OMRF Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., is now a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
Thursday evening, James became the first woman from OMRF and just the third scientist in the foundation’s 77-year history to be inducted into the hall of fame.
Members are elected for outstanding service to humanity, Oklahoma and the U.S., and for efforts to bring distinction to the state. It is considered one of the state’s highest honors.
Oklahoma Hall of Fame member Jane Jayroe Gamble nominated James for the 2023 class, calling her one the most important scientific figures in the state.
“Dr. James is a homegrown, international treasure,” Gamble said. “She belongs to Oklahoma. She is the best of who we are.”
James, a fifth-generation Oklahoman and native of Pond Creek, first came to OMRF as a Sir Alexander Fleming Scholar in 1988 and later became the first graduate of the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center’s M.D./Ph.D. program. Today, as a board-certified rheumatologist, she oversees all clinical activities at OMRF, chairs its Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Research Program, and holds the Lou C. Kerr Endowed Chair in Biomedical Research.
A member of the National Academy of Medicine, James is best known for her watershed work in understanding early events of and launching prevention trials in autoimmune diseases like lupus. Her research has resulted in OMRF being named a National Institutes of Health Autoimmunity Center of Excellence, one of only eight in the U.S.
In addition to her role as OMRF’s chief clinical officer, James serves OUHSC as associate vice provost for clinical and translational science, a George Lynn Cross research professor, and a professor of medicine. At OUHSC, she leads the Oklahoma Shared Clinical and Translational Resources, a statewide consortium of 29 institutions focused on the growth of clinical research to improve the health of all Oklahomans.
“Dr. James’ scientific achievements have earned her worldwide recognition, yet she’s stayed committed to making a difference in Oklahoma,” said OMRF President Andrew Weyrich, Ph.D. “This honor is a fitting tribute to her remarkable accomplishments. We are all fortunate that she calls Oklahoma home.”
The Oklahoma Hall of Fame inducted former OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D., as a member in 2020 and OMRF scientist Jordan Tang, Ph.D., as a member in 2008.
OMRF Board of Directors member Barry Pollard, M.D., was also inducted into the hall of fame as part of the 2023 class. A neurosurgeon from Enid, Pollard joined OMRF’s Board in 2018.
For a complete list of this year’s inductees, visit www.oklahomahof.com/class-of-2023.