Research Service Award

Stephen P. James, MD

National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD

The AGA presents Stephen P. James, MD, with its AGA Research Service Award, which recognizes an individual who has significantly advanced gastroenterological science and research.

Dr. James is director for the division of digestive disease and nutrition at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the NIH, where he has been a critical voice and advocate for the many facets of digestive disease and nutrition research nationwide. In this role, he serves as NIH liaison for the AGA Research Policy Committee and as NIH liaison for the National Scientific Advisory Committee of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America — positions he has held for more than a decade. Dr. James also advocates for GI science through his liaison positions with the Broad Medical Research Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada and Canadian Institutes for Health Research. His insights and advice into the policy and practice of digestive disease research have been of fundamental importance to these associations.

Among his accomplishments, Dr. James chaired the National Commission on Digestive Diseases from 2005 to 2008, which generated a comprehensive evaluation of the burden of digestive disease and its impact on the health of the U.S. population combined with the importance of biomedical research focused on these diseases. This document was a critical cornerstone in the advocacy of research into digestive diseases, not only to the general public, but also to Congress. Dr. James is credited with organizing a number of major conferences and serving on countless editorial review boards.

Dr. James has published more than 55 book chapters/books and 88 peer-reviewed publications, adding to his identity as a highly regarded, productive and successful mucosal immunologist. In addition to his national advocacy for GI research, Dr. James continues to provide advocacy for basic and clinical GI science one-on-one with trainees.

After receiving his medical degree from the John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, where he also served his residency, Dr. James completed a GI fellowship at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Dr. James then began his research career at the NIH working in the field of mucosal immunity. From 1991 to 2001, before rejoining NIH, Dr. James served as division chief of gastroenterology at the University of Maryland.