Tunisian Institute Studies Treat Parkinson’s Disease Using Reptile Venom

A black spitting cobra moves inside its enclosure on February 14, 2019 at the Bio-Ken Snake Farm in the Kenya’s coastal town of Watamu in Kilifi county. (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP)

The Pasteur Institute of Tunis has announced the selection of the research project of the African Initiative for Excellence in Scientific Research, to treat Parkinson’s disease using toxins (venoms) from reptiles (snakes and scorpions).

As a joint initiative, launched by the Swiss Federal School of Applied Sciences in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Mohammed VI University of Applied Sciences in Morocco, the project aims to promote scientific research on the African continent by supporting the capacities of young researchers.

It is led by Dr. Ines Albini at the Institut Pasteur Tunis, as well as six other selected projects, which will benefit from funding under this programme for a period of four or five years by the African Initiative for Excellence in Scientific Research.

The initiative encourages cooperation between researchers and experts to develop effective and sustainable solutions to various challenges facing African countries and the rest of the world in several areas of health.

Since the beginning of her work at the Pasteur Institute of Tunis, Dr. Albin said she has specialised in conducting research to treat ageing diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s using reptile toxins.

She is the only woman Researcher whose project has been selected among the six projects to be supported. A deadline will be set for a preliminary meeting next spring at the Mohammed VI University, depending on how the global epidemiological situation develops.

The meeting will include workshops with the participation of many academics and experts, she added.


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