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MEDIA CONTACT: Patsy Jones
561-297-1307, patsyj@fau.edu

FAU’s Frontiers in Science Lecture Series Presents ‘Turning Venom into Drugs: Using Killer Marine Snails to Kill Pain’

BOCA RATON, FL (October 25, 2007) – Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science will continue its 2007 Frontiers in Science public lecture series with a presentation by Dr. Frank Marí, associate professor in FAU’s department of chemistry and biochemistry. "Turning Venom into Drugs: Using Killer Marine Snails to Kill Pain" will take place on Thursday, November 8 at 3:30 p.m. in Room 126 in the Charles E. Schmidt Biomedical Science Center, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.   

In his Frontiers presentation, Marí will discuss the discovery and development of components of the venom of deadly marine snails into therapeutics for the treatment of chronic pain and other conditions such as stroke and multiple sclerosis.

Marí works extensively with amino acid-based compounds found in the sea, especially those from the venom of cone snails, which are carnivorous mollusks which prey upon fish, mollusks or worms.    His most recent development is in the area known as “Conopeptidomics,” where he seeks to intensify the discovery process of the importance of how these marine compounds affect central and peripheral nervous systems, and evaluate their potential for drug development.

Marí, an internationally-recognized researcher in the area of marine natural products, came to FAU in 1993.   He and his colleagues have specialized in the discovery of new microprotein domains that interact with the central nervous system. Mari was awarded Florida Atlantic University's Researcher of the Year for 1996–1997.

This lecture is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and supported by FAU’s Lifelong Learning Society Endowed Professorship.

 The reception that follows the program is made possible by the Warren Lloyd Holtzman Seed Grant, a component of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley.

For more information, contact Patsy Jones at 561-297-1307 or patsyj@fau.edu.

-FAU-

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serv es more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts nine colleges:  the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Barry Kaye College of Business and the Colleges of  Education, Engineering & Computer Science, and Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs.

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