Hana Maalej

 Hana Maalej
  • Biotechnology,
  • Biochemistry,
  • Pharmacology

Areas of Expertise:
Enzymes; Biopolymers; Proteins; Nanobiotechnologies; Microbial exopolysaccharides; Marine polysaccharides; Modification processes; Biological activities

since 2021


University of Sfax, Tunisia

Laboratory of Enzyme Engineering and Microbiology
National School of Engineering of Sfax (ENIS)
Soukra Road
Sfax 3038

+216 20 234 699

About me

I am an assistant professor of Biotechnology at the Faculty of Sciences of Gabes, Tunisia. Besides my teaching activities, I am a researcher at the Enzyme Engineering and Microbiology Laboratory at the National Engineering School of Sfax, where I accomplished all my higher studies.

As a biotechnologist, my research activities focus on biochemistry, microbiology, glycobiology, and molecular biology. Because I believe that the sea is a yet-undiscovered treasure, my current research activities focus on the Tunisian marine biodiversity investigation with the dual purpose of identifying and developing innovative biomolecules from bacterial and marine sources, particularly enzymes and biopolymers, as well as the conversion of fishery discards including viscera, heads, skin, bones, and shells to high added-value molecules and biomaterials. 

Exchange and setting up bilateral or multilateral research collaboration with foreign institutions is important to me as a researcher. My first cooperation started in 2012, as a PhD student. Later, as assistant professor, I established several collaborations at the Ifremer center of Nantes-France (SSHN mobility, 2017), the Faculty of Science and Technology of Algarve University-Portugal (JAMIES mobility, 2018), and the Institut Européen des Membranes of Montpellier-France (PHC-Utique program, 2019). I was also selected as Tunisian principal investigator to carry out a French-Tunisian project (PHC-Utique project 2020-2022). 

In AGYA, I aim to strengthen and diversify my network by involving German and Arab colleagues. AGYA membership enables me to participate in innovative research projects.

I strongly believe that combining different ideas from scientists with diverse disciplinary backgrounds is beneficial to finding solutions to environmental threats and future challenges related to the use of natural resources. 

Academic career
2021 Selected under the Young researchers fostering program, supported by the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
2020 - today Selected as principal investigator of a CMCU project (PHC-Utique) entitled “Marine biodiversity: discovery of innovative biopolymers for health”
2015 - today

Assistant Professor at Faculty of Sciences of Gabes, Tunisia and Researcher at the Laboratory of Enzyme Engineering and Microbiology (LGEM) at the National School of Engineering of Sfax (ENIS), Tunisia

2014 Ph.D. in Biological Engineering, National School of Engineering, Sfax (ENIS), University of Sfax, Tunisia
2009 M.Sc. in Biological Engineering, National School of Engineering, Sfax (ENIS), University of Sfax, Tunisia
2008 Engineer in Biological Engineering, National School of Engineering Sfax, Tunisia
2003 Bachelor Diploma in Experimental Sciences

On a personal note

Must read in my discipline:
Maximising the Value of Marine By-Products, edited by Fereidoon Shahidi

Favourite novel:
Elissa, la reine vagabonde by Fawzi Mellah 
La Régente de Carthage by Catherine Graciet and Nicolas Beau

The scientist from my country you should know:
Abu-El-Kacem Chebbi (1909–1934) is a Tunisian poet, known for writing the final two verses of the current National Anthem of Tunisia, Humat al-Hima