As one of the leaders of Neuro-Pharmacology, Dr. Baldomero M. Olivera has a distinguished reputation not only in the Philippines, but in the worldwide scientific community. His research has encompassed a variety of different subjects, including the different chemical reactions that might take place within the nervous system, and how these can be manipulated. This has led to the development of a pharmaceutical that works against chronic pain, perhaps even more so than morphine in some patients. That drug has been crafted using the research that he conducted on venomous marine snails, and the base ingredient, a specific type of peptide, may prove to be useful for further medication.
These peptide toxins, using marine snails as the source, were studied by Dr. Baldomero M. Olivera in a laboratory setting to examine how they operate in terms of targeting ion channels in the nervous system. This may also be related to the mechanism of neurological conditions including epilepsy or schizophrenia, which are caused by dysfunction in the receptors of the nervous system. Current research is still being undertaken to determine how these peptide toxins interact with the receptors and ions in the nervous system, and how this can be manipulated to find relief from neurological disorders.
This research has thus far been the life's work of Dr. Baldomero M. Olivera. He was born in the Philippines, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of the Philippines. Dr. Olivera then went on to receive a PhD in Biophysical Chemistry from Caltech in the USA, and completed postdoctoral research work at Stanford after this. Other important contributions that this period of research has uncovered is the discovery of E. Coli DNA structure, which he has also conducted extensive research into to help control this deadly disease.
Currently working as a professor of biology and neuroscientist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Dr. Baldomero M. Olivera continues his research into the effects of snail peptides into pain relief and neurological activities. He has also become instrumental in emphasizing a more interdisciplinary approach at the Neuroscience Program at the university he teaches at, believing that the natural sciences benefit more from applying different intellectual viewpoints to the field. Dr. Olivera also teaches school children in the Philippines and surrounding islands about the biology of the cone snail, to help continue interest in the potential behind this small marine animal.