Catalysis Meeting

Integrating Organismal and Applied Perspectives on Animal Venom Diversity

PI(s): Marymegan Daly (Ohio State University)
H. Lisle Gibbs (Ohio State University)
Start Date: 15-Nov-2013
End Date: 30-Nov-2014
Keywords: molecular biology, phylogenetics, biomedical, adaptation

Venom has evolved multiple times in the Metazoa, and shows a remarkable diversity in function, structure, and gene sequence across and within lineages. This diversity has both phylogenetic and functional components, reflecting the lineage of the organism producing the venom and the specific interactions between the venomous animal and its target. The proposed Catalysis Meeting will engage two scientific communities (evolutionary biologists and toxinologists) working on complementary aspects of venom and on diverse lineages of venom-producing organisms to synthesize, integrate, and coordinate future research on venom. The meeting will help participants recognize opportunities in venom biology and provide a forum to discuss effective ways to realize those opportunities. This meeting will further studies of venom evolution by: 1) discussing the generality of the current, snake-focused models; 2) identifying the kinds of biochemical, pharmacological, and protein data needed to address broad questions about venom evolution and ecology; and 3) using phylogenetic and ecological perspective to identify compelling novel study systems for cell and molecular investigation of venom. Participants will develop an integrated Roadmap for research into venom evolution to guide efforts over the next decade that will be disseminated via review articles and symposia targeted to audiences in toxinology and evolutionary biology. We also expect that this meeting will facilitate individual-level collaborations that lead to joint grant proposals and training.