Texas A&M University-Kingsville

National Natural Toxins Research Center

Message from the Executive Co-Director


Dr. Elda Eliza Sánchez

Despite the enormous influence in healthcare over the last two decades, conditions that are ineffectively addressed by the current drug arsenal, remain a serious concern for the treatment of many patients. The current panel of drugs is still insufficient, and new molecules are imperative to the effective treatment of diseases traversing diverse therapeutic areas including pain, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The venoms of animals represent a vast natural resource, as they contain a wide variety of biologically-active molecules with increasingly distinct therapeutic potential.

The National Natural Toxins Research Center (NNTRC) is an internationally renowned biomedical research center concentrating on the discovery of snake venoms that can be used in medical applications. The NNTRC has grown to become the only federally funded (NIH) 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 is dedicated to the advancement in the understanding of the therapeutic value of venom molecules and the training of research scientists, graduate, undergraduate, and high school students in the field of toxinology. 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.


The National Natural Toxins Research Center has a mission to provide global research, training & resources that will lead to the discovery of medically important toxins found in snake venoms.

Snake Venoms

Venomous snakes have an arsenal of toxins in their venoms with various biological functions. While these toxins can create medical emergencies when humans are envenomated, these same molecules once purified, characterized, and cloned could have therapeutic value in treating strokes, heart attacks, preventing the metastasis of tumors, and many other medical conditions. We hypothesize medically important molecules can be discovered from natural products such as snakes. Based on this hypothesis, the focus of this study is to isolate, characterize, produce cDNA libraries, and clone peptides from venomous snakes.


This page was last updated on: July 13, 2015