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Cambridge Reproduction


Dr Mohammed Mumtaz Naiyer is a Research Associate within the Immunology Division at Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge.

He did his PhD under the guidance of Dr Bhaskar Saha at National Centre for Cell Science, Pune, India. His PhD thesis is about identifying Interleukin-10 receptor antagonist using phage display technology. He successfully identified and characterized peptide antagonist of Interleukin-10 receptor alpha that blocked binding of interleukin-10 to the receptor and showed its effectiveness in killing Leishmania parasite in vitro (Naiyer et al. Human Immunology 2013).

His interest in short peptides from self and pathogens that can be used as therapeutics and peptide based vaccines led him to join Professor Salim Khakoo’s group at University of Southampton as a postdoctoral fellow. During his postdoctoral training he deeply studied peptide antagonism and understand how changes in peptide repertoire of MHC Class I may affect natural killer (NK) cell recognition by the killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (Borhis et al. J Immunology 2013). Using his expertise in peptide antigen presentation on the MHC class I antigen presentation pathway, he studied non-structural proteins of flviviruses especially HCV, Dengue, Zika, West Nile, Yellow Fever and Janapanese Encepahlitis viruses. He showed flaviviral peptides derived from non-structural proteins NS3 bound to MHC class I may activate the Natural Killer cells through activating receptor KIR2DS2 (Naiyer et al. Science Immunology 2017). Identification of virus-specific ligands for activating killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIRs) has been a long-standing objective in this field and the published data represents a significant advance in fundamental immunology with important consequences for clinical immunology and epidemiology. Further, it provides interesting information on the evolutionary driving forces driving the development of activating NK cell receptor in humans. This is a well-presented study and a significant advancement in this field that identifies the important role of the activating NK cell receptor KIR2DS2.

At University of Cambridge his research interest is in identifying novel ligands for NK receptors especially the inhibitory and activating KIRs, mechanism of viral evasions of NK cells. Also he is interested in tapping the therapeutic potential of NK Cells in treating viral infections, malignancies and reproductive failures.