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Alexander J Mentzer


Principal Investigator, Senior Clinical Researcher.

Our research is focused on using human genetics to understand what makes individuals more susceptible to infection and how we can use this information to improve public health. I am an Honorary Consultant physician specialising in Infectious Disease and General Medicine working in the Oxford Universities NHS Foundation Trust and I am involved in the recruitment and analysis of multiple cohorts including ISARIC, Sepsis Immunomics, the Biorepository for Adult Infectious Disease (BioAID), as well as UK Biobank, the VaccGene consortium and the Mexico Biobank. We spend much of our time using antibody measures against a range of infections to understand how human genetic variability affects immune response and protection against disease, but also to understand how infection may predispose people to other chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. As such we have experience in working with multiple infectious agents including herpes, papilloma and hepatitis virus infections, whooping cough, malaria and more recently coronavirus. We are particularly focused on working with collaborators in populations who are disproportionately affected by infection, and we are always looking for ways to help promote science and education in these settings. Our ultimate goal is to use the findings from our work to improve the health of populations affected by infection.


  1. Mentzer AJ, Dilthey AT, Pollard M, Gurdasani D, Karakoc E, Carstensen T, Muhwezi A, Cutland C, Diarra A, Antunes R da S, et al. High-resolution African HLA resource uncovers HLA-DRB1 expression effects underlying vaccine response. Nat Med. in press. 2024 Available from:
  2. Mentzer AJ*, O’Connor D*, Bibi S, Chelysheva I, Clutterbuck EA, Demissie T, Dinesh T, Edwards NJ, Felle S, Feng S, et al. Human leukocyte antigen alleles associate with COVID-19 vaccine immunogenicity and risk of breakthrough infection. Nat Med. 2023;29(1):147–57.
  3. Chong AY, Brenner N, Jimenez-Kaufmann A, Cortes A, Hill M, Littlejohns TJ, Gilchrist JJ, Fairfax BP, Knight JC, Hodel F, Fellay J, McVean G, Moreno-Estrada A, Waterboer T, Hill AVS, Mentzer AJ. A common NFKB1 variant detected through antibody analysis in UK Biobank predicts risk of infection and allergy. Am J Hum Genet. 2024;111(2):295-308.
  4. Sohail M, Palma-Martínez MJ, Chong AY, Quinto-Cortés CD, Barberena-Jonas C, Medina-Muñoz SG, Ragsdale A, … Mentzer AJ, Novembre J, García-García L, Moreno-Estrada A. Mexican Biobank advances population and medical genomics of diverse ancestries. Nature. 2023 Oct;622(7984):775-783.
  5. Muriuki JJ*, Mentzer AJ*, Band G et al.; The ferroportin Q248H mutation protects from anemia, but not malaria or bacteremia;  Science Advances; 4;5(9) 2019

Recent publications

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