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5:01, 01 December 2017

Baldomero “Toto” Olivera (U. Utah, HHMI): Venomous Cone Snails Marine cone snails are predators that use a purely chemical mechanism for catching their prey. There are over 700 types of cone snails, each of which has a unique venom that can help the cone snail capture fish, worms, and even other cone snails. In this talk, Dr. Baldomero “Toto” Olivera describes different types of predatory cone snails, and how his lab purified venom from one cone snail species and found that it was composed of a variety of small peptide toxins that induced specific neurological responses in the prey. One of these small peptides has since been approved to treat humans for severe pain. Speaker Biography: Baldomero “Toto” Olivera received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines, a PhD in Biophysical Chemistry from Caltech and did his postdoctoral work at Stanford University. His laboratory initiated the identification and characterization of the biologically active peptides found in the venoms of predatory cone snails; this led to a broad involvement with molecular neuroscience, particularly the functional role of ion channel and receptor subtypes in nervous systems. Olivera is currently a Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Utah and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.From: iBiology


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