Renita Lewis fights lupus, which takes an outsized toll on African Americans.
OMRF has received a pair of grants totaling almost $600,000 from the Lupus Research Alliance.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, more than 1.5 million Americans suffer from the disease.
A recent OMRF study is potentially paving the way for better preventive treatment options for African American patients.
Multiple studies have show the drug is not effective at treating COVID-19, and in some cases can even cause heart problems.
James received the award for her contributions to understanding systemic autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.