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Dr James Watson

Dr James Watson

Podcast Interview

Primaquine is a drug used to eliminate vivax malaria from the liver and prevent relapses. However, it causes anaemia in patients with G6PD deficiency. A new, slightly longer regimen with increasing doses of primaquine could allow to safely treat all patients with vivax malaria.

James Watson

Senior Scientist

Clinical Therapeutics

I am broadly interested in applied and theoretical statistics, causal inference, applied genetics and pharmacology. I am a believer in Bayes but will go with whatever works best. Most of my work has been related to falciparum and vivax malaria. I have a particular interest in G6PD deficiency: how to model haemolysis in G6PD deficient individuals and understanding the selection mechanisms that have led to high prevalences of G6PD deficiency across the malaria endemic world.


Probabilistic classification of recurrent illness in vivax

A fully Bayesian framework that classifies recurrent vivax infection as a recrudescence, relapse or reinfection using time-to-event and genetic data. This analysis showed that high-dose primaquine is very effective (3% failure).

Causal pathways in severe malaria

A directed acyclic graph that tries to dissect causal mechanisms leading to death in severe falciparum malaria. The most important part of the causal diagram is in specifying selection biases in severe malaria: "why are certain patients in the dataset and not others?"