Laura James | UAMS | Director of Translational Research Institute, Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical & Translational Research / Arkansas Children’s Hospital | Section of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, Division of Emergency Medicine
Career Evolution… While some of the “steps” of my career were intimidating because I was encountering new people and new approaches to biomedical research, the “pay off” to me was tremendous. For example, my initial experiences were in clinical research. I was comfortable working with patients in a clinical study. I had the opportunity to work in a “basic science laboratory” where for the first time I was working with scientists who primarily work in animal models of disease. The transition was intimidating, but what I learned during those years has benefitted me tremendously. Having the varied experiences allows me to interact with a large range of biomedical scientists that approach research problems in different ways. Pulling different groups of researchers together to solve a problem is now looked at as the best approach for solving our most significant health problems today.
A Day at Work… At UAMS, I help facilitate and grow research across the state of Arkansas. The word “translational” is confusing to many people. Using the analogy of “foreign language translation” can be helpful to explain the work of the Translational Research Institute at UAMS. And certainly the language we speak can seem foreign to others at times! In essence, we’re trying to take what we know from one area of science and use that to have an health-improving effect on people.
Advice… Follow your passion and do not worry about where you will be down the road. ay attention to those things that you lose track of time while doing. That is your passion! The opportunities will come. There is no limit to what you can do!
Photography by Lori Sparkman Photography