Dr Fernanda Caldas Cardoso

Research Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience


Dr Fernanda Cardoso completed her MSc in Molecular 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. During this period, she developed unique HTS platforms to identify key membrane surface proteins and peptides to develop novel therapies to combat infectious diseases. In 2011, Dr Cardoso joined the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at UQ to develop therapies to treat complex neurological diseases. Her background in drug discovery, design and development, and her interdisciplinary training in the fields of pharmacology, immunology, and neuroscience provide her with the skills needed to identify and characterise highly potent bioactive molecules and to study their effects in human physiology with applications in neurologic disorders such as chronic pain, IBS and neurodegenerative diseases. Dr Cardoso is currently part of the Centre for Pain Research and manages a number of industry and academia projects studying ion channels modulators derived from bioactive natural molecules and the development of novel effective drugs.

Research Interests

  • Chronic and neuropathic pain - Mechanisms of pain and Therapeutics development
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Therapeutics development
  • Motor Neuron Disease - Therapeutics development
  • Venomics and Bioactitivities of Spiders, Cone snails and Snake venoms
  • Multifunctional peptides and proteins from spider and snake venoms
  • Structure-function of venom peptides and proteins
  • Development of high throughput screens for drug discovery
  • Voltage-gated ion channels (Nav, Cav)
  • Acetylcholine receptors (AChR)
  • Transient receptor potential channels (TRP)

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.


  • 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


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Available Projects

View all Available Projects


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

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

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.

  • Focus in spider, snakes and cone snails venoms.