AIMMS Seminar Series: Lecture

10/08/2012

16.00h

W&N building, C-121, VU University Amsterdam

AIMMS Seminar Series: Lecture

Dr. Ryan McCleary

Interdisciplinary

Other

Seminar

Dr. Ryan McCleary, post-doctoral research fellow in the Protein Science Laboratory at the National University of Singapore, will present a lecture in our AIMMS Seminar Series, entitled: 'Snake venoms: variation, evolution, and therapeutic potential'.

Abstract

Snake venoms are complex mixtures of proteins and peptides adapted for incapacitation of prey and defense against predators. They can be highly variable at multiple taxonomic levels, ranging from inter-family to intra-species (population level) to intra-individual (ontogenetic shifts). Venom also appears to be rapidly evolving and doing so through potentially unique mechanisms. This extensive variation and rapid evolution makes snake venom components excellent phenotypic characters for evolutionary studies, and these factors combined with known physiological effects on humans makes individual venom components particularly interesting for examination as leads for potential human therapeutics. Although the initial major focus of snake venom research was concerned with relieving effects on humans (i.e. anti-venoms and antidotes), subsequent work has led to deeper understanding of normal human physiology and important diagnostic tools and pharmaceutical drugs.

You are all cordially invited!