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BrisScience at home: From arachnophobe to venom scientist
Arachnophobia — the fear of spiders — is one of the most common fears in the world. But is that fear justified? And could deadly spiders hold the key to the next medical break through?

Parasitic worms remain one of the greatest threats to both human and veterinary medicine, especially in the face of rising drug-resistance in veterinary parasites. The key to fighting these parasites could be hidden in spider venoms.

This month at BrisScience, hear from recovered arachnophobe, now venom scientist and spider advocate, Samantha Nixon, from The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience. Samantha has worked around the world, from outback Australia, to the Antarctic, to the Amazon studying venomous animals.

She'll share how she overcame her fear to handle spiders, milk their venoms, and use venoms to develop new medicines against blood-sucking parasites.

Image credit: Michael Duncan

May 10, 2021 06:30 PM in Brisbane

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Samantha Nixon
@Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland
Samantha Nixon is a former arachnophobe turned venom scientist and PhD candidate at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland. She is a passionate advocate for addressing inequality in STEM, education and leadership through science communication and hopes sharing her passion for spiders will help inspire the next generation of Australian scientists.