Dr Jamel Mankouri

Dr Jamel Mankouri


Newly identified factors shown to be important in leading virus entry, survival and release are cellular ion channels, proteins that act as a pore in the membranes of all cells within the body, permitting the selective passage of ions (such as potassium ions, sodium ions, and calcium ions). Through controlling ion passage, these channels serve many critically important cellular functions including chemical signaling, the regulation of pH, and the regulation of cell volume. Malfunction of ion channels can cause diseases in many tissues.

Our research has shown that by pharmacologically modulating cellular ion channels, we can impede the lifecycles of an array of important human viruses. My laboratory focuses on understanding the interaction between viruses and cellular ion channels in more detail. By doing so, we wish to reveal the potential of ion channel modulating compounds (many of which are clinically available) as new anti-viral drugs. 

  • Identifiying new virus-ion channel interactions.   
  • Investigating the potential of restoring the function of virus-ion channel targets as a new anti-viral strategy.
  • The role of endosomal ions during virus entry.

We apply these studies to negative sense RNA viruses including bunyaviruses, human respiratory syncytial virus and rabies virus.

Career History: Post-doctoral researcher with Prof Mark Harris in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Leeds (2006 - 2009); Post-doctoral Researcher with Prof Mark Harris and Dr Stephen Griffin (2009-2011) in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Leeds. Royal Society University Research Fellow (2011-present).


  • School Academic Lead for Inclusive Practice

Research interests

Investigating host cell ion channel function as a novel target during virus infection

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, University of Leeds
  • BSc, Pharmacology

Student education

Undergraduate project topics:

  • Virus-ion channel interactions and their roles during the virus lifecycle.

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • The role of endosomal ions during virus entry.
  • What can viruses teach us about cellular ion homeostasis?
  • Modules managed

    BIOL2210 - Biological Membranes and Cell Signalling.

  • Advanced Topic unit: Virus-host interactions. 

    Modules taught

    BIOC1301 - Introductory Integrated Biochemistry: the Molecules and Processes of Life

    BIOC3111/12/BIOL3112/MICR3120 A - ATU - Visualising Viruses
    BIOC3160 - Laboratory/Literature/Computing Research Project
    BIOL2210/BIOC2301 - Integrated Biochemistry/Biological Membranes
    BIOL2301/05 - Intermediate Skills - BIOL
    BIOL3215 - Cancer Biology
    BIOL3398 - Research Tools and Applications
    BIOL5296M - Treatment of Infectious Disease and Cancer
    BMSC1212 - Introduction to Pharmacology
    BMSC2210 - Chemotherapy
    FOBS1135/BIOL1112 - The Basis of Life/The molecules of life
    MICR1120 - Introduction to Microbiology
    MICR2120/BIOC2301 - Integrated Biochemistry/Medical Bacteriology
    MICR3110 - Medical Microbiology Research Project
    MICR3211 - Advanced Topics in Microbiology 2

Research groups and institutes

  • Microbiology
  • Virology
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>