Dr James Lee

BMBCh BA (Oxon) MRCP(UK) (Gastroenterology) PhD

Clinician Scientist Group Leader and Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist

James Lee is a Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Royal Free Hospital and a Clinician Scientist Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute. He is an internationally-renowned expert in IBD, who is regularly invited to lecture nationally and internationally, and is also an active member of the UK and International IBD Genetics Consortia. He trained in medicine at the University of Oxford (2004) – qualifying top of his year (George Pickering prize) – and gained his PhD from the University of Cambridge (2008-2011).

Following his PhD, he completed clinical training in gastroenterology as a clinical lecturer (University of Cambridge), before being awarded a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship in 2015. James spent half of this award at Harvard University before returning to the University of Cambridge in 2018 to establish a research group at the newly-opened Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease. He joined the Francis Crick Institute as a Clinician Scientist Group Leader in 2021 where he leads a research group focused on better understanding the mechanisms of autoimmune diseases, including IBD, and discovering new treatments.

He is recognised as a key opinion leader in IBD research having made seminal contributions into why patients with the same disease often experience different outcomes, and has a strong track record of translating his research for clinical benefit. In 2014, James was named as the inaugural "Young Gastroenterologist of the Year - Clinical and Translational Science" by the British Society of Gastroenterology and has since been awarded the Julia Bodmer Award (European Federation of Immunogenetics, 2017), the Sir Francis Avery-Jones Medal (British Society of Gastroenterology, 2018), the United European Gastroenterology Society Rising Star Award (2018), and a prestigious Lister Prize (2021).

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Hospital Locations

Royal Free Hospital

Year qualified


Country of qualification


Languages spoken



  • GMC Specialist Register (Gastroenterology)
  • British Society of Gastroenterology
  • European Crohns and Colitis Organisation
  • General Medical Council

Registration and licensing


Procedures offered

  • Colonoscopy, including dye spray surveillance colonoscopy
  • Gastroscopy (OGD)

Clinical interests

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Indeterminate colitis
  • Checkpoint inhibitor colitis
  • Microscopic colitis

Research interests

My research group at the Francis Crick Institute studies how tiny differences in our DNA predispose us to diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. By uncovering the biological mechanisms involved, we hope to better understand these conditions and find new ways of treating them. We have expertise in basic, translational and clinical research and a track record of translating our discoveries for patient benefit. Our research has been published in major journals and featured in mainstream media, including the Guardian, Times and Independent, and on the Guardian Science podcast. You can read more about our research here: https://www.crick.ac.uk/research/labs/james-lee

Dr James Lee, Clinician Scientist Group Leader and Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist is available to be seen for consultations at Royal Free London