The National Natural Toxins Research Center (NNTRC), a component of Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK), is a unique animal and biological material resource Center organized to support basic and translational research on venomous snakes and their venoms. The NNTRC is dedicated to the advancement in the understanding of the therapeutic value of venom molecules and to the training of research scientists in the field of toxinology. Since its inception in 1978 the NNTRC has grown to become the only federally funded viper resource center in the U.S. providing high quality venom and snake-related research materials to national and international biomedical and biological research programs. The goal of the NNTRC is to provide native venoms, purified venom components, cDNA clones, and recombinant venom proteins of the highest quality to support biomedical research. To achieve this goal the NNTRC will address the following Specific Aims:
Aim 1 : To operate the National Natural Toxins Research Center as a resource Center that provides high quality venom and products that support biological and biomedical research for national and international research programs.
Aim 2 : To develop and expand the collection of the snakes, specialized services, education and outreach programs to support growth of venom-related research in the U.S.
Aim 3 : To support a state-of-the-art applied research program using high-throughput genomic, proteomic, recombinant DNA and screening technologies that will support an information-based approach to the discovery of snake venom components with potential therapeutic and/or diagnostic applications. In the preceding five years the NNTRC has made significant contributions to the advancement of both academic research and the commercial development of pharmaceutical and anti-venom therapeutics. The resources of the NNTRC have been applied to research in a wide range of disciplines and therapeutic areas ranging from phylogenetic studies on venom evolution to translational research on nociception and hemostasis, research that has been supported by multiple NIH ICs, the NSF and national and international research agencies and foundations. In addition to its role as a national resource for venom research and as a Center of toxinology research, the NNTRC has also played an important role in providing opportunities for underrepresented students and faculty to gain training in the field of biomedical research.

Public Health Relevance

The NNTRC is dedicated to the support of scientists and researchers engaged in the search for new treatments for disease based on the properties of molecules found in the snake venoms. Discoveries made with the support of the NNTRC are contributing to advances in the understanding of basic cellular processes as well as the discovery of new approaches for the treatment of cancer and blood clotting diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Animal (Mammalian and Nonmammalian) Model, and Animal and Biological Material Resource Grants (P40)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZOD1-CM-8 (01))
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Chang, Michael
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Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Other Domestic Higher Education
United States
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Dowell, Noah L; Giorgianni, Matt W; Kassner, Victoria A et al. (2016) The Deep Origin and Recent Loss of Venom Toxin Genes in Rattlesnakes. Curr Biol 26:2434-45
Margres, Mark J; Walls, Robert; Suntravat, Montamas et al. (2016) Functional characterizations of venom phenotypes in the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) and evidence for expression-driven divergence in toxic activities among populations. Toxicon 119:28-38
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