OMRF Arthritis & Clinical Immunology – Judith James, M.D., Ph.D.

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“Autoimmunity and Clinical Research in Oklahoma Impacts on Disease, Patients & local Economy”


Judith James, M.D., Ph.D. is OMRF Vice President of Clinical Affairs Member and Program Chair of the
Arthritis & Clinical Immunology Research Program.

The human immune system is critical for protection against infections and cancer, but diseases of the immune system can be devastating. These include allergic responses, immunodeficiencies and immune reactions directed against self, called autoimmunity. Autoimmune diseases afflict at least one in twelve Americans and are a leading cause of disability and early death in young women of child-bearing age. Our mission is to improve the lives of patients through a continuum of basic mechanistic studies, clinical research, industry collaborations and clinical care.

Scientists in Arthritis and Clinical Immunology focus on understanding systemic autoimmunity and deciphering basic immunologic concepts. Our studies address the etiology, pathogenesis and molecular mechanisms of complex human autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory myositis, multiple sclerosis (MS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Our studies on immune development and mechanisms of immune protection or perturbation have broad impact on immune responses to vaccination or infection.

In addition, the Arthritis and Clinical Immunology program houses resources that are essential for many investigators in our program and in the larger autoimmune disease research community.

Chair of the Day 

A graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, Penny Voss has more than 30 years of experience in the development field. She came to OMRF from the Dean McGee Eye Institute, where she was vice president for development. Designated as a Certified Fund Raising Executive by CFRE International, Voss is a former president and current member of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals. She was awarded the Association’s Outstanding Professional Fund Raiser Award for 2006 and was one of The Journal Record’s Woman of the Year Nominees in 2007, 2009, and 2010. She currently serves on the boards of the UCO College of Business and Thrive. She is active in the alumni groups for Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Oklahoma City.

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