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Cambridge Cardiovascular



Dr Gilchrist's research concerns the emotional and physiological (e.g., cardiovascular) states linked to environmental and social challenges.  One area of research focuses on mechanisms and interventions for stress-related responses, especially vasovagal reactions.  Other areas of research include cognitive-behavioural approaches to anxiety disorders, pain, as well as the recruitment and retention of blood donors.

After obtaining his PhD in Clinical Psychology at McGill University, Dr Gilchrist began a Research Fellowship and became a Visiting Lecturer (2015-2016) in the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge. Dr Gilchrist then began a Career Development Research Fellowship in the School of Clinical Medicine, Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit (NIHR BTRU), part of the BHF Cambridge Centre for Cardiovascular Research Excellence.  Dr Gilchrist is currently a Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society), a Registered Clinical Psychologist (HCPC), a Tutor at the Institute of Continuing Education, a College Tutor and Fellow at Wolfson College, and lectures on occasion in the Department of Psychology.  Doctoral and Postdoctoral fellowships were provided by the 'Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada' (2009-2012), 'Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec' (2012-2014, & 2014-2017) and the British Heart Foundation (2017-present).


Key publications: 

Gilchrist, P. T. & Ditto, B. (2017).  Distinguishing disgust from fear: The vomit and faint defenses. In R. Duschinsky, S. Schnall, & D. Weiss (Eds.), Purity and danger now: New perspectives. London: Routledge.  

Harrison, J. M., Gilchrist, P. T., Corovic, T., Bogetti, C., Song, Y., Bacon, S. L., & Ditto, B (2017). Respiratory and hemodynamic contributions to emotion-related vasovagal symptoms. Biological Psychology, 127, 46-52. 

Gilchrist, P. T., Vrinceanu, T., Béland, S., Bacon, S. L., & Ditto, B. (2016). Disgust stimuli reduce heart rate but do not contribute to vasovagal symptoms. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry51, 116-122.

Gilchrist, P. T., McGovern, G., Bekkouche, N., Bacon, S., & Ditto, B. (2015). Perceived control moderates the vasovagal response.  Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 31, 43-48.                               

Gilchrist, P. T., & Ditto, B. (2015). Sense of impending doom: lower sympathetic activity in waiting blood donors who subsequently experience vasovagal symptoms. Biological Psychology104, 28-34.

Ditto, B., Gilchrist, P. T., Holly, C. D., Dubuc, S., Delage, G., & France, C. R. (2013). The effects of leg crossing and applied tension on blood donor return. Vox Sanguinis, 105(4), 229-304.

Gilchrist, P. T., & Ditto, B. (2012). The effects of blood‐draw and injection stimuli on the vasovagal response. Psychophysiology, 49(6), 815-820.    

Ditto, B., Balegh, S., Gilchrist, P. T., & Holly, C. D. (2012). Relation between perceived blood loss and vasovagal symptoms in blood donors. Clinical Autonomic Research, 22(2), 113-116.

Ditto, B., Gilchrist, P. T., & Holly, C. D. (2012). Fear-related predictors of vasovagal symptoms   during blood donation: it’s in the blood. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 35(4), 393-399. 

Radomsky, A.S., Gilchrist, P.T., & Dussault, D. (2006). Repeated checking really does cause memory distrust. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 305-316.

BHF Career Development Fellow 2017-2019
Dr Philippe T  Gilchrist

Contact Details


Collaborator profiles: 
Person keywords: 
anxiety disorders
anxiety and cognition
mental illness
cognitive-behavioural therapy
blood donors