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Mandë Holford: Could Snail Venom Someday Save Your Life?

Part 4 of TED Radio Hour Episode A Love Letter To The Ocean

Cone snails are deadly sea predators; their venom can kill fish and even humans. But chemical biologist Mandë Holford says that powerful venom can actually be used for good — to treat human diseases.

About Mandë Holford

Mandë Holford is a chemical biologist and venom scientist, and an associate professor in chemistry and biochemistry at Hunter College and CUNY-Graduate Center.

She also has scientific appointments at The American Museum of Natural History and Weill Cornell Medicine. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on venomous marine snails, and how their venom can be used to treat human diseases and disorders.

She is also the co-founder of Killer Snails, an edtech game company that has created award-winning games like Assassins of the Sea and Killer Snails All Around.

Holford received her B.S. in mathematics and chemistry from York College, City University of New York, and her Ph.D. in synthetic protein chemistry from The Rockefeller University.

This segment of TED Radio Hour was produced by Rachel Faulkner and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadio@npr.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.