Toxins and Drug Discovery deals mainly with the specialized aspect of toxins and drug discovery. Man has been using natural resources especially plants to treat diseases from very early times in history of mankind. Although many drugs derived from plants and microbes have been discovered and being used in clinical practice, not many drugs have been developed from venoms and toxins although many laboratories worldwide are actively working on it. Toxins and Drug Discovery describe some of the recent developments in this research area, such as snake venoms, conotoxins , bioinformatics in drug discovery from peptide toxins.
- Crotoxin from Crotalus durissus terrificus and Crotoxin-Related Proteins: Structure and Function Relationship
- Dexamethasone Antagonizes Myotoxic and Inflammatory Effects Induced by Bothrops Snake Venoms
- Inflammatory Action of Secretory PLA2 from Snake Venoms
- Natural Inhibitors of Snake Venom Metallopeptidases
- Production and Utilization of Snake Antivenoms in South America
- Snake Venom Components as Basis for Biologically Active Synthetic Peptides
- Antiproliferative Effects of Snake Venom Phospholipases A2 and Their Perspectives for Cancer Treatment
- Conotoxins and Drug Discovery with Special Reference to Hainan Species
- Conotoxins as Tools in Research on Nicotinic Receptors
- Random Peptide Library for Ligand and Drug Discovery
- Synthetic Peptides and Drug Discovery
- Bee Venom and Pain
- L-Amino Acid Oxidase from Venoms
- Myotoxin Inhibitors
- Computational Approaches for Animal Toxins to Aid Drug Discovery
- Toad Poison and Drug Discovery
- Venoms as Sources of Novel Anti-parasitic Agents
- Intriguing Cystine-Knot Miniproteins in Drug Design and Therapeutics
P. Gopalakrishnakone, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., F.A.M.S., D.Sc., is presently professor of anatomy and chairman of the Venom and Toxin Research Programme at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. He is also a consultant to the Defence Science Organization in Singapore and adjunct senior research scientist at the Defence Medical Research Institute. Prof. Gopalakrishnakone is an honorary principal fellow at the Australian Venom Research Unit, University of Melbourne, Australia. His research studies include structure function studies, toxin detection, biosensors, antitoxins and neutralization factors, toxinogenomics and expression studies, antimicrobial peptides from venoms and toxins, and PLA2 inhibitors as potential drug candidates for inflammatory diseases. The techniques he employs include quantum dots to toxinology, computational biology, microarrays, and protein chips. Prof. Gopalakrishnakone has more than 160 international publications, 4 books, about 350 conference presentations, and 10 patent applications.He has been an active member of the International Society on Toxinology (IST) for 30 years and was president from 2008 to 2012. He is also the founder president of its Asia Pacific Section, a council member, as well as an editorial board member of Toxicon, the society's official journal.
His research awards include the Outstanding University Researcher Award from the National University of Singapore (1998); Ministerial Citation, NSTB Year 2000 Award in Singapore; and the Research Excellence Award from the Faculty of Medicine at NUS (2003). His awards in teaching include Faculty Teaching Excellence Award 2003/4 and NUS Teaching Excellence Award 2003/4. Prof. Gopalakrishnakone also received the Annual Teaching Excellence Award in 2010 at both university and faculty levels.
Dr. Lourdes J. Cruz is Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) and a national scientist. Dr. Cruz obtained her B.S. Chemistry degree from UPD in 1962 and her M.S. and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Iowa in 1966 and 1968. She worked briefly at IRRI before joining the Department of Biochemistry in UP Manila in 1970 where she served as Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from 1980 to 1986, then transferred to the Marine Science Institute of UPD in 1989. From 1976 to 2006, she spent 3-6 months every year at the University of Utah collaborating with Prof. Baldomero M. Olivera on the elucidation of the biochemical and molecular nature of toxins from the venomous Conus marine snail, which are now used as pharmacological tools in the study of brain function and in drug development. Her research activities include marine toxins involved in harmful algal blooms. Dr. Cruz served for 12 years as the delegate of the Philippine Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (PSBMB) to the federation, FAOBMB and for nine years as delegate to the international union, IUBMB. Her international awards include the Sven Brohult Award of the International Foundation for Science (IFS) in 1993, ASEAN Outstanding Scientist & Technologist in 2001, the L'Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science in 2010, and the Outstanding Alumnus Award of the University of Iowa's Carver College of Medicine in 2011. Prof. Cruz is a member of the National Academy of Science and Technology PHL and a fellow of The World Academy of Sciences. As the current Chair of the Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific of the International Council for Science (ICSU), she is very actively involved in the newly established program on the "Sustainability Initiative for the Marginal Seas of South and East Asia".
Prof. Sulan Luo, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Chang Jiang Scholars Program, and the director of Key Lab for Tropical Biological Resources, Ministry of Education at Hainan University. She is the director of Key Lab for Marine Drug of Haikou at Hainan University, as well. Prof. Luo is the team leader of "Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in niversity" of Ministry of Education. Her research interests focus on structure and function of conopeptides native to Hainan and their molecular receptors (ion channels), molecular biology, Xenopus oocytes electrophysiology, biotechnology and marine medicine, and neuropeptides in marine organisms, among others. She established a new center for experimental biotechnology and department of pharmacy engineering in Hainan University. Prof. Luo has been the core leader of Major International Joint Research Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China, the State High-Tech Research and Development Project (863) of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China Grant, Program for International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China Grant, and National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant, among others. She is the author of 112 scientific publications and inventor of 11 patents. Prof. Luo discovered six new Hainan conotoxins target nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) subtypes, including atypical alpha-conotoxin LtIA targets a novel microsite of the a3b2 nAChR, alpha-conotoxin TxIB that selectively targets a6/a3b2b3 nAChR, alpha4/7-conotoxin LvIA selectively blocks alpha3ss2 vs. alpha6/alpha3ss2ss3, alpha-conotoxin TxID that potently blocks rat alpha3ss4 nAChR, a novel inhibitor of a9a10 nAChR delineates a new conotoxin superfamily etc. The nAChRs are potential targets for the treatment of various neuropsychiatric diseases, including addiction, pain and Parkinson's disease etc. These Hainan conotoxins show great potential in medical applications.