Welcome to the Venom Immunochemistry, Pharmacology and Emergency Response (VIPER) Institute

The VIPER Institute is based in Tucson, Arizona, and we’re part of the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine. Together with scientists and clinicians around the world, we study the effects of venom – from spiders, snakes, and scorpions, mainly – on people and animals that are bitten or stung. Some of our affiliated scientists are figuring out how venom interacts with cells and chemicals of the body; others are using venom as the biological starting point for making new drugs. Our doctors and other health professionals work on improved ways to take care of people and animals that have been envenomated (that means injected with venom during a bite or sting). This is important, because venomous creatures are an essential and fascinating part of our natural environment, but venom injury affects millions of people around the world, every year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What time of year are the snakes asleep?

Now you’re asking a trick question. A lot of our patients have pet snakes, in their heated homes, and sometimes those animals are awake year round...