Dr Christina Schroeder

Principal Research Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience
+61 7 334 62021


Christina Schroeder received her MSc in Chemistry from University of Kalmar, Sweden in 1998. As part of her masters, she joined Prof Richard Lewis for a 6-month internship at the Centre for Drug, Design and Development, The University of Queensland, working on conotoxins inhibiting calcium channels. After her masters, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Karolinska hospital and Stockholm University in Sweden until she returned to Australia in 1999 to conduct her PhD at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), The University of Queensland under supervision of Professor Richard Lewis and Professor David Craik working on the development of an omega-conotoxin pharmacophore. After completing her PhD in 2003, she carried out a postdoc in Professor Lewis' laboratory until 2006, when she joined Professor Philip Dawson’s laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA to work on developing palmitoylated peptides as chaperones for infantile Batten disease. In 2007, she moved back to Australia, to join Professor Philip Hogg’s laboratory at the University of New South Wales in Sydney where she worked on the multimerisation of large proteins via disulfide bonds. In 2011 she was recruite back to IMB to join Professor David Craik’s group. Dr Schroeder's research is focussed on using bioactive peptides in drug design and to understand the mode of action of toxins binding to sodium channels and their surrounding membranes with the ultimate goal to develop novel non-addictive pain therapeutics.

Research Interests

  • Bioactive peptide engineering and membrane biology
    Dr Schroeder's research focuses on bioactive molecules isolated from plants and the venom of snakes, spiders and cone snails and she actively pursue these molecules in a quest for identifying new drug leads for the treatment of chronic pain, inflammation, obesity and cancer. Specifically, she is interested in understanding how to harness the natural drug-like properties of these bioactive molecules and use them as neuroscience tools to explore the interactions between the bioactive molecules and their targets in the human body. She investigate these interactions using sophisticated peptide engineering, a range biophysical techniques including NMR spectroscopy and activity assays. By understanding these interactions in detail she believes we will be able to create new and improved drugs with fewer side effects. During the past 12 months, her research has discovered that certain spider toxins, interesting as drug leads for the development of treatment of chronic pain, not only interact with a particular target receptor in humans, but also interact strongly with the surrounding lipid membrane. This discovery will alter the way we rationally design novel sodium channel inhibitors in the future and has lead to a collaboration with a major pharmaceutical company.


  • Graduate Certificate in Research Management, Southern Cross University
  • Master of Science (Chemistry), Kalmar University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


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Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Bhattacharya, Samit, Ammirati, Mark, Borzilleri, Kris, Cheneval, Olivier, Chrunyk, Boris, Craik, David, Daly, Norelle, Dullea, Robert, Griffor, Matthew, Kamlet, Adam, Limberakis, Chris, Sahasrabudhe, Parag, Liu, Shenping, Loria, Paula, Mc Clure, Kim, Menhaji-Klotz, Elnaz, Petersen, Donna, Piotrowski, David, Popovska-Gorevski, Marina, Price, David, Reyes, Allan, Ruggeri, Roger, Schroeder, Christina, Song, Kun, Swedberg, Joakim, Stock, Ingrid, Tu, Meihua and Withka, Jane (2017). Small molecule and peptidic ligands as PCSK9-LDLR inhibitors. In: 254th National Meeting and Exposition of the American-Chemical-Society (ACS) on Chemistry's Impact on the Global Economy, Washington, DC, (). 20-24 August 2017 .

  • Schroeder, Christina I., Deplazes, Evelyn, Lawrence, Nicole, Agwa, Akello and Henriques, Sonia T. (2017). The importance of peptide-membrane interactions in toxin inhibitions of sodium channels. In: 58th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society, San Francisco, United States, (226A-226A). 15-19 February 2014. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2016.11.1247

  • Deplazes, Evelyne, Henriques, Sonia Troeira, King, Glenn F., Craik, David J., Mark, Alan E. and Schroeder, Christina I. (2016). Membrane-binding properties of gating-modifier and pore blocking toxins: membrane interaction is not a prerequisite for modification of channel gating. In: 60th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical-Society, Los Angeles, United States, (29A-29A). February 27- March 2 2016. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2015.11.220

  • Schroeder, Christina I., Deuis, Jennifer, Henriques, Sonia Troeria, Dekan, Zoltan, Inserra, Marco, Mobli, Mehdi and Vetter, Irina (2016). Rational design and synthesis of a novel membrane binding NaV1.8 selective inhibitor with in vivo activity in pain models. In: 60th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (33A-33A). 27 Feb - 2 Mar 2016. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2015.11.247

  • Henriques, Sonia Troeira, Craik, David J. and Schroeder, Christina I. (2016). Structure-Activity Relationship Studies Reveal that the Spider Toxin Protx-II has Unusual Membrane-Binding Properties and Inhibits NAV1.7 Channel at the Membrane Surface. In: 60th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical-Society, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (76A-76A). Feb 27-Mar 02, 2016.

  • Schroeder, Christina, Henriques, Sonia, Mobli, Mehdi, Chaousis, Stephanie, Walsh, Phillip, Thongyoo, Panumart and Craik, David (2015). Delineating toxin:lipid:ion channel interactions for rationally sodium channel inhibitors design. In: 29th Annual Symposium of the Protein Society, Barcelona Spain, (16-17). Jul 22-25, 2015. doi:10.1002/pro.2823

  • Ulens, Chris, Dutertre, Sebastien, Hopping, Gene, Fish, Alex, Schroeder, Christina, van Elk, Rene, Akdemir, Atilla, de Esch, Iwan, Nicke, Annette, Alewood, Paul, Lewis, Richard, Smit, August B. and Perrakis, Anastassis (2007). Structural studies of AChBP, a soluble nicotinic acetylcholine receptor homolog, in complex with novel ligands. In: Biophysical Journal. 51st Annual Meeting of the Biophysical-Society, Baltimore Md, (453A-454A). Mar 03-07, 2007.

  • Brust, A., Alewood, D., Colless, B., Palant, E., Patterson, B., Wilson, D. T. R., Watson, F., Schroeder, C. I., Alewood, P. F. and Lewis, R. J. (2006). Conopeptide to drug: The development, structure and activity correlation of XEN2174. In: Journal Of Peptide Science: 29th European Peptide Symposium proceedings. 29th European Peptide Symposium, Gdansk, Poland, (516-516). 3-8 September, 2006,. doi:10.1002/psc.797

  • Lew, Rebecca, Aguilar, Mibel and Schroeder, Christina (2006). Peptides - From Discovery to Therapeutics. In: International Journal Of Peptide Research and Therapeutics: Australian Peptide Conference. Australian Peptide Conference, Brisbane, (195-195). June 2006. doi:10.1007/s10989-006-9035-2

  • Schroeder, CI, Nielsen, KJ, Adams, DA, Loughnan, M, Thomas, L, Bourne, GT, Smythe, ML, Alewood, PF, Craik, DJ and Lewis, RJ (2004). From Omega-Conotoxins to Macrocycle Mimetics. In: Journal of Peptide Science. , , (95-95). .

  • Smith, A. B., Schroeder, T. I. C., Lewis, R. J., Alewood, P. F. and Adams, D. J. (2001). Inhibition of neurotransmitter release by novel w-conotoxins in rat preganglionic terminals. In: Proceedings of the Physiological Society Scientific Meeting. Physiological Society Scientific Meeting, King's College, London, (70-70). 18 - 20 December, 2000.

  • Smith, A. B., Schroeder, T. I. C., Lewis, R. J., Alewood, P. F. and Adams, D. J. (2000). Inhibition of neurotransmitter release by novel w-conotoxins in rat submandibular ganglia. In: Abstracts of the Australian Neuroscience Society. 20th Annual Meeting of the Australian Neuroscience Society, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne, Australia, (232-232). 30 January - 2 February, 2000.

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision