Brasenose Academics: James Grist - Junior Kurti Research Fellow

James Grist

James is a Kurti Junior Research Fellow at Brasenose, and his research focuses on using sugar and MRI scans to diagnose and understand the disease Multiple Sclerosis. MS is a condition affecting around 130,000 people in the UK today (just under the population of Oxford), and is caused by the body’s own immune system attacking the brain. However, it commonly takes us 3-5 years to know whether someone’s treatment is working using normal MRI scans. This is because the way that the brain changes size and shape in MS is a slow process, and any large scale damage is only visible after a long period of time. 

The wonderful thing about using sugar to understand whether the brain is still being damaged after treatment is that the way in which the immune system changes its use of sugar, when successfully treated, is very rapid. This gives us, for the first time, a fantastic opportunity to measure how the immune system responds to these treatments for MS. If a treatment is not working, we could in theory change to a new therapy just days or months after starting, rather than waiting years to see if it is working.

Read the Prospectus

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