Dr. Viviane de Almeida Bastos
I obtained my B.S in Biological Sciences at the Federal Fluminense University (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Later, I pursued a Masters in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, specializing in protein structural analysis by mass spectrometry.
Why did I choose a career in snakebite? Throughout my scientific training, I have been studying the fascinating phenomenon of the natural resistance presented by some mammals and snakes to the damaging effects of snake venoms. This resistance is partly attributed to the existence of inhibitors in their blood, proteins that were shaped by evolution to specifically neutralize hemorrhagic or myotoxic venom toxins. These toxins play a central role in snakebite envenomation, particularly in the context of local tissue degradation, an unsolved issue that leads to permanent disabilities and perpetuates poverty and inequality. In my work, I am focused on understanding how these natural inhibitors interact with their target toxins through cutting-edge mass spectrometry approaches. This knowledge will be fundamental for developing ancillary therapies for snakebites. Knowing that my research can one day help ease the suffering of so many victims is what motivates me to keep going forward.