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David Menassa

Senior Research Fellow

MA, MPhil, DPhil, PGCert, FHEA


I am a senior research fellow at the Department of Neuropathology based in the Parkinson’s Neuropathology group and a research affiliate of the paediatric neuro-oncology group at the Karolinska Institutet. My research is focused on translational human neuropathology in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disease. Importantly, I am interested in how microglia, the brain’s resident macrophages, participate in mechanisms of health, injury, and repair. I use neuroanatomical, neuropathological and computational methods including machine learning and spatial transcriptomics to investigate the molecular signature of disease. I collaborate with various groups in the UK and abroad including the Blomgren lab (Karolinska), the Sundström lab (Karolinska), the Holcman lab (Ecole Normale Supérieure), the Long lab (KCL), the Vernon lab (KCL), the Coutinho lab (Coimbra), the Krsnik lab (Zagreb), the Tremblay lab (Victoria) and the Sierra lab (Achucarro).


I have formal pedagogic training (PGCert) and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). I teach the neuroscience syllabus to second-year undergraduates reading medicine and first-year undergraduates reading biomedical science. I also provide tutorials for visiting students in research design and analysis, statistics, comparative physiology, and neurobiology. I supervise FHS medical students who take an interest in submitting extended essays on microglia, neuroimmunology, neurodevelopmental disorders, and neurodegenerative disease as part of the FHS medical sciences’ examination. I occasionally lecture on the MSc in clinical neuropsychiatry course at King's College London.


I obtained my BSc in biological and earth sciences at the Université Saint Joseph in Beirut in 2006. Following a brief spell at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, I completed my MSc in applied physiology at the University of Oxford followed by an MPhil in bioenergetics at the University of Cambridge. In 2009, I was awarded a Clarendon scholarship to pursue my DPhil studies in clinical neurology at the University of Oxford. Since 2014, I have held various postdoctoral appointments at Bristol, Oxford, Southampton and Oslo. I joined the Queen’s college at the University of Oxford in 2017 as lecturer of neuroscience.

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