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Dr Salah Mansour BSc, MSc, PhD

Principal Research Fellow

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Dr Salah Mansour is Principal Research Fellow (Associate Professor) 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 “unconventional” lipid reactive 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 molecular Immunology focussing on the MHC class I pathway at Barts Medical School, Queen Mary University of London. After a short stint in industry, he joined Stephan Gadola’s group in Southampton in 2008 as postdoc, before forming his own group in 2013.  

His lab combines basic interdisciplinary and translational studies that aim to improve our understanding of CD1 mediated immunity to help develop novel therapeutic targets and diagnostics for patient benefit. Current active funding is from HEFCE, CRUK, MRC, IfLS and PHE.

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, The Francis Crick Institute, and the Africa Research Institute in Durban.


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 report lipid antigens to specific unconventional human T cells. A growing body of 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 tissues. ii) Defining the structural requirements of human CD1 presented antigens such as lipid antigens from Mycobacterium Tuberculosis; and iii) characterisation of the molecular/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 T cell immunity, and pave the way for clinical studies in humans, including the development of novel lipid based diagnostics and vaccines.

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 Southampton CD1 group, we have previously shown that the human iNKT repertoire consists of functionally diverse subsets. We have shown that the human iNKT repertoire in human patients with autoimmune conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Type 1 Diabetes is profoundly skewed. Current work is investigating the molecular features of human iNKT subsets. Translation of iNKT based therapies into the clinic for patients suffering with autoimmune diseases or cancer should be based on the thorough understanding of the human iNKT repertoire in these patients.


Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Postgraduate student supervision

2017 Andrew Chancellor (University of Basel)

Current PhD students

Jennie Gullick (Public Health England funded PhD studentship)

Sahar Farag (MRC Icase with Immunocore Ltd)

Abi Hay (Pirbright studentship)

Danny Burns (IfLS and Faculty of Medicine)


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Creative Media and Artefacts

  • Naiyer, M. (Arranger), Cassidy, S. A. (Arranger), Magri, A. (Arranger), Cowton, V. (Arranger), Chen, K. (Arranger), Mansour, S. (Arranger), Kranidioti, C. (Arranger), Mbiribindi Nvunabandi, B. (Arranger), Rettman, P. (Arranger), Harris, S. (Arranger), Fanning, L. J. (Arranger), Claas, F. H. J. (Arranger), Davidson, A. D. (Arranger), Patel, A. H. (Arranger), Purbhoo, M. A. (Arranger), & Khakoo, S. (Arranger). (2017). KIR2DS2 recognizes conserved peptides derived from viral helicases in the context of HLA-C. Digital or Visual Products, University of Southampton.


BM4 Year 2 Assessment Lead

Teaching on the 4-year medicine integrated PhD programme course (Infection and Immunity pathway)

Teaching on the NATS3006 programme (Drugs of the future, designing a magic bullet)

Dr Salah Mansour
Faculty of Medicine, Room AB215, Mailpoint 801, South Academic Block, University Hospital Southampton, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD

Room Number: SGH/LE77/MP813

Telephone:(023) 8120 6149

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