I am interested in leveraging African genetic and phenotypic diversity to understand the role that local environmental adaptation plays in complex disease susceptibility. Modern humans arose in Africa, and the continent maintains deep human lineages that have adapted to a diverse set of environments and lifestyles. One focus of my research concerns the role of dietary adaptations in metabolic disease etiology; this would translate into a better clinical understanding of which lifestyle choices contributes to a metabolic illness. A more technical focus of my research involves improving bioinformatic algorithms and methods for detecting genotype-environmental interactions in phenotypic outcomes, particularly when sampling from highly admixed populations.



Ph.D. University of California - Santa Barbara (Physics)


B.A. Reed College (Math-physics)

Academic Positions

2013 - present

Postdoctoral Fellow (Kirchstein National Service Research Award), Tishkoff Lab, Department of Genetics and Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, University of Pennsylvania 


Postdoctoral Fellow, Kulathinal Lab, Department of Biology, Temple University


Postdoctoral Fellow, Hannenhalli Lab, Penn Center for BioInformatics, University of Pennsylvania


  • Marcus R. Kronforst, Matthew E.B. Hansen, Nicholas G. Crawford, Jason R. Gallant, Wei Zhang, Rob J. Kulathinal, Durrell D. Kapan, and Sean P. Mullen (2013) Hybridization reveals the evolving genomic architecture of speciation. Cell Reports 5(3):666-677.
  • Hansen, M.E.B, and Kulathinal, J. (2012) Sex-biased networks and nodes of sexually antagonistic conflict in Drosophila. International Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Special Issue: The Evolution of Sex-Related Traits and Genes. Article ID 545392
  • Everett, L., Hansen, M., and Hannenhalli, S.¬†(2010) Regulating the regulators: Modulators of transcription factor activity. Computational Biology of Transcription Factor Binding, ed. Steve Ladunga, Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 674, Springer, ch. 19.
  • Hansen, M., Everett, L., Singh, L., and Hannenhalli, S. (2010) Mimosa: Mixture model of co-expression to detect modulators of regulatory interactions. Algorithms for Molecular Biology 5:4.
  • Hansen, M., and Oh, S.P. (2007) Lyman alpha radiative transfer. American Astronomical Society 38:230.
  • Hansen, M., and Oh, S.P. (2006) Lyman alpha radiative transfer in a multiphase medium. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 367:979.

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