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The University of Southampton
(023) 8120 6149

Dr Salah Mansour BSc, MSc, PhD

Principal Research Fellow

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Dr Salah Mansour is Principal Research Fellow within Medicine at the University of Southampton. He leads a research group that employs a multidisciplinary approach to study the biological functions of CD1 molecules and their presentation of lipid antigens to T cells. This has broad relevance to human diseases, including tuberculosis, cancer, and autoimmune conditions. His interest into antigen presentation started with a PhD in Immunology at Professor Ping Wang’s lab at Barts Medical School, Queen Mary University of London, based on studies that focussed on the MHC class I antigen presentation pathway. After a short stint in industry, Dr Mansour joined Professor Stephan Gadola’s CD1 research group in Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Southampton in 2008. He has led translational and basic immunology studies on CD1 antigen presentation that aim at understanding the role of iNKT cells in the early stages of human autoimmune diseases and the molecular basis of Group 1 CD1 antigen presentation to human T cells in cancer and infection. Dr Mansour’s current research program integrates chemistry and biology approaches with clinical medicine to develop new therapeutics and diagnostics to improve human health. He has developed strong collaborations with computational and synthetic chemists, structural biologists, and with tuberculosis and cancer clinicians. He also has strong links with Public Health England Porton Down (Dr Sally Sharpe), King’s College London and The Francis Crick Institute.


A greater understanding of CD1 molecules may allow the development of novel diagnostic tests and immunotherapeutic treatments for human diseases including cancer, autoimmunity and tuberculosis infection


BSc (Joint Hons), Biochemistry and Genetics, University of Wales, Swansea (2003).

MSc, Medical Genetics with Immunology, Brunel University (2004)

PhD, Immunology, Barts and the London, Queen Mary University of London (2008)

Appointments held

Principal Research Fellow (Associate Professor), Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Southampton 2018-Present

Senior Research Fellow, Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Southampton 2013-2018

Research Fellow, Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Southampton 2008-2013

Research interests

The role of the CD1 antigen presentation pathway is to present lipid antigens to specific T cells of the human immune system, and evidence indicates that these T cell responses can either have protective roles in infectious diseases such as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis infection or regulatory roles in autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis. Central to the research goals of the CD1 group at Southampton is to understand CD1 antigen presentation by developing molecular diagnostic tools to study CD1 dependent T cell responses in human health and disease.

Current Research Interests

Theme 1: CD1 Group 1
The aim of this research theme is to explore the functions and roles of the group 1 CD1 molecules CD1a, CD1b, and CD1c, and how they interact with antigen specific T cells. This is accomplished by i) developing recombinant fluorescent-conjugated CD1 group 1 tetramers for sensitive and specific detection of CD1a-, -b, and –c restricted human T cells in blood and tissue; ii) defining the structural requirements of human CD1 presented antigens such as lipid antigens from Mycobacterium Tuberculosis; and iii) characterisation of the structural basis for CD1 group 1 antigen recognition by human T cell receptors. The results of these studies will advance our understanding of this still largely unexplored arm of adaptive immunity, and pave the way for clinical studies in humans, including lipid-antigen based development of novel diagnostics and vaccine therapeutics.

Theme 2: CD1d restricted iNKT cells
Invariant Natural Killer T cells (iNKT) are CD1d dependent innate T cells that play key roles in immunological tolerance. While, restoring the iNKT repertoire in spontaneous and induced mouse models prevents autoimmune inflammation, translation into human autoimmune disease has been disappointing. Based on novel CD1d molecular tools developed within the CD1 group, we have previously shown that the human iNKT repertoire consists of functionally diverse subsets. Current research streams are expanding on this novel finding by exploring the human iNKT repertoire in human patients with autoimmune conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Type 1 Diabetes. Translation of iNKT based therapies into clinical trials for autoimmune patients must be based on the thorough understanding of the human iNKT repertoire in these patients.


Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Postgraduate student supervision

Andrew Chancellor (Public Health England funded TB-PhD studentship)

Jennie Gullick (Public Health England funded PhD studentship)

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Dr Salah Mansour
Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Building 85, Life Sciences Building, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO171BJ

Room Number: SGH/LE77/MP813

Telephone:(023) 8120 6149

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