Mátyás Bittenbinder

Matyas met adder

I am a biologist and toxicologist studying snake venoms. Venomous snakebites cause a major health problem on a global scale, claiming over 100,000 deaths per year. The next years my goal will be to better understand snake venom and play part in finding a way to solve this problem. 


Snake venom, snakebite, (venom) evolution, antivenom, neglected tropical disease, toxicology, proteomics, biodiversity, science communication 

In the

Op 6 augustus mocht ik aanschuiven bij De Nieuws BV om een ode te brengen aan die prachtige kriebelende ‘griezels’ die spinnen heten. Het interview werd live uitgezonden op tv (NPO2) en radio (NPO1). 

Op 5 augustus was ik te zien bij RTLNieuws en vertelde daar over de populaties van Keizerspinguïns op Antarctica. 

Op 21 juli publiceerde Business Insider een artikel over mijn onderzoek en over mijn fascinatie voor gifslangen

In de week van 13 juli was ik te gast bij Vroege Vogels op NPO Radio1 en bij BNR Nieuwsradio. Hier vertelde ik over het probleem van slangenbeten, het onderzoek naar slangengif en mijn fascinatie voor slangen 

Quest publiceerde onlangs twee artikelen over slangengif en mijn onderzoek 

Door De Europese Slangenvereniging werd ik gevraagd een stuk te schrijven voor Litteratura Serpentium 

  • Het stuk is hier terug te lezen

Op 3 februari was ik te horen bij Met het Oog op Morgen van NPO Radio1.




"I was only 7 years old when I first found a snake in the wild. I didn't believe my eyes and was ecstatic." 

During my PhD I will be mainly looking at the problem of snakebite envenoming. With this, I will be part of an international group of scientists that have the aim of better understanding snake venom.

My research is motivated by a fundamental interest in venomous animals. The predator-prey arms race that has been going on for millions of years has resulted in the fact that venom has emerged independently more than 30 times within the animal kingdom. Venom is a refined cocktail of dozens of toxins that can cause paralysis, mimic blood clotting factors and affect internal organs.

Milking an African puff adder



  1. Bittenbinder, M.A., Dobson, J.S., Zdenek, C., op den Brouw, B., Naude, A., Vonk, F.J., Bryan., B.G. (2019). Differential destructive (non-clotting) fibrinogenolytic activity in Afro-Asian elapid snake venoms and the links to defensive hooding behavior. Toxicology in Vitro, 60. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.tiv.2019.05.026
  2. Bittenbinder, M.A., Zdenek, C., op den Brouw, J., Youngman, Dobson, J.S., Naude, A., Vonk, F.J., N., Fry, B.G. (2018). Coagulotoxic cobras: Clinical implications of strong anticoagulant actions of African spitting Naja venoms not neutralized by antivenom but are by LY315920 (varespladib). Toxins, 10 (516). https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10120516
  3. Kok P.J.R., Bittenbinder M. A., van den Berg, J.K., Marques-Souza, S., Sales Nunes, P.M., Laking, A.E., Teixeira Jr, M., Fouquet, A., Bruce Means, D.B., MacCulloch, R.D., Rodrigues, M.T. (2018). Integrative taxonomy of the gymnophthalmid lizard Neusticurus rudis Boulenger, 1900 identifies a new species in the eastern Pantepui region, north-eastern South America, Journal of Natural History 52: 1029-1066. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2018.1439541
  4. Youngman, N.J., Zdenek, C.N., Dobson, J.S., Bittenbinder, M.A., Gillett, A., Hamilton, B., Dunstan, N., Allen, L., Veary, A., Veary, E., Fry, B.G. (2018). Mud in the blood: Documentation of novel potent anticoagulant coagulotoxicity in the venoms of the Australian elapid snake genus Denisonia (mud adders) and relative antivenom efficacy. Toxicology Letters. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2018.11.015


Invited speaker

  • Invited as a speaker at various Universities in different countries including the University of Queensland (Australia), the Technical University of Denmark, Leiden University, Utrecht University and Naturalis Biodiversity Center.

Young Science Ambassador, University of Queensland, Australia

  • Selected as a Young Science Ambassador for the Wonder of Science (WoS) program. My job was to engage primary school students in rural communities in science education. 

Co-founder, coordinator and teacher of a Bachelor course at the University of Utrecht 

  • The aim of this course was to provide students with information about evolution, anatomy and the identification of different species of amphibians and reptiles.