Blizard Institute - Barts and The London

Dr Louisa James, BSc (Hons), PhD


Lecturer in Immunology

Telephone: +44-(0)-207-882-2329



Louisa obtained a BSc in Immunology from King’s College London in 2002. She completed a PhD on the immune mechanisms of allergen immunotherapy, under the supervision of Professor Stephen Durham (National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College London). She then returned to King’s College London for post-doctoral training under the supervision of Professor Mark Peakman (Division of Immunology, Infection & Inflammatory Disease) working on a study of peptide immunotherapy for Type 1 Diabetes. In 2009 Louisa joined the laboratory of Professor Hannah Gould and Professor Brian Sutton (Randall Division of Cell & Molecular Biophysics) to study antibody responses in allergy. In 2016 Louisa joined the Centre of Immunobiology in the Blizard institute as a Group Leader and Lecturer in Immunology.


Immunology; B cell memory; Antibodies; Allergy; Tissue-specific immunity

Recent and ongoing research projects:

  • Extrafollicular B cell development and the role of tissue microenvironments in regulating antibody production
  • Defining the relationship between B cell phenotype and antibody function
  • Characterisation of B cells in the nasal mucosa
  • IgG4 as a marker of immune tolerance in allergy




Lecturer: BMD351 Advanced Immunology

MBBS - Problem Based Learning

Topics for PhD supervision

  • Extrafollicular B cell development and the role of the microenvironment in regulating antibody production
  • Relationship between B cell phenotype and antibody function


Research Interests:

The regulation of B cell memory is crucial for maintaining health and preventing disease. B cells and the antibodies they produce can determine the balance between tolerance and disease; aberrant antibody production is central to the pathogenesis of many human diseases such as allergy and autoimmunity. 

Research in Louisa James’ group is focussed on understanding how B cell memory is regulated and maintained. Of particular interest is how different microenvironments influence B cell memory and the production of specific antibodies. We use a combination of cellular, molecular, biophysical and computational approaches to analyse B cells and antibody repertoires in human blood and tissue samples.

Our goal is that by understanding how B cell memory is induced and maintained we can develop strategies that manipulate antibody responses for therapeutic benefit. A particular area of interest is allergy, where we have demonstrated that manipulation of antibody responses through allergen immunotherapy, has the potential to redress the balance between tolerance and disease.


Chen JB, James LK, Davies AM, Wu YC, Rimmer J, Lund VJ, Chen JH, Chan YC, Sutton BJ, Chang TW, Kariyawasam HH, Gould HJ. Antibodies and Superantibodies in Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2017, 139; 1195-1204

Gadermaier E, James LK, Shamji MH, Blatt K, Fauland K, Zieglmayer P, Garmatiuk T, Focke-Tejkl M, Villalba M, Beavil R, Keller W, Valent P, Durham SR, Gould HJ, Flicker S, Valenta R. Epitope specificity determines cross-protection of a SIT-induced IgG4 antibody. Allergy 2016, 71; 36-46

Dodev TS, Bowen H, Shamji MH, Bax HJ, Beavil AJ, McDonnell JM, Durham SR, Sutton BJ, Gould HJ, James LK. Inhibition of IgE functions by antibodies of the same specificity but different class. Allergy 2015, 70; 720-724

Santos AF, James LK, Bahnson HT, Shamji MH, Couto-Francisco NC, Islam S, Houghton S, Clark AT, Stephens A, Turcanu V, Durham SR, Gould HJ, Lack G. IgG4 inhibits peanut-induced basophil and mast cell activation in peanut tolerant children sensitized to peanut major allergens. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2015, 135; 1249-56

Dodev TS, Karagiannis P, Gilbert AE, Josephs DH, Bowen H, James LK, Bax HJ, Beavil R, Pang MO, Gould HG, Karagiannis SN and Beavil AJ. Antibodies for everybody: A tool kit for the rapid cloning and high-level expression of recombinant antibodies

Scientific Reports 2014, 4; 5885

Yu-Chang BW, James LK, Vander Heiden JA, Uduman M, Durham SR, Kleinstein SH, Kipling D, Gould HJ. Influence of allergen exposure on local and peripheral IgE repertoires in rhinitis. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2014, 134; 604

James LK, Bowen H, Calvert RA, Dodev TS, Shamji MH, Beavil AJ, McDonnell JM, Durham SR, Gould HJ. Allergen specificity of IgG(4)-expressing B cells in patients with grass pollen allergy undergoing immunotherapy. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2012, 130; 663 

James LK, Shamji M, Wachholz PA, Walker SM, Wilson DR, Jacobsen MR, Francis JN, Till SJ and Durham SR. Long term tolerance after allergen immunotherapy is accompanied by selective persistence of blocking antibodies. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2011, 127; 509

Francis JN*, James LK*, Paraskevopolous G, Wong C, Calderon MA, Durham SR and Till SJ. Grass pollen immunotherapy: IL-10 induction and suppression of late responses precedes IgG4 inhibitory antibody activity. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2008, 121; 1120

(*Joint authors)