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UMaine’s Connell Receives Marine Biotechnology Award

Contact: David Munson (207) 581-3777

ORONO, Maine – UMaine School of Marine Sciences professor Laurie Connell and her research team were recently recognized by the Pan American Marine Biotechnology Association (PAMBA) for their groundbreaking work involving the relative resistance of clams to the toxin associated with red tide.

Connell and fellow researchers V.M. Bricelj, K. Konoki, S. P. MacQuarrie, T. Scheuer, W. A. Catterall and V. L. Trainer recieved PAMBA’s first annual Marine Biotechnology Award of Excellence Prize for their paper, ” Sodium channel mutation responsible for saxitoxin resistance in clams increases risk of PSP ,” published in the journal Nature (volume 434.)

In addition to contributing to the understanding of the effects of potentially deadly red tide toxins on different populations of clams, the project offered important new insights into the physiology and function of sodium channels, the tiny, charge-dependent gateways of the nervous system.

PAMBA was created to promote marine biotechnology in the Americas as a promising route to achieving sustainable socio-economic benefits from marine resources.

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