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Treating snake bites with snake venom

Freek Vonk, endowed professor of Evolutionary Biochemistry, studies the origins and evolution of snake venom, venom systems and the treatment of snake bites.

More than 100,000 people die from snake bites every year, particularly in developing countries. Snake venom is a cocktail of tens to hundreds of poisonous components that disrupt key physiological processes, such as respiration, blood circulation and nerve transmission, in a sophisticated way. Examining the composition of this chemical cocktail is the critical first step towards solving the problem of snake bites. What’s more: the toxins in snake venom may be used in the development of new drugs. 

To shed more light on the toxicity of venom—and potentially identify new drugs—newly appointed professor Freek Vonk integrates advanced chemical analysis techniques with pharmacology. He collaborates with Dr Jeroen Kool, other researchers and several PhD candidates. 

To raise money for this research, Vonk will link his inaugural lecture with a crowdfunding campaign. Feel free to contribute!

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