-type currents are present in somatic and visceral pain signalling (Maeda et al 2009; Matsunami et al 2011). Among the T-type current channels, Cav3.2 demonstrates remarkable functional up-regulation in pathophysiology of inflammatory, neuropathic and visceral pain, and therefore has been considered a novel target for development of drugs for treatment of pain disorders. This project identifies and characterise venom peptides inhibiting T-type calcium channels (Cav3.1, Cav3.2 and Cav3.3) with potential to treat chronic pain. This research has the potential to identify novel and patentable Cav inhibitors with potential to treat a range of currently refractory painful conditions including neuropathic pain.

  • Abnormal function of Nav channels are associated with a range of complex pathological conditions such as chronic pain. Spider and cone snail venoms contain Nav channel inhibitor toxins which are been applied in the development of novel pain therapies. Currently available pain therapies remain insufficient for certain forms of pain associated with chronic pain and often have serious side effects. This way, the identification of novel potent inhibitors of Nav channels involved in pain disorders will help greatly in the development of safer and more effective therapies.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Lewis, Richard J., Vetter, Irina, Cardoso, Fernanda C., Inserra, Marco and King, Glenn (2015). Does nature do ion channel drug discovery better than us?. In Brian Cox and Martin Gosling (Ed.), Ion channel drug discovery (pp. 297-313) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Royal Society of Chemistry. doi:10.1039/9781849735087-00297

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • T-type calcium channels play a crucial role in the neuronal firing in central and peripheral nervous systems and nociceptive processing in health and disease. Altered T-type currents are present in somatic and visceral pain signalling (Maeda et al 2009; Matsunami et al 2011). Among the T-type current channels, Cav3.2 demonstrates remarkable functional up-regulation in pathophysiology of inflammatory, neuropathic and visceral pain, and therefore has been considered a novel target for development of drugs for treatment of pain disorders. This project identifies and characterise venom peptides inhibiting T-type calcium channels (Cav3.1, Cav3.2 and Cav3.3) with potential to treat chronic pain. This research has the potential to identify novel and patentable Cav inhibitors with potential to treat a range of currently refractory painful conditions including neuropathic pain.

  • Abnormal function of Nav channels are associated with a range of complex pathological conditions such as chronic pain. Spider and cone snail venoms contain Nav channel inhibitor toxins which are been applied in the development of novel pain therapies. Currently available pain therapies remain insufficient for certain forms of pain associated with chronic pain and often have serious side effects. This way, the identification of novel potent inhibitors of Nav channels involved in pain disorders will help greatly in the development of safer and more effective therapies.