In 2017, UQ’s venom expert from the School of Biological Sciences, A/Prof. Bryan Fry, has undergone research into toxin evolution within a range of predators, including brown and tiger snakes, cobras and Komodo dragons.
The significance of venom research includes healthcare advances with the production of vital antivenoms & anti-blood clotting drugs.
Different snake populations, even within the same species, evolve variations in their toxin’s mechanism of action based on their different prey, making the antivenom produced highly specific to the snake population that it is based upon. UQ research led by A/Prof. Fry identified the extent of regional antivenom ineffectiveness plaguing snakebite victims in Africa.