Judith James, M.D., Ph.D.

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Judith James, M.D., Ph.D.

Judith James, M.D., Ph.D.

She may well be one of the greatest scientists to ever be from OK. And she has done it her way… grounded in our red dirt, belonging to the land, to the people, and to this place: Oklahoma.
Jane Jayroe Gamble, 2023


An internationally-recognized physician and scientist, Judith James, Executive Vice President at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, is a fifth-generation Oklahoman who has dedicated her career to understanding autoimmune diseases and improving the health of Oklahomans. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and was the first M.D./Ph.D. dual degree program graduate from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC).

A board-certified rheumatologist, James has made seminal contributions to understanding how autoimmune diseases start and progress. She has published more than 330 articles and is the principal investigator for numerous National Institutes of Health-funded grants. She leads national consortia focused on finding better directed therapies for autoimmune disease patients. As Associate Vice Provost for Clinical and Translational Science at OUHSC, James leads the NIH-funded Oklahoma Shared Clinical and Translational Resources, bringing together 29 Oklahoma entities focused on improving health outcomes for our citizens. She has had over 150 trainees in her lab, training rural students and tribal members. James still practices rheumatology, focusing on lupus and related rheumatic conditions.

Her numerous awards and recognitions include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the Lupus Foundation of America’s Evelyn V. Hess Award, and the Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation. An elected member of the Association of American Physicians, in 2022 she became the first Oklahoma woman elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors bestowed in the field.

Fun fact

In addition to her scientific interests, Dr. James is an avid pianist and organist – believing that having a creative outlet allows one to think more creatively about scientific inquiries.

Oklahoma connections

Through her long career at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Dr. Judith James has worked to study the mysteries of autoimmune diseases.


Pond Creek







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