Hanover Matz

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Hanover Matz, 3rd year Phd Candidate
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
Graduate Program in Life Sciences
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology

Hanover graduated from the University of Miami in 2015, with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and Biology, and minors in Chemistry and German. During his time at UM, Hanover worked as an intern with the Shark Research and Conservation Program, directed by Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, and conducted his undergraduate senior thesis with Dr. Liza Merly on C-reactive protein in shark sera. After graduating, he went on to work as a research intern in the Coral Reef Genomics Lab of Dr. Christian Voolstra at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Using the sea anemone Aiptasia, high-throughput sequencing, and bioinformatics, he investigated the role of hypervariable Cnidarian ficolin-like proteins in innate immunity and coral-algal symbiosis. After working in Saudi Arabia, Hanover returned to the US to work as a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Michael Donnenberg at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. There, he studied the role of the minor pilin PilJ as an adherence factor for Clostridium difficile, an opportunistic pathogen of the gut. Hanover joined the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology graduate program at the University of Maryland as a PhD student in 2016. He completed his laboratory rotations with Dr. Martin Flajnik and Dr. Helen Dooley, focusing on comparative immunology in cartilaginous fish. Deciding to join the lab of Dr. Helen Dooley at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, his current work focuses on B cell repertoire and affinity maturation in the nurse shark, and the use of shark single-domain variable region antibodies to diagnose and treat human diseases. He plans to continue his scientific career studying the factors that influence the evolution of the immune system in multiple species, hoping to bridge the fields of ecology and comparative immunology.