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Dr Andy van Hateren BSc (Hons), PhD

Senior Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Dr Andy van Hateren's photo

Dr Andy van Hateren is a senior post-doctoral research fellow working in Prof Tim Elliott’s lab, investigating the molecular mechanisms of co-factor assisted peptide loading of Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I (MHC I).

My research is focused on elucidating the mechanistic principles by which MHC I molecules become loaded with peptide: a process known as peptide selection

Dr van Hateren graduated from the University of Southampton in 1999, and joined Prof Jim Kaufman’s lab at the Institute for Animal Health, Compton, where he researched aspects of the “minimal essential” chicken MHC system. In 2006, Dr van Hateren was awarded a PhD from the University of Southampton for investigating the function of the MHC I peptide-loading cofactor tapasin molecule in MHC I peptide selection – with his PhD project being co-supervised by Prof Jim Kaufman (Institute for Animal Health) and Prof Tim Elliott (University of Southampton).

In 2006, Dr van Hateren joined Prof Tim Elliott’s lab in Southampton, where he researched the mechanisms by which MHC I molecules select their peptide cargoes, and the role that the peptide loading cofactors tapasin and the related molecule TAPBPR play in this process.

As a senior member of Prof Elliott’s lab, Dr van Hateren leads a small team within the Institute for Life Sciences building on the Highfield campus, researching the molecular mechanisms underpinning MHC I peptide selection.


BSc (Hons), Biology, University of Southampton, 1999.
PhD, University Of Southampton, 2006.


Research assistant, Institute for Animal Health, Prof Jim Kaufman’s lab, 1999-2003.
PhD student, Institute for Animal Health, Prof Jim Kaufman’s lab and co-supervised by Prof Tim Elliott (University Of Southampton), 2003-2006.
Post-doctoral research fellow, University Of Southampton, Prof Tim Elliott’s lab 2006-2014.
Senior post-doctoral research fellow, University Of Southampton, Prof Tim Elliott’s lab 2014-date.


Research interests

The binding of peptides by Major Histocompatibility Complex class I molecules (MHC I), and their presentation to cytotoxic T cells is an integral component of the adaptive immune system, providing protection from intracellular pathogens and cancer.


MHC I molecules are highly polymorphic, with each MHC I allotype binding a different cohort of peptides. MHC I molecules become loaded with peptides in the endoplasmic reticulum of a cell, in a process that is assisted by a macromolecular peptide loading complex. A key constituent of this peptide loading complex is the cofactor tapasin, which quantitatively and qualitatively enhances the intrinsic ability of MHC I molecules to select those peptides that form optimal interactions with the MHC I molecule. This peptide editing function results in the preferential selection of peptides that bind with high affinity, allowing the most effective antigen presentation.

Comprehensive mechanistic knowledge of the principles of MHC I peptide selection will undoubtedly help vaccine design, enhancing protection from cancer and intracellular pathogens.

PhD Supervision

Dr van Hateren is currently part of the supervisory team for a PhD student (2020-2023)

Research group

Cancer Sciences

Represents Cancer Sciences at the B85 Health and Safety Committee

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Book Chapters



Dr van Hateren has frequently supervised BMedSci students undertaking lab research projects in their third year of their studies.

In addition, Dr van Hateren has supervised summer students, and interns seeking research experience.

Dr Andy van Hateren
Institute for Life Sciences, Building 85, Highfield campus, Southampton, SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 85/4041/M55

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