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. Since the initiation of this P40 grant in 2003, the NNTRC has served as the only federally-funded viper resource center in the U.S., playing a critical role as a provider of high quality single-source venoms and snake-related research materials to national and international biomedical and biological research programs. The goal of the NNTRC is to provide native venom and purified venom components, recombinant venom proteins and specialized venom research services of the highest quality to support snake venom ? related research in the US and abroad To achieve its goal the NNTRC will address the following three 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 snakes, specialized services and outreach programs to support growth of venom related research in the U.S.
Aim #3 To conduct a state-of-the-art applied research program to support the development of new venom-related research services To address these aims the NNTRC has assembled a team of skilled and experienced scientists and research staff with specialized expertise in the management of venomous snakes and the collection and characterization of snake venoms and anti-venoms. It has also assembled a comprehensive collection of North American venomous snakes, more than 450 animals representing 21 different species consisting of 36 subspecies, maintained under IACUC-approved conditions in a state-of-the-art research vivarium. The NNTRC is recognized as a reputable and reliable source for both venom-related products and specialized services that are used by academic and commercial research programs to support the development of new drugs and anti-venom therapeutics. The resources of the NNTRC have been applied to research in a wide range of disciplines ranging from genomic and proteomic studies on venom evolution to translational research on nociception and anti-venom therapeutics, research that has been supported by multiple NIH I/C's, the NSF, Dept of Defense and national and international research agencies. 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 fields of venom and anti-venom research are absolutely dependent on access to the reliable and reproducible venom-related resources developed by the National Natural Toxin Research Center (NNTRC).!Snake venoms have provided molecular probes that have been used to decipher numerous complex physiological and pathophysiological processes and have served as the starting point for the development of several important classes of drugs. In addition, antibody-based anti-venoms, whose production and profiling depends on the well- characterized venoms produced by the NNTRC, serve as the mainstay in the treatment of both human and veterinary snakebite.!

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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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Contreras, Miguel A
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Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Dobson, James; Yang, Daryl C; Op den Brouw, Bianca et al. (2018) Rattling the border wall: Pathophysiological implications of functional and proteomic venom variation between Mexican and US subspecies of the desert rattlesnake Crotalus scutulatus. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 205:62-69
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