Dr Fernanda Caldas Cardoso

Senior Research Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience
f.cardoso@imb.uq.edu.au
+61 7 344 33402

Overview

Dr. Fernanda Cardoso is a Brazil-born Australian researcher interested in natural products, neurotoxins and peptide-based drug discovery. Hailing from the land of samba and sunshine, Cardoso is not your typical neuroscience enthusiast – she's a powerhouse shaking up the world of ion channels and venom-based drug discovery. In her hands, venom transforms from a threat into a source of unprecedented healing potential. Armed with a formidable blend of expertise in pharmacology, immunology, and neuroscience, Cardoso is a maestro in unravelling the secrets of nature's pharmacopeia to study human physiology in fundamental and applied research in neurologic disorders such as chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and neurodegenerative diseases (motor neuron disease, MND; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS). Please see Dr. Cardoso’s Grants and Publications list for more details.

Before joining the University of Queensland, Dr. Cardoso was part of the Queensland Institute for Medical Research, holding a prestigious CAPES Postdoctoral Fellowship. During this period, Cardoso developed novel platforms for discovering protein and peptide targets of therapies to combat infectious diseases and novel helminth-derived bioactives with anti-inflammatory properties. Please see Dr. Cardoso’s Publications list for more details.

Dr. Cardoso is currently part of the Centre for Drug Discovery and manages many industry and academic projects studying ion channel modulators derived from natural repertoires, particularly from venoms, and the development of novel effective drugs to treat neurological disorders. Dr Cardoso pushes the boundaries of what we thought possible. She's not just studying diseases; she's on a mission to craft ground-breaking drugs that could reshape the landscape of neurological medicine.

Research Interests

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Mechanisms of visceral pain, motility disfunction and Therapeutics development
  • Voltage-gated Ion Channels
  • Venomics and Pharmacology of Spiders, Cone snails and Snake venoms
  • Structure-function properties of venom peptides and proteins
  • Neurodegeneration - Pathophysiology and Therapeutics development
  • Chronic pain - Mechanisms of pain and Therapeutics development

Research Impacts

Dr. Fernanda Cardoso's research has provided remarkable insights into the discovery and biology of new agents for therapeutical use in complex disorders such as chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome and motor neuron disease, and vaccinology against tropical diseases. Her ongoing research in ion channel modulators has provided unique leads for treating neuropathic pain and neurodegenerative disorders, which could improve the lives of millions of individuals around the globe, and 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.

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

Grants

View all Grants

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • (2023) Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

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.

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

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

    Completed

    The unexplored pharmacopeia of Australian spiders: learning from the experts - Hayden Wirth (2022) Science Honours — Principal Advisor

    Peptides targeting sodium channels to treat Motor Neuron Disease - Charan Kotapati (2022) Biomedical Sciences Honours — Principal Advisor

    Structure-Function and Rational Design of a Newly Discovered Spider Venom Peptide Ssp1a at hNaV1.2, hNaV1.3 and hNaV1.7 Yashad Dongol (2020) Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Spider-venom peptides targeting ion channels in chronic pain pathways - Amatulla Shakir Nashikwala (2022) Master Coursework — Principal Advisor

    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