Lourdes J. Cruz
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Lourdes J. Cruz is a biochemist whose research has contributed to the understanding of the biochemistry of toxic peptides from the venom of fish-hunting Conus marine snails. The characterization of over 50 biologically active peptides from the snail's venom had been made possible, in part, by her studies. She also contributed to the development of conotoxins as tools for examining the activity of the human brain. For instance, w-conotoxin is widely used for studying neutral calcium channels and m-conotoxin is used when muscular activity must be controlled to examine events at the synapse. Dr. Cruz' scientific awards include: the NAST Outstanding Young Scientist Award,1981; the NRCP Achievement Award in Chemistry, 1982; the l'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science, 2010 and the Outstanding Women in the Nation's Services Award (Bio-chemistry).