$10,000

Prizes

15,937

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Please provide a short summary of your research, project or technology.

Snakebite is a massive global burden and is the most neglected of all tropical diseases. This neglect means that there is a poor understanding of the treatment of snakebite. Despite previous research having been conducted on neurotoxins (toxins which affect the nervous system) within snake venom, little to no research has been conducted on coagulatoxins (toxins which affect the blood). Coagulatoxins produce one of two effects: anticoagulant (prevents a blood clot) or procoagulant (promotes a blood clot). My research investigates snake venom coagulatoxins. By exploring the effects of venom on blood this will increase our understanding of our own blood system and the interactions which occur. This research can also lead to the discovery of novel properties which can be further developed into novel drug design in blood medications, aiding in such areas as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.


Additional Details

Short biography:

I am Australian born and raised in the countryside, where my early engagement with nature and the outside world fueled my desire to be a scientist, in order to contribute to our broader understanding of the world we live in. I have always been interested in the weird and wonderful, and snake venom research seemed a perfect fit. I’m a current Ph.D. student at the University of QLD, St Lucia campus, where I also completed a Bachelor Science in zoology with first class honours in Evolutionary Biology. I have been involved in venom research for almost 5 years with lead venomologist Associate Professor Bryan Fry. Involvement has led to many unique opportunities allowing me to accomplish my dream of becoming a scientist.


List of key collaborators:

           Snakebite and cardiovascular diseases have no borders:

As snakebite and cardiovascular disease affects millions of people both internationally and here in Australia, particularly Queensland, my collaborations extend to national and global experts including: my supervisor Associate Professor Bryan Fry, Dr Irina Vetter, Professor Paul Masci, and Professor Glenn King all based here in Brisbane (University of Queensland), as well as Professor Wayne Hodgson based at the University of Melbourne. Global experts include Dr. Nicholas Caswell (UK), Dr. Mettine Bos (The Netherlands) and Dr. HF Kwok (China). Together using our expertise, we hope to provide more effective snakebite treatment, and in doing so, harvest the novel properties within snake venom for their use in novel cardiovascular disease medications.


Summary of track-record:

I was fortunate enough to receive the Australian Post Graduate Award to begin my Ph.D. in 2016 and develop my research career at the University of QLD. In my research career so far, I have been involved in numerous publications, 50% of which are first authorship in leading journals in my field including Toxins, Journal of Molecular Evolution, Journal of Proteomics, and Molecular and Cellular Proteomics. Furthermore, I am an advocate leader within my laboratory, mentoring and teaching many undergraduate students who pass through on summer projects or semester projects, exactly how I started out.



List of publications:

1.    Debono, J., Casewell, N.R., Bin, L., Blomberg, S., Kwok, H.F., Fry, B.G. 2017. Coagulating colubrids: Evolutionary, pathophysiological and biodiscovery implications of variations between boomslang (Dispholidus typus) and twig snake (Thelotornis mossambicanus) venoms. Toxins (in press) Impact factor 3.5

 

2.    Debono, J., Xie, B., Violette, A., Fourmy, R., Jaeger, M. and Fry, B.G. 2016. Viper venom botox: the molecular origin and evolution of the waglerin peptides used in anti-wrinkle skin cream. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 84(1), p.8-11. Impact factor 1.8

 

3. Yang, D.C., Deuis, J.R., Dashevsky, D., Dobson, J., Jackson, T.N., Brust, A., Xie, B., Koludarov, I., Debono, J., Hendrikx, I. and Hodgson, W.C., Josh, P., Nouwens, A., Baillie, G.J., Bruxner, T.J.C., Alewood, P.F., Lim, K.K.P., Frank, N., Vetter, I., Fry, B.G. 2016. The Snake with the Scorpion’s Sting: Novel Three-Finger Toxin Sodium Channel Activators from the Venom of the Long-Glanded Blue Coral Snake (Calliophis bivirgatus). Journal of Molecular Evolution, 8(10), p.303. Impact factor 3.5

 

4.    Debono, J., Cochran, C., Kuruppu, S., Nouwens, A., Rajapakse, N.W., Kawasaki, M., Wood, K., Dobson, J., Baumann, K., Jouiaei, M. and Jackson, T.N., Koludarov, I., Low, D., Ali, S.A., Smith, A.I., Barnes, A., Fry, B.G. 2016. Canopy venom: proteomic comparison among new world arboreal pit-viper venoms. Toxins, 8(7), p.210. Impact factor 3.5

 

5. Fry, B.G., Undheim, E.A., Ali, S.A., Jackson, T.N., Debono, J., Scheib, H., Ruder, T., Morgenstern, D., Cadwallader, L., Whitehead, D. and Nabuurs, R., van der Weerds, L., Vidal, N., Roelants, K., Hendrikx, I., Pineda Gonzalez, S., Jones, A., King, G.F., Anutunes, A., Sunagar, K. 2013. Squeezers and leaf-cutters: differential diversification and degeneration of the venom system in toxicoferan reptiles. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, 12(7), pp.1881-1899. Impact factor 5.9

 

6.     Jesupret, C., Baumann, K., Jackson, T.N., Ali, S.A., Yang, D.C., Greisman, L., Kern, L., Steuten, J., Jouiaei, M., Casewell, N.R. and Undheim, E.A., Koludarov, I., Debono, J., Low, D., Rossi, S., Panagides, N., Winter, K., Ignjatovic, V., Summerhayes, R., Jones, A., Nouwens, A., Dunstan, N., Hodgson, W., Winkel, K., Monagle, P., Fry, B.G. 2014. Vintage venoms: proteomic and pharmacological stability of snake venoms stored for up to eight decades. Journal of Proteomics, 105, pp.285-294. Impact factor: 3.8

 


Comments

james boulter
2 months ago

Wow I can see how unlocking this could be a huge brake through in many fields. Not only helping people locally but world wide. What an inspiration. James B

olivercbeck
2 months ago

This is inspirational. Highly commendable!

Jordan Debono
2 months ago

Thank-you, I really appreciate the support and feed back.
And thankyou to everyone who has already voted.

joanriekert
2 months ago

Good you are doing a very good job

Zenobia
2 months ago

The venom of Boomslang and Vinesnake has always interest me as my mom was bitten by Boomslang. Well done!

Jordan Debono
2 months ago

Thankyou all! I really appreciate all the votes.

Jaeger
2 months ago

Congratulations, well done! I wish you a lot of success and hope that you will be able to visit us soon at PLANET EXOTICA, France, together with Bryan!

michelledechnik
2 months ago

You deserve this for putting all your efforts and research into something you are truly passionate about ! :) Keep up the great work!

Jordan Debono
2 months ago

Thankyou so much to everyone who has voted so far. And Thankyou for all of your kind words and continued support!

peppersagooddog
2 months ago

I don't just throw votes around when asked. This one was worth not only a vote, but my signing up to a new site. I have wondered why there were so many holes in the research of venom since I was a kid, when I was nearly killed by a black widow. This is a worthy project, and I sincerely hope you get fully funded.

JungleJen
2 months ago

Great work, I look forward to following your research!

Jordan Debono
2 months ago

Thank you all so much for taking the time to vote. I know its a round-about way but I very much appreciate it.

robertnicholson
2 months ago

Jordon I had no idea you where working with Snake venom so keep up the Good work and hope you are successful.

Neerav Yadav
2 months ago

Great project!! Wishing you all the best.

Neerav Yadav
2 months ago

Do keep me posted of the project research if possible. Thanks!

Jordan Debono
2 months ago

Thank you all! Its not often Women In STEM are recognized like this, so I appreciate everyone's continued support. Keep it up, it's infectious :D

rehaan
2 months ago

Wish u all the best

markstaylor72
2 months ago

Very inspirational, keep up the fantastic work

Jenkinst
2 months ago

All the best, inspirational to say the least! Well done

Bla bla
2 months ago

Voted! All the way from Germanland!

Renee Stirling
2 months ago

I used to work on snake venom and blood coagulation, but would never have been brave enough to milk a snake. You get my vote for that alone! ;) Good luck for this competition and for you future research career.

tlmorgan
2 months ago

Follow your passion Jordan, you are successful before you even win this..Best Of Luck with this and all your future projects!

Mahmood Sasa
2 months ago

Felicitaciones Jordan! Keep doing this great job!

nc09
2 months ago

Good luck, Jordan - you've got my vote!

Jordan Debono
2 months ago

Thank you so very much EVERYONE for your kind words and support! So overwhelming to have so many people supporting my passion, and encouraging me to continue :) for that I can not thank you all enough!

Busen
2 months ago

Good Luck lady Debono, hope you win !

PierredC
2 months ago

Sorry, I couldn't vote before this morning but yes, scientific research need more dedicated people like you ! The best of luck and success to you and maybe see you someday when you come over there in France ! Cheers

mcfar99
2 months ago

Yes. This is important and life saving research. It will help to save the lives of humans and snakes.Good luck.

Deyana
2 months ago

Good luck JDebono! Such a nice idea!!!! Looking forward for good news and achievments in this field .

Casavipera
2 months ago

As a victim of snakebite in the past, this work has got my vote.
There is so much to be discovered in snakevenom, we have not even scratched the surface of the possibilties

Drew Triebe
2 months ago

Bravo. Snake anticoagulants for DVT prevention perhaps.

rakukenny
2 months ago

Congrats to you for your path. I took the liberty of sharing your information with a couple of other scientists. Namely my youngest daughter, Collette who busted her butt (bum?) on her way to a Ph.D. from Perdu w/BS from UCDavis. She is now a field supervisor in Southern California which includes the "Channel Islands." I also included Chuck and Anita Kristensen, who have the Spyder Pharm in my hometown of Yarnell, Arizona. Among other things they "milk" spiders. I had a tangle with a little timber rattler about 60 years ago and almost didn't make it out of the high country. I also had a little wreck while diving and was infected by something nobody could identify and took many combination medical cocktails to save me and my leg. So good luck to you, young lady and may your hard work benefit many.

buddy7
2 months ago

Best of luck!

Jordan Debono
2 months ago

Thank you everyone for your continued support :) so happy to read all your comments and words of encouragement - so for that I thank you