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Dr Sakthivel Vaiyapuri – University of Reading

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    Snakebite, anyone?

Dr Sakthivel Vaiyapuri

Why do we take the drugs that we do to cure diseases? How do they work and how are they processed by the body? If you are passionate about scientific research, interested in drug development and want to make a real difference in life, studying pharmacology at university could be for you.

Sakthivel Vaiyapuri Staff ProfileAt Reading, Pharmacology is taught by scientists at the forefront of the major aspects of Pharmacology. Be it neuroscience, stem cell biology or cardiovascular pharmacology. Dr Sakthivel Vaiyapuri’s research focuses on cardiovascular and venom pharmacology. All his research deals with platelets, the part of our blood responsible for clotting and the subsequent wound healing processes and managing immune cells.

One of Sakthi's most exciting projects is developing an improved anti venom therapy to treat the effects of snakebites.


"Snakebites are a significant occupational health issue around the world, a snakebite is classified as a ‘neglected tropical disease’ by the World Health Organization. Globally, it affects nearly 5 million people and causes around 150,000 deaths each year."

Snakebite venoms are made of proteins peptides that induce bleeding or blood clotting and neurological defects. Sakthi is working on developing a universal antidote that can effectively neutralise all venom proteins stored at the local bite site and in the blood circulation, irrespective of which type of snake bit the person. Such drugs could be made available in tablet form or as a nasal spray and would not have to be refrigerated, which opens up the possibility of making treatments available to everyone, even in the most remote places.

Research that feeds into teaching

Sakthi will be teaching cardiovascular pharmacology and clinical toxicology on our new BSc Pharmacology programme. He brings the subject to life using his research and every year undergraduates have the opportunity to assist him on his research with molecule tests and data collection.

Studying Pharmacology at an undergraduate level can open the door to a diverse career which can have an impact on a global scale. Our new BSc Pharmacology programme aims to provide students with the education, training and experience that enables them to work as pharmacologists within the pharmaceutical, or life sciences-related, industry or academia.

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