Skip to main content

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

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation


Judith A. James, M.D., Ph.D., is Chair of the Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Program and holds the Lou Kerr Chair in Biomedical Research at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.  Dr. James is also the Associate Vice Provost for Clinical and Translational Science and Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Dr. James’ research interests focus on understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome and related disorders, the evolution and pathogenic mechanisms of autoantibodies in systemic rheumatic disease, and the interplay of genetic risk and environmental responses in systemic autoimmunity. Her work has made seminal contributions to understanding how autoimmune diseases start and the concept of humoral epitope spreading. She has published over 270 articles in journals such as the New England Journal of MedicineNature MedicineJournal of Experimental MedicineAnnals of Rheumatic Disease and Arthritis and Rheumatology. Dr. James currently serves as the principal investigator for several large, multi-investigator NIH-funded grants, such as the U54 Oklahoma Shared Clinical & Translational Resources from NIGMS, U19 Autoimmunity Center of Excellence from NIAID, and P30 Rheumatic Disease Research Cores Center from NIAMS. Dr. James has conducted lectures for the American College of Rheumatology and the International Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Meetings, among others.

Dr. James has received several prestigious awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the Dubois Award from the American College of Rheumatology. She is a member of NIAMS Council with the National Institutes of Health and recently served as the elected Secretary-Treasurer of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. She has served on several other NIH advisory committees and chaired an NIH Roundtable regarding preclinical autoimmunity. Dr. James also was selected to provide testimony supporting the NIH at the Nobel Laureates’ Hearing for the US Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. Dr. James received her medical degree and Ph.D. in Immunology from the Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and is a board certified adult Rheumatologist. She continues to practice adult rheumatology, focusing on SLE, incomplete lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome and related rheumatic diseases.