Laura P. James, MD, is the recipient of the 2017 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Translational Impact Award. She is a widely regarded clinical researcher who completed both a pediatric residency and fellowships in clinical pharmacology and toxicology and pediatric emergency medicine with a focus on adverse drug events, particularly in children.
Currently, Dr. James is the director of the Translational Research Institute and associate vice chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). She also is a professor of pediatrics at UAMS and a faculty member in the Section of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Her research has included cellular and animal models of acetaminophen toxicity, as well as clinical studies in children and adults with acetaminophen-related liver injury. Her work across the translational research spectrum has led to new diagnostic approaches for acetaminophen liver injury.
Her work with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Acute Liver Failure Study Group demonstrated the diagnostic potential of blood-based measurements of acetaminophen protein adducts in patients with acute liver failure. In 2006, Dr. James helped establish Acetaminophen Toxicity Diagnostics LLC and serves as the chief medical officer of the company. The company developed a rapid assay for detection of acetaminophen protein adducts through the support of Small Business Technology Transfer funding from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Disease.
Dr. James also serves as the co-principal investigator for Arkansas Children’s Hospital for the IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN), a component of the Environmental Influences of Child Health Outcomes Program. The ISPCTN, a 17-site consortium, will provide medically underserved and rural populations with access to state-of-the-art clinical trials, apply findings from relevant pediatric cohort studies to children, and build pediatric research capacity at a national level. Focus areas for the network include upper and lower airway disease; obesity; pre-, peri-, and postnatal outcomes; and neurodevelopment.
She also has collaborated with other scientists in studies of designer drugs, such as synthetic marijuana and bath salts, and is currently a co-investigator of an NIH-funded grant. As an internationally recognized expert in clinical pharmacology and toxicology, her work has directly impacted the practice of medicine. Dr. James received her MD from the University of South Carolina and she has been a member of SOT since 2005.