Professor Richard James

Professor Richard James was appointed as the Professor Leslie Ash, Patron of CHAI, with Professor Jamesof Microbiology in the Nottingham University Medical School in 2000. He was  Director of the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences (2004-2007), which was the first multidisciplinary research centre at the University; Director of the Centre for Healthcare Associated Infections (CHAI) (2007-2012); Co-Director of the Institute for Infections, Immunity and Inflammation (2008-2009); and Head of the School of Molecular Medical Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences (2002-2008). 

CHAI consisted of researchers from nine Schools of the University, including the Business School,  Medecine, Mathematics, Pharmacy and Social Sciences, together with Clinical Consultants from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. As the Director of CHAI Professor James developed a unique holistic view of the problem of healthcare-infections, antimicrobial resistance and the urgent need for novel antibiotics. 

In 2007 Professor James was accused of being a "sensationalist and scaremonger" by the UK Department of Health's Chief Nursing Officer after saying that the problem of antibiotic resistance affected thousands of hospital patients- and would get much worse if something was not done. His stance was completely validated when in 2013 the England's Chief Medical Officer stated that "the rise in antibiotic resistance is comparable to the threat of global warming."

Professor James has published over 120 refereed papers in a number of high impact journals; more information on the publications can be found here. ResearchGate lists his ResearchGate score as 39.54, which is higher than 97.5% of all ResearchGate members. Web of Science lists his h-index as 36.

Professor James is a recognized expert on antibiotic resistance, development of novel antibiotics, especially those based upon bacteriocins, healthcare-associated infections, infection control and prevention, and rapid diagnostics. He was awarded the Society for Applied Microbiology Communications Award 2008 for raising the profile of the problem of healthcare-associated infections and antibiotic resistance to the wider public in over 200 interviews on TV, radio and in the printed media.

During his 12 years in Nottingham he provided consultancy advice on antibiotics, infections and diagnostics to a wide range of clients, via Clinical Advisers, that included financial organisations such as Deloitte; Arthur D Little (London) and Wyeth vaccines who were researching the UK market. He has acted as an Expert Witness in a number of infection-related disputes. More information on this area of expertise can be found here.

He also acted as a reviewer of research grants submitted by academic researchers and commercial organizations to national and international research funding bodies such as the BBSRC; The Department of Health; MRC; The Wellcome Trust; NIHR; NSF; the Scottish Office and the Technology Strategy Board (now called Innovate UK). Grant applications submitted to Innovate UK are led by small companies so Professor James has considerable experience in assessing business opportunities, market size, exploitation strategies and the commercial value of new technologies.

Professor James was a member of (1) the Medical Research Council (UK) College of Experts; (2) the Department of Health Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-associated Infections Research and Development sub-committee; (3) the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority HCAI Expert Reference Group; (4) Nottinghamshire County NHS Teaching Primary Care Trust Task and Finish Group on MRSA screening; (5) the National Special Interest Group in Infection Control organised by the Health Technology KTN; (6) the Assessment Panel for the Technology Strategy Board Detection and Identification of Infectious Agents programme; (7) the Commissioning Panel for the Department of Health Policy Research Programme on Antimicrobial Resistance: Extended Spectrum Beta-lactamase (ESBL) Surveillance; (8) the NIHR College of Experts for the Health Technology Assessment Programme.