National Natural Toxins Research Center
Elda E. Sanchez, Director and Professor
Peter Davies, Co-Director for Translational Research
Montamas Suntravat, Assistant Professor
Jacob A. Galan, Assistant Professor
Emelyn Salazar Castillo, Post-Doctoral Researcher
Nora Diaz DeLeon, Administrative Officer
Mark Hockmuller, Serpentarium Curator
Juan J. Salinas, Animal Room Technician
John C. Perez, Regents Professor Emeritus
The National Natural Toxins Research Center (NNTRC) at Texas A&M University-Kingsville was established in 2002. The mission of the NNTRC is to provide global research, training and resources that will lead to the discovery of medically important toxins found in snake venoms.
The NNTRC 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 the training of research scientists in the field of toxinology. The NNTRC has grown to become the only federally funded (NIH/ORIP) 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 NNTRC also is recognized for its elaborate John C. Perez Serpentarium with 4,383 square feet of space housing over 450 venomous snakes. The goal of the NNTRC is to provide snake venoms, purified venom components, cDNA clones, and recombinant venom proteins of the highest quality to support biomedical research. To achieve this goal, the NNTRC:
- operates as a resource center that provides high quality venom and products that support biological and biomedical research for National and International research programs,
- develops and expands the collection of snakes, specialized services, education and outreach programs to support growth of venom-related research in the U.S., and
- supports 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.