Dr. Frank Marí
Research: Marine Biochemistry and Biotechnology
- Isolation and Characterization of Peptides and Proteins of Marine Origin
- Structure and dynamics of peptides and proteins of marine origin using NMR methods
- Computational methods for the analysis of structure-activity relationships of biomolecules
The current focus of our research program is to study the venom of cone snail species from the Atlantic ocean and the Eastern Pacific region. Cone snails are venomous predatory marine gastropods that use an elaborate biochemical strategy to compete for survival in the marine environment.
The venom of cone snails is a complex mixture of neuroactive peptides (Conopeptides) that elicit a wide range of neurophysiological responses. Several conopeptides show promising properties as neuropharmacological agents for the treatment of a wide array of conditions ranging from chronic pain to the treatment of epilepsy.
The venom of cone snails is species specific. There are more than 1000 cone snail species. Therefore, up to 100,000 biological active conopeptides may exist. Less than 200 conopeptides have fully characterized to date. Our lab is dedicated to collect Atlantic and Panamic cone snails species, separated and isolate the conopeptide components of their venom and to the molecular characterization of these conopeptides. For more details check our research group web site: USS CONOTOXIN.
On-line Course Information on:
Selected Publications and Presentations
Dr. Mari's Research Group Home Page
Atlantic and Panamic Cone Snail Research Program: