David Gilham obtained his Ph.D from the University of Dundee, UK under the supervision of Professor Roland Wolf OBE working on cytochrome P4502D6 and Parkinsons disease. In 1996, David was recruited to work with Professor Robert Hawkins at the University of Bristol, UK to work on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells as a part of the Chimeric Eurocell European Programme lead by Prof Zelig Eshhar. In 1998, the group moved to the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Manchester. The group maintained a strong translational focus delivering several clinical trials of CAR T (including the first such trial to be initiated in the UK) while developing a strong basic research core activity including leading the ATTACK European Programme that drew together colleagues working in T cell therapy across Europe.
Along with achieving academic independence and promotion to Senior Fellow, David took over the leadership of the laboratory group in 2009. The group moved to the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester based within the Manchester Cancer Research Centre in 2015 and David was appointed Reader in 2016. In September 2016, David moved to the role of Vice President at Celyad to continue working upon immune based therapies for cancer and specific CAR T cell therapy exploiting Natural Killer receptors to target T cells to tumor cells.