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Investment in the internationalization of research at the Butantan Institute: investigating chemical defense systems in Brazilian amphibian species

Grant number: 19/01386-6
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: May 20, 2019 - May 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Morphology of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Carlos Alberto Gonçalves Silva Jared
Grantee:Carlos Alberto Gonçalves Silva Jared
Visiting researcher: Edmund D Brodie Jr
Visiting researcher institution: Utah State University (USU), United States
Home Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Prof. Edmund Brodie Jr. is a well-known researcher in the field of herpetology, considered as a pioneer in the integrative study of natural history, behaviour and chemical defence in amphibians. In recent years, he began his interest in models of defensive behaviour of the South American fauna, establishing partnerships mainly with the groups of Prof. Carlos Jared, from Instituto Butantan, and Prof. Taran Grant, from Instituto de Biociências-USP, which justified his first visit to Brazil, financed by FAPESP. The research of Prof. Brodie represents a model of interdisciplinary biological study that successfully integrates basic data on natural history and animal behaviour, both obtained in the field and in captivity, with data experimentally obtained through the use of biochemistry and molecular biology. Since he was invited to participate as a lecturer at the XV Brazilian Congress of Toxinology, which will be held in São Pedro, SP, in May 2019, we took the opportunity to invite him once more to extend his staying and visit Instituto Butantan, in order to take the most of his expertise and to narrow the collaborations that have started by the occasion of his first visit, resulting in several scientific articles. A great scientific interaction is expected from Prof. Brodie's visit, especially in relation to the students of the involved research groups. We expect the drawing of experimental designs aiming to increase the knowledge about amphibian defensive systems, mainly those of gymnophiones and of the casque-headed tree frogs. In addition, we intend to analyse results that we have already obtained on the detection of tetrodotoxin in salamanders and anurans. Besides the visit to our laboratory, other visits in Butantan will be scheduled to the Laboratório de Bioquímica e Biofísica, e Laboratórios Especiais de Coleções Zoológicas e de Ecologia e Evolução, whose interests coincide in part with those of Prof. Brodie and with students that can benefit from his presence. At the same time, the visit will provide the students of Instituto de Biociências-USP, especially those of the group of Prof. Taran Grant, with the opportunity of a close scientific interaction and discussion about experimental results. (AU)