Ahmed Salman

Junior Research Fellow

Post-doctoral Immunologist - Vaccinology

The Jenner Institute

BSc, MSc Ain Shams, DPhil Oxon

ahmed.salman@ndm.ox.ac.uk

Dr Ahmed Salman is a Post-doctoral Scientist (vaccinology) working in Professor Adrian Hill’s Lab at the Jenner Institute in the Pre-erythrocytic Malaria group. Dr Salman’s work is mainly to identify new target antigens for malaria vaccine candidates using advanced molecular biology, genome editing, protein expression, and different vaccination technologies. The promising antigens are used as target antigens and expressed either as viral vector vaccines to mainly induce cellular immune response or as viral-like particles (VLP) to induce a massive humoral immune response.

Dr Salman took his BSc degree in Biochemistry at Ain Shams University in Cairo in 2006 and from then until late 2011 was an instructor at the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University. He completed a successful Master’s degree there on tuberculosis immunology in 2011. Most of that laboratory work was done while he worked at Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, which is a major centre for mycobacterial vaccine research.

In 2011 Dr Salman won a PhD scholarship at the European Virtual Malaria Institute programme “EVIMalaR” funded by the European Commission. He started his project working with Professor Chris Janse and Shahid Khan at the Leiden University Medical Centre in The Netherlands, from January 2012 to September 2012, when he joined Professor Adrian Hill’s Lab in Oxford. The goal of his work in Leiden was to learn how to make transgenic malaria parasites that would be useful in his malaria vaccine studies in Oxford. He made a large number of these transgenic parasites and brought these to Oxford where he assessed new pre-erythocytic vaccine candidates using these challenge parasites. In addition to his work at Leiden making a range of transgenic rodent P. berghei parasites, Ahmed learned immunology and vaccinology at the Jenner Institute, where he made recombinant viral vectors and became well versed in a whole range of immunoassays of both humoral and cellular immunogenicity.

Dr Salman produced his DPhil thesis in October 2014 and the DPhil degree in Clinical Medicine was awarded to him in May 2015 from the University of Oxford. The most important recent impact of his work has been on antigen down-selection for vaccine clinical trials. He worked independently, to evaluate human malaria vaccines matched to the large number of transgenic parasite strains that he had generated. The headline result was that the two antigens that had been the focus of most work in pre-erythrocytic vaccine development for 20 years were near the middle of the ranking table based on efficacy. At the top were three other antigens, which are far more protective and have been funded to go to GMP manufacture and clinical trials.

He has recently been awarded an MRC Confidence in Concept grant in his own name to assess one of the novel vaccine candidates discovered during his DPhil project. In addition he has just produced a first author paper on Rv21, a very promising new P. vivax sporozoite vaccine that is about to move to GMP manufacture and clinical trials.