Texas A&M University-Kingsville

National Institutes of Health Award Gives High School, College Students and Teacher Summer Experience in A&M-Kingsville Natural Toxins Research Center

KINGSVILLE - June 09, 2009

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361.593.4143

The Natural Toxins Research Center (NTRC) at Texas A&M University-Kingsville will bring students and a new faculty member into its research for two summers, thanks to an award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NTRC was awarded a $209,149 Biological Materials Resource Grant through the Department of Health and Human Services and the NIH’s National Center for Research Resources.

The money will fund the summer employment of a faculty member, five college or university students and three high school students within the labs of the NTRC for 2009 and 2010.

While there, the students and faculty member will serve to further the NTRC mission of developing collaborative research programs, and providing global training and resources that will lead to the discovery of medically important toxins found in snake venoms.

According to Dr. John C. Pérez, founder and director of the NTRC, students and faculty participating in the summer research program will be trained by senior members of the NTRC staff, and will work 40-hour weeks while being mentored by first-class scientists whose work has been published internationally.

The NTRC was eligible to apply for the award, born out of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as the Center is funded through the NIH National Center for Research Resources.

About the NTRC

The NTRC is one of the leading research centers in the world for discovering toxins that can be used in biomedical research. It is the only federally funded viper research center in the United States. It has received more than $10 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/Support of Continuous Research Excellence (SCORE); the NIH/Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI); and the NIH/Viper Research Center (VRC).

The NTRC research complex includes two instrumentation labs, a molecular cloning lab and tissue culture facilities, all made up of state-of-the-art equipment. In addition, the NTRC serpentarium holds the largest research collection of venomous snakes in the United States, with more than 450 in total.

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