The Asclepius Snakebite Foundation is composed of many of the world's leading experts in snakebite medicine, herpetology, antivenom research, and a range of other fields. We are united by a shared passion to save lives and limbs of snakebite patients worldwide, and bring decades of combined experience and a proven track record of success.
Jordan Benjamin, NRP
Founder & Executive Director
Jordan Benjamin is a herpetologist, snakebite medicine researcher, paramedic and wilderness medicine professional with over 10 years of experience treating snakebite patients and wrangling venomous snakes in East and West Africa. His primary academic interests are centered around the clinical aspects of assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prolonged care of snakebite patients under challenging conditions in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Jordan has extensive experience managing critically ill snakebite patients in the field and training doctors, nurses, and military conventional and special operations medical providers from around the world. He plans to apply to medical schools in the future and will spend his career developing innovative strategies for addressing the burden of snakebite in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world.
Leslie Boyer, MD
Senior clinical and scientific advisor
Leslie Boyer is a renowned physician-scientist and toxicologist who dedicated her career to finding solutions for envenomation by snakes, scorpions, and spiders. She is one of the foremost experts on envenomations in North America. She was the designer and central principal investigator of multiple pivotal and supplemental clinical trials of antivenoms in commercial and investigational use for treatment of envenomation. She officially retired in 2018 but is using her newfound freedom to engage in ongoing international collaborations in the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Leslie brings an incredible amount of knowledge and experience to our organization and we are very lucky to have her aboard.
Jean-Philippe Chippaux, MD PhD
Chief Medical OFficer
Jean-Philippe Chippaux is a physician-scientist and one of the foremost experts on snakebite medicine and envenomations in the world. He has authored several books and over 250 scientific articles on envenomations and tropical diseases, half of which were on snakes or snakebites. Jean-Philippe is based out of the French IRD and Pasteur Institute and is currently leading a new international working group to address snakebite in the developing world. He has spent most of his life living and working sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, and he brings an unparalleled knowledge of how to develop and implement innovative strategies for complex public health problems that fit within the confines of the challenging environments where the toll of neglected tropical diseases is highest.
Ben Abo, DO EMT-P FAWM
ASF Medical Director
Dr. Ben Abo is an emergency medicine & EMS physician, paramedic, and clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Florida. He is the medical director for the elite Venom One & Venom Two response teams of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Lake County Fire Rescue, and has extensive experience treating and consulting on snakebites around the country as well as internationally. In addition to being a renowned public speaker, Ben has authored numerous book chapters and recently published the first Wilderness EMS textbook. He is a Fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine and took time off between medical school and residency to start a non-profit in Africa aimed at decreasing maternal and neonatal mortality and trauma.
Nick Brandehoff, MD
ASF Medical Director
Dr. Nicklaus Brandehoff is an emergency medicine physician, medical toxicologist, and wilderness medicine enthusiast. He is an assistant clinical professor of the department of emergency medicine and division of toxicology at the University of California San Francisco-Fresno program. He completed medical school at UCSF and an Emergency Medicine residency at UCSF-Fresno. He then completed a Toxicology Fellowship at the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center where he was fortunate enough to learn from some of the world’s experts in snakebite management and venom research. He has authored several chapters and academic papers on envenomations. In his spare time, he loves traveling, training his Dutch Shepherd, and dressing his newborn son in ASF onesies.
Eric Gren, PhD
Biochemistry and Venomics
Eric Gren is a herpetologist and venom researcher who earned his PhD at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine investigating the influence of environmental and genetic factors on intraspecific variation of venom composition in rattlesnakes. Eric completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Instituto Butantan in São Paulo, Brazil studying interspecific venom variation in South American pit vipers. He is the head of venomics research for the Asclepius Snakebite Foundation. In addition to research, Eric works to promote public support for environmental stewardship through community engagement in ecology education and research projects.
Jack Dooley, MS NRP
Director of Operations
Jack Dooley is an experienced paramedic and graduate student in international relations at Northeastern University. He has extensive experience in global health and has worked to design impactful initiatives in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos and Haiti. Jack's experience as an emergency medical provider and academic researcher helps to guide the foundations methodology and ensure that initiatives are thoughtfully designed and executed.
Kate Jackson, PhD
Director of Herpetology
Dr. Kate Jackson completed a Harvard PhD in herpetology with a focus on the snakes of West and Central Africa. She travels to the Congolese swamp forests in a dugout canoe and camps out for weeks at a time, collecting snakes and conducting research into the herpetology of an area that has been largely neglected by modern science due to the extreme challenges of working in that environment. Kate is a professor at Whitman College and a published author of several books, numerous peer-reviewed papers, and an online key to the snakes of West and Central Africa that was made in collaboration with Jean-Philippe. Kate brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in academic herpetology, taxonomy, and evolutionary biology to our team.
Jena Nicols Curtis, Ed.d
Public Health Research
Dr. Jena Nicols Curtis is a professor of health at the State University of New York College at Cortland. She received her doctorate in Health Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and conducts research on international public health disparities. Jena's research will explore how the interactions between individuals, social groups, and health care providers/facilities shape individual and community responses to the threat of snake bite.
Venom Research / Herpetology
Nathaniel is the founder and owner of MToxins Venom Laboratory and an expert in venomous snake handling and venom extraction. His work through MToxins has directly contributed to the production of life-saving antivenoms and some of the largest venom research studies of the past decade. He has also spent the last several years training undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin to help develop the next generation of herpetologists. Nathaniel is dedicated to helping toxinologists create the highest quality antivenoms to save lives throughout Africa, as well as providing training to safely handle these animals in the field.
Herpetology / Public Relations
Brent Schulze is an ex-rock star turned herpetologist with a passion for venomous snake research, outreach, and education. He is a serial entrepreneur with multiple businesses including snake-handling equipment company Get Hooked LLC and VENOMLIFE Apparel, both of which have committed a percentage of sales as donations to the ASF. Brent is the VP of MToxins and works to provide venom for pharmaceutical products, antivenom, and medical research. Brent loves working with and educating the public about snakes and snakebite, and he has taken on the role of public relations and community outreach coordinator for ASF.
Eugene Erulu, MD
Medical Director, Africa
Dr. Eugene Erulu is a Kenyan physician who has been deeply involved in the snakebite community through his work with the Bio-Ken Snake Farm for many years. He runs a clinic in Watamu and regularly treats severe envenomations by a range of species. He is also involved in numerous research projects aimed at developing new strategies and antivenoms for snakebite treatment in Africa.
Ray Morgan is a documentary filmmaker and herpetologist. He is widely known for producing The Venom Interviews, a documentary series showcasing the science of venomous herpetology and the people who do it. Ray has worked with the African Society of Venimologie to produce a series of videos about snakebite medicine for healthcare workers in Africa. He brings extensive experience in the media and film communities to our team.
Todd Curtis, NRP FAWM
Todd is a remote Paramedic, educator, and guide who divides his time between teaching, traveling around the world with the National Geographic and Discovery Channels as a medic and guide, and utilizing his IT and project management skills to help move the foundations mission forward. Todd is keenly interested in medicine at its extremes, remote and critical care.
Mamadou Cellou Baldé, PhD
ASF Guinea Program Director
Dr. Cellou Baldé is a herpetologist and snakebite expert with the Institut Pasteur de Guinée. Dr. Balde established a snakebite clinic in Kindia, Guinea where he treats more than 500 snakebite patients annually. Over 30% of these patients are high acuity envenomations due to neurotoxic elapids, a disproportionately high incidence in comparison to the rest of the continent. Cellou has extensive experience in the management of these patients and has joined forces with ASF to develop innovative strategies to reduce the death and disability caused by snakebite in Guinea.