Dr James Gilchrist

Academic Clinical Fellow

Research summary

James is a clinician training in paediatrics in Oxford. He completed an academic foundation programme and academic clinical fellowship in Oxford before starting his DPhil as a Wellcome Trust clinical research fellow in 2013. He is currently based at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, in Adrian Hill's infectious disease genetics group, investigating host genetic susceptibility of African children to invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) disease.

In the developed world NTS infection typically results in self-limiting diarrhoeal illness in the large majority of immunocompetent individuals, and the burden of invasive disease is low. In sub-Saharan Africa, NTS is a common cause of invasive disease in children and HIV-infected adults, and is estimated to result in nearly 400,000 deaths annually. There is no available anti-NTS vaccine for use in humans.

James’ DPhil project started with the analysis of the first genome-wide association study of invasive NTS disease, defining host genetic susceptibility factors in Kenyan and Malawian children. He has begun to functionally characterise that genetic variation in collaboration with the Oxford Biobank and with Professor David Holden at Imperial College London. His work with NTS has led to a broader interest in the host genetic architecture of other intracellular pathogens.

Key publications

Gilchrist JJ, MacLennan CA, Hill AVS. Genetic susceptibility to invasive Salmonella disease. Nature Reviews Immunology. 2015. 15(7):452-63.

Gilchrist JJ, Mills TC, Naranbhai V, Chapman SJ, et al. Genetic variants associated with non-typhoidal Salmonella bacteraemia in African children. Lancet. 2015 Feb 26;385 Suppl 1:S13. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60328-2.

Nyirenda TS, Gilchrist JJ, Feasey NA, Glennie SJ, et al. Sequential Acquisition of T Cells and Antibodies to Nontyphoidal Salmonella in Malawian Children. J Infect Dis. 2014. 210(1):56-64.

MacLennan CA, Gilchrist JJ, Gordon MA, Cunningham AF, et al. Defective humoral immunity to nontyphoidal Salmonella in HIV-infected adults in Malawi. Science. 2010. 328(5977):508-12.