Safeguarding Australia against invasive arthropod pests (2007–2009)
The overriding aim of this proposal is to develop innovative approaches to control arthropod pests that disseminate human and animal diseases or destroy valuable crops. First, I will implement a novel approach for rapid functional and structural exploration of venom peptidomes in order to uncover natural compounds that can serve as leads for the development of environmentally-friendly insecticides. Second, I will generate the first structural models of the complexes formed between several insect-specific toxins and their ion channel targets. This information will facilitate the use of rational structure-based design for the development of chemical insecticides that mimic these natural toxins.