Venom to heal - from snakes to sea anemones

05 Oct 2023

Venom to heal - from snakes to sea anemones featured image

Innovation, challenges, and roadblocks in venom bio-application development were investigated by Dr Michela Mitchell, for her Winston Churchill Fellowship, visiting, Belgium, Denmark, France, UK and US in an endeavour to shorten development time in Australia.

Michela will be speaking at the Venoms to Drugs conference on Tangalooma Island in Queensland, on the 10th October 2023 and sharing some of her learnings.

On her Churchill Fellowship, Michela travelled to facilities such as aquariums, herpetaria, museums, bio-tech companies, and leading research institutes including the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) where they are developing novel treatments for Sub-Sahara snake bite. She did this to examine all aspects of bio-application development from venom supply through to product.

Michela said: “I want to see Australian researchers and clinicians forge new venom science innovation; be it clinical, experimental. academic, museum practice and funding models for the future,”

“I am passionate to mobilize the venom research community as a united front for policy reform, to aid in venom bio-application development from bench to market,” said Michela.

Michela’s expertise is in sea anemone biology (taxonomy and venom expertise). Her doctoral research focused on the toxins in sea anemone venom and evaluating toxins as leads for therapeutics to treat autoimmune disease however she holds a keen interest in all venomous animals.

Venom bio-applications include drugs to treat disease such as stroke, anti-venom, control parasites/pests detrimental to the agriculture industry and even harnessed as cosmetics.

Key findings of the report include the need to review current clinical, funding, and experimental models along with global policies and protocols.

Read Michela’s report here

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