UAMS’ Laura James, M.D., Re-Elected to National Science Board

By David Robinson

She joins 13 other directors at large from National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program institutions across the United States. She was first elected to the board in 2020.

James has been director of the Translational Research Institute since 2014 and is UAMS associate vice chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research. She has a 28-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 an inaugural fellow of the Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA).

The role of the ACTS board is to govern, establish policy and make strategic decisions about the future of the organization. ACTS supports research that continually improves team science, integrating multiple disciplines across the translational science spectrum. It is also the academic home for translational research education and career development, and is an advocate for translational science.

“It has been a pleasure over the last three years working with the ACTS board and staff to create new programs and maximize investments that support the professional development of translational researchers,” James said. “I am excited to continue this work building productive collaborations across the association and with other relevant organizations.”

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

The CTSA Program is administered by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the NIH. TRI received a five-year, $24.2 million CTSA, grant UL1 TR003107 in July 2019 and is one of more than 60 CTSA-supported institutions nationally.