Venom And Toxin Research Laboratory
Venom is a simple to complex mixture of secretion produced in a specialized gland of some animals and is typically delivered through specific body structures such as fangs, spines or stings. Venomous organisms spread widely across the Animalia Kingdom, distributed among all major phyla. They range from the very primitive cnidarians to the advanced Chordata, and snakes are perhaps by far the most extensively studied group of venomous animals due to the medical importance of snakebite envenomation as well as the potential of venom in drug discovery. Snake venom reflects a critical evolutionary adaption of snakes to a variety of ecological niche sand preys. The composition of snake venom is generally complex, diversely made up of various molecules with rich biochemical and pharmacological properties.
Based in the University of Malaya, the Venom and Toxin Research Laboratory (VTRL) is dedicated to the studies of venoms, toxins and antivenoms. A variety of research tools and methods are utilized, including classical in vitro/in vivo models and state-of-art technologies of genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics. The research aims to offer clinical applicability for the improvement of medical care on snakebite envenomation in the region. Some of the core functions of the laboratory are:
Currently, VTRL is collaborating with researchers from local and oversea institutions, including those in Southeast and South Asia where snakebite envenomation is a serious yet often neglected health problem. The research findings have been presented in numerous conferences and published in academic journals. A few selected publications are shown as follows: