Florian Mattenberger, PhD
Postdoctoral fellow / Evolutionary systems biology
e-mail: florian.mattenberger.1 [at] ulaval.ca
I was born in Switzerland, but I spent most of my life in Denia, a Spanish village on the Mediterranean coast. When I was 18 I did a higher education certificate as a laboratory technician in Anatomical Pathology and Cytology for two years at the Leonardo Da Vinci high school in Alicante (Spain). During my training, I discovered that I really like wet lab and molecular biology and that I want to become a scientific researcher. For this reason in 2009 I started my bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology at the University of Valencia. As an undergraduate, I was accepted, in 2011, as a research assistant student in Dr. David Martínez’s laboratory, in the department of evolutionary genetics. During my internship, I realized the beauty of evolution and I reoriented my education into evolutionary biology obtaining my master’s degree in evolution in 2014. During my master’s degree, I met Dr. Mario Ali Fares, who invited me to join his laboratory in evolutionary systems biology as a research assistant. After a couple of years of working in his lab, in 2017, I started my PhD in a project aimed to uncover the molecular mechanisms that contribute to the retention of duplicated genes in yeast, and how these contribute to adaptation and biological innovation. However, unexpected events at the halfway of my PhD forced me to quit experiments and make a change in my research topic. In 2018 I joined Dr. Ron Geller’s lab to finish my thesis in a new project aimed to use Deep Mutational Scanning (DMS) and experimental evolution to unveil the mutational fitness landscape of the viral capsid of RNA viruses and how a further increase of genetic variability contributes to adaptation. In spring 2021 I completed my PhD at the University of Valencia and in fall 2021 I joined the Landry lab to learn about paralogue interference and delve into the evolution of duplicated genes.
I am largely interested in the molecular and genetic mechanisms of adaptation, by analyzing how duplicated genes contribute to evolution and biological innovation. My project at the Landry lab aims to study paralogue interference occurring immediately after gene duplication and how this contributes to the retention and the evolution of duplicated genes, but also the evolution of protein-protein interactions and protein complexes.