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Viper Resource Grant at Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Grant Number: P40OD010960

Research Emphasis/ObjectivesNNRTC student at work in lab

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 United States, 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 United States and abroad.

To achieve its goal, the NNTRC will address the following three Specific Aims:

  • Aim #1: To operate the NNTRC as a resource center that provides high-quality venom and products that support biological and biomedical research for national and international research programs (70%).
  • Aim #2: To develop and expand the collection of snakes, specialized services, and outreach programs to support growth of venom-related research in the United States (20%).
  • Aim #3: To conduct a state-of-the-art applied research program to support the development of new venom-related research services.
    • Sub-Aim #1: To apply new methods and approaches to the production of recombinant toxins for rare and low-abundance components of crotalid venom.
    • Sub-Aim #2: To develop novel cell-based assays that can be used for the conventional and high-throughput testing of anti-venoms and toxin inhibitory molecules.

Services Provided

Products Provided Services Provided
Venom (single or pooled source) Venom lethality-LD50
Venom fractions Antivenom efficacy-ED50
Snake sheds Hemorrhagic assays
Snake blood In vitro angiogenic assays
Snake glands In vivo angiogenic assays
Other snake organs In vivo antitumor assays
cDNA libraries Cytotoxicity assays
Recombinant venom proteins/peptides Cell proliferations assays
Snake venom extracellular vesicles and exosomes Platelet function assays
Synthetic peptides Enzyme-linked immunoabsorbant assay (ELISAs)
  Western blots
  1-D and 2-D SDS electrophoresis
  Mass spectrometry
  cDNA library construction
  Cloning of venom molecules
  Venom molecule purification
  In vitro cell permeability assay
  In vivo cell permeability assay (Miles assay)
  Indirect hemolytic assay
  In vitro blood coagulation assays
  In vitro antibacterial activity (disc diffusion and microdilution methods)
  Snake envenomation biomarker discovery
  Snake venom extracellular vesicles and exosomes cytotoxicity analysis
  Toxicity score analysis


Contact Information

National Natural Toxins Research Center
975 W. Avenue B, MSC 224
A.L. Kleberg Hall, Room 100
Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Kingsville, TX 78363

Co-Principal Investigator

Elda E. Sánchez, Ph.D.
Phone: 361-593-3796

Other/Resource Contacts

Peter J.A. Davies, M.D., Ph.D.
Phone: 713-677-7473

Other/Resource Contacts

Co-Investigator: Jacob A. Galan, Ph.D.
Phone: 361-593-3794