Odyssey Medal

Stephanie James

JamesStephanie James is an Associate Director for Science at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), and serves as the Deputy Director of the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative there.  Prior to joining FNIH, she served for eleven years as Chief of the Parasitology and International Programs Branch, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, followed by three years as Deputy Director of The Ellison Medical Foundation.

Dr. James received her B.A. from Hendrix College, Ph.D. in Microbiology at Vanderbilt University, and conducted her dissertation research in the area of immunoparasitology.  She continued post-doctoral studies first in the Department of Medicine at Harvard and later in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, NIAID.  She subsequently established a research laboratory in the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology at the George Washington University Medical Center, where she pursued studies on schistosomiasis and macrophage biology under funding from the NIAID, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the World Health Organization.  In 1987, Dr. James returned to the extramural component of NIAID as Parasitology Program Officer, and became Branch Chief in 1991.  For several years she maintained an affiliation with the NIAID Intramural Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, where she continued research on protective immunity against schistosomiasis and other parasitic diseases.

While at NIAID, Dr. James was responsible for programmatic development of the International Centers for Tropical Disease Research network, the Tropical Medicine Research Centers, and the International Centers for Excellence in Research.   She co-authored the NIAID Research Plan for Malaria Vaccine Development, and created many of its component research initiatives.  She was also involved in the formation of the international Multilateral Initiative on Malaria, and participated in its Task Force for Research Capability Strengthening in Africa.  She received the NIH Director’s Award in 1993 for leadership in establishing the International Centers for Tropical Disease Research, and in 1999 for leadership in advancing collaborative malaria research through the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria.  She participated in a number of trans-governmental and international activities on emerging infectious diseases, contributing to the 1995 CISET report “Infectious Disease-A Global Threat”, the 1996 “NIAID Research Agenda for Emerging Infectious Diseases”, the “Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health” section of the 2000 NIAID Strategic Plan, and the 2001 “NIAID Global Health Research Plan for HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis.”  During that time, she also served as Coordinator of the NIAID Microbiology Program, and as acting Deputy Director of the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 

In 2001, she moved to The Ellison Medical Foundation, where she directed the Global Infectious Disease program, established to enhance innovative research on parasitic and infectious diseases of major global public health importance.  As the foundation’s Deputy Director, she was also responsible for many aspects of foundation management and operations.

She has served on advisory committees for the World Health Organization, the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, among others.  In 1996, she received the Bailey Ashford medal from the ASTMH for her distinguished work in tropical medicine and hygiene and in 1998, she served as President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.