Dr Fernanda Caldas Cardoso

Research Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Overview

Dr Fernanda Cardoso is a Brazil-born Australian researcher with passion for biodiscovery and therapeutics development. Cardoso was awarded MSc in Molecular Pharmacology and PhD in Immunology and is part of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at UQ where she develops therapies for complex neurological diseases. The strong background in drug discovery, design and development, and interdisciplinary training in the fields of pharmacology, immunology, and neuroscience provides Dr Cardoso with the skills needed to identify naturally occurring or synthetic bioactive molecules and to study their effects in human physiology with applications in neurologic disorders such as chronic pain, IBS and neurodegenerative diseases.

Before UQ, Dr Cardoso was part of the Queensland Institute for Medical Research holding a prestigious CAPES Postdoctoral Fellowship. During this period, she developed unique HTS platforms to identify membrane surface protein and peptide targets of novel therapies to combat infectious diseases; and novel helminth-derived bioactives with anti-inflammatory properties.

Dr Cardoso is currently part of the Chemistry and Structural Biology Division and manages a number of industry and academia projects studying ion channels modulators derived from natural repertoires 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 Bioactivity of Spiders, Cone snails and Snake venoms
  • Multifunctional peptides and proteins from venoms
  • Structure-function properties 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 past discoveries in vaccine research have the potential to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa, Asia and South America through a vaccine against schistosomiasis, and her on-going research in ion channel modulators has provided unique leads for treating neuropathic pain disorders which could improve the lives 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

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • We have open positions for Research Students to develop projects in discovery, characterization and structure-function studies of bio-active compounds in animal venoms and other natural repertoires. Students will develop skills in high throughput cellular assays using fluorescence imaging assays, manual and automated whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology, high performance liquid chromatography, mass spectometry, recombinant expression, peptide synthesis, amongst other state-of-the-art methods and techiniques. Students will also co-author papers and be involved in writting and figures preparation for research publications from their work.

  • We have open positions for Research Students to develop projects in therapies for treating Chronic Pain, Visceral Pain and Motor Neuron Disease. These novel therapies will be developed from bio-active compounds targeting voltage-gated sodium and/or calcium channels. Students will develop skills in manual and automated whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology, high performance liquid chromatography, mass spectometry, recombinant expression, peptide synthesis, amongst other state-of-the-art methods and techiniques. Students will also co-author papers and be involved in writting and figures preparation for research publications from their work.

  • On-going

    Spider-venom peptides targeting ion channels in chronic pain pathways - Amatulla Shakir Nashikwala Master Coursework — Principal Advisor

    The unexplored pharmacopeia of Australian spiders: learning from the experts - Hayden Wirth Science Honours — Principal Advisor

    Peptides targeting sodium channels to treat Motor Neuron Disease - Charan Kotapati Biomedical Sciences Honours — Principal Advisor

    Isolation and characterisation of novel analgesic conotoxins - Tianjiao Zhao Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Discovery and characterisation of venom peptide modulators of pain pathways - Yashad Dongol Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Completed

    In vitro assessment of human neuroblastoma cytotoxicity induced by snake venoms - Simon Kramer (2022) Summer Research project — Principal Advisor

    Molecular pharmacology and peripheral analgesia of omega-conotoxins- Mahadhi Hasan (2021) Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Discovery and Characterisation of Venom Peptide and Small Molecule Modulators for T-type Calcium Channels - Dan Wang (2020) Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Molecular interactions between spider peptides and the sodium channel Nav1.1 - Huyiu Hu (2019) Masters Coursework — Principal Advisor

    Structure-function relatioships of the multifunctional spider peptide Tap1a - Saja E Mawlawi (2019) Masters Coursework — Principal Advisor

    Novel ion channels modulators from Australian tarantula venoms - Phil M Choin (2015) Summer Research Project — Associate Advisor

    N-type calcium channels modulators from Australian tarantula venoms - Wan Nur Amalina (2015) Summer Research Project — Associate Advisor

    Isolation and characterization of novel spider venom peptides antagonizing voltage-gated calcium channels - Ching Koon Lim (2014) Masters Coursework — Associate Advisor

    Optimizing the potency and selectivity of a spider-venom peptide that inhibits the analgesic target Nav1.7 - Andelain Erickson (2014) Honours — Associated Advisor

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?. Ion channel drug discovery. (pp. 297-313) edited by Brian Cox and Martin Gosling. 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

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.

  • We have open positions for Research Students to develop projects in discovery, characterization and structure-function studies of bio-active compounds in animal venoms and other natural repertoires. Students will develop skills in high throughput cellular assays using fluorescence imaging assays, manual and automated whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology, high performance liquid chromatography, mass spectometry, recombinant expression, peptide synthesis, amongst other state-of-the-art methods and techiniques. Students will also co-author papers and be involved in writting and figures preparation for research publications from their work.

  • We have open positions for Research Students to develop projects in therapies for treating Chronic Pain, Visceral Pain and Motor Neuron Disease. These novel therapies will be developed from bio-active compounds targeting voltage-gated sodium and/or calcium channels. Students will develop skills in manual and automated whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology, high performance liquid chromatography, mass spectometry, recombinant expression, peptide synthesis, amongst other state-of-the-art methods and techiniques. Students will also co-author papers and be involved in writting and figures preparation for research publications from their work.

  • On-going

    Spider-venom peptides targeting ion channels in chronic pain pathways - Amatulla Shakir Nashikwala Master Coursework — Principal Advisor

    The unexplored pharmacopeia of Australian spiders: learning from the experts - Hayden Wirth Science Honours — Principal Advisor

    Peptides targeting sodium channels to treat Motor Neuron Disease - Charan Kotapati Biomedical Sciences Honours — Principal Advisor

    Isolation and characterisation of novel analgesic conotoxins - Tianjiao Zhao Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Discovery and characterisation of venom peptide modulators of pain pathways - Yashad Dongol Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Completed

    In vitro assessment of human neuroblastoma cytotoxicity induced by snake venoms - Simon Kramer (2022) Summer Research project — Principal Advisor

    Molecular pharmacology and peripheral analgesia of omega-conotoxins- Mahadhi Hasan (2021) Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Discovery and Characterisation of Venom Peptide and Small Molecule Modulators for T-type Calcium Channels - Dan Wang (2020) Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Molecular interactions between spider peptides and the sodium channel Nav1.1 - Huyiu Hu (2019) Masters Coursework — Principal Advisor

    Structure-function relatioships of the multifunctional spider peptide Tap1a - Saja E Mawlawi (2019) Masters Coursework — Principal Advisor

    Novel ion channels modulators from Australian tarantula venoms - Phil M Choin (2015) Summer Research Project — Associate Advisor

    N-type calcium channels modulators from Australian tarantula venoms - Wan Nur Amalina (2015) Summer Research Project — Associate Advisor

    Isolation and characterization of novel spider venom peptides antagonizing voltage-gated calcium channels - Ching Koon Lim (2014) Masters Coursework — Associate Advisor

    Optimizing the potency and selectivity of a spider-venom peptide that inhibits the analgesic target Nav1.7 - Andelain Erickson (2014) Honours — Associated Advisor