Dr Marc Mansour is an honorary consultant haematologist at University College London Hospital and recently appointed group leader at the UCL Cancer Institute. He undertook his medical degree at the University of Edinburgh, medical training at King’s College London and UCLH, followed by an MRC Clinical Research Training PhDship in the laboratory of Professors David Linch and Rosemary Gale at UCL, where he studied Notch signalling in acute leukaemia. He was funded by the Kay Kendell Leukemia Research Fund for a travelling fellowship which he undertook in Dr Thomas Look’s lab at Harvard Medical School/ Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he was awarded the Harvard Medical School Claudia Adams Barr Innovative Research award.
His work has focused on two aggressive haematological malignancies – T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). His early work centred around Notch mutations in T-ALL, showing these were often acquired late in disease progression in minor subclones, highlighting clonal heterogeneity in this disease. He has had a particular interest in non-coding DNA, showing how oncogenic transcription factors can control an oncogenic network through a miRNA intermediate. Recently, he discovered that small indels in non-coding sites can create de novo binding sites for transcription factors to create enhancers that activate critical T-ALL oncogenes (Mansour et al. Science 2014). He has created several zebrafish models to study novel T-ALL oncogenes and tumour suppressors, with a particular focus on using these models to exploit the principal of synthetic lethality. He is currently funded as a Bennett Senior Fellow by Bloodwise.