UAMS’ Laura James, M.D., Named to National Research Leadership Panel

By David Robinson

The CTSA Program is administered by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health. The UAMS Translational Research Institute received a five-year, $24.2 million CTSA in July and is one of more than 60 CTSA-supported institutions nationally.

James will serve for three years, and as one of 20 Steering Committee members, she will enable information and idea sharing among her peers in the CTSA Program and NCATS leadership to advance clinical and translational science.

Translational research is the process of taking findings and discoveries (new medicines, health interventions, etc.) and “translating” or applying them to real-world practices that improve health.

James has been director of the institute since 2014 and is UAMS associate vice chancellor for clinical and translational research. She is a professor in the College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and has a 25-year history of translational research in clinical pharmacology and toxicology at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. As a clinician-scientist and founder of the startup company Acetaminophen Toxicity Diagnostics LLC, she is leading development of a rapid diagnostic test for acetaminophen liver injury. In 2014 she was named inaugural fellow of the Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA).

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state’s Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — cancer, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.