Matt is a lifelong biologist and environmentalist. He received a B.S. degree in Genetics and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of California at Berkeley. He joined the Zoology Department at the University of Texas at Austin as an Assistant Professor in 1983 and in 1989, as an Associate Professor, founded Ambion Inc., a biotechnology company that was a pioneer in the use of RNA technologies for biomedical research. In addition to Ambion, he also founded Asuragen, a molecular diagnostics company and Mirna Therapeutics, a cancer therapeutics company. He is the author of over 30 publications and has 19 issued patents. He sits on the boards of Akoya Biosciences (AKYA), The Breakthrough Institute, Revive and Restore, Austin PBS and several advisory boards associated with The University of Texas. He has a long-term interest in using the tools of biotechnology for conservation and environmental issues.