Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
James Gilchrist (2013- present)
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 genetics 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 characterize that genetic variation in collaboration with the Oxford Biobank and with 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. Gilchrist JJ, MacLennan CA, Hill AVS. Genetic susceptibility to invasive Salmonella disease. Nature Reviews Immunology. 2015. 15(7):452-63.
Helen Bould (2014 - present)
Helen is in the second year of a clinical DPhil, supervised by Prof Catherine Harmer and Dr Matthew Broome. She is studying how healthy women and those with eating disorders perceive their bodies and feel about their body size. She is also testing novel interventions to change perception of own body size, and body satisfaction, initially in healthy women. Her eventual aim is to design new interventions to prevent and treat eating disorders.
Her clinical background is as an Advanced Training Registrar in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She has found the support from the DPhil programme invaluable in learning skills in academic medicine which will enable her to pursue a career as a clinical academic.