Martin Flajnik (University of Maryland at Baltimore) | March 21, 2014 | 14h30 | CIBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão


Immunoglobulins (antibodies) and related molecules arose in evolution with the jawed vertebrates. The extant elasmobranchs (sharks, skates, and rays) have all of the basic attributes of a human immune system, but some primitive features that provide us with a model of primordial immune systems. I will focus on the antibody system in elasmobranchs, as an example of the combination of ancestral and derived characters in adaptive immunity.



Martin Flajnik has studied the evolution of immunity throughout his career. He earned his PhD at the University of Rochester under Nicholas Cohen, postdoced at the Basel Institute for Immunology under Louis Du Pasquier, and was a professor at the University of Miami (Fla) and the University of Maryland (SOM). He identified the first MHC proteins from ectothermic vertebrates, and discovered several new antibody isotypes, one of which is a single-domain antibody that was studied extensively in somatic hypermutation studies. He has contributed to the understanding of all features of adaptive immune evolution.



[Group Leader: Pedro Esteves, Immunogenetics, Microbes and Infectious Diseases]


Image: Martin Flajnik