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Greta Binford receives NIH AREA grant

July 06, 2011

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the College $260,824 in support of a three-year research project led by Greta Binford, Associate Professor of Biology. This project, “Comparative ‘venomes’ of recluse spiders and their kin: treatments and toxin discovery” is being funded through NIH’s Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) program.  Proposed work includes a comparative evolutionary analysis of the full set of venom components (“venomes”) among species of sicariid spiders. Sicariids include the brown recluse and their relatives, whose bites are capable of causing dermonecrotic lesions and systemic effects in humans. Dr. Binford and members of her lab will collect data that will provide a comprehensive view of protein and peptide components in these venoms. Patterns of similarity and differences among species will help with understanding relative risks associated with bites across species, and with developing diagnostics and treatments that are effective for bites from species across the entire genus. The data will also be a platform for discovery of venom toxins with unique neurophysiological activities. (July 2011)

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