Today, Congressman Filemon Vela (D-TX) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded a $138,000 grant to the National Natural Toxins Research Center (NNTRC) at Texas A&M Kingsville (TAMUK). The grant will fund the NNTRC program entitled Evaluation of Toxicity Score and Precise Snake Venom Analytics for Next Generation Antivenom Development.

"The work conducted at the NNTRC at Texas A&M Kingsville has the potential to save many lives," said Congressman Vela. "I am proud to represent an institution that continues to be recognized by HHS for their important research in antivenom development. I look forward to hearing about their new findings as they continue their innovative work."

"For more than 20 years, the National Natural Toxins Research Center (NNTRC) has been on the forefront of toxin research and innovation. This funding allows Dr. Galan to continue to look toward the future and the potential therapeutic value of snake venom prosperities," said Dr. G. Allen Rasmussen, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Texas A&M University-Kingsville. "In addition to contributing to the state and region’s biotechnology industry, this project also engages student researchers in high-impact experience that prepares them well for graduate school and successful careers in science. We know that snake bites are a serious international health challenge, claiming more than 125,000 lives annually. The discoveries made at the NNTRC could have global impact."

For more information about The National Natural Toxins Research Center at TAMUK’s mission, visit