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International research leader earns top honour

Queen’s Professor Paula James was recognized for her work with inherited bleeding disorders.

Queen’s University Professor Paula James, one of Canada’s leading researchers in inherited bleeding disorders, has been honoured with the Cecil Harris Award by the Canadian Hemophilia Society.

The award is presented to a physician in recognition of distinguished contributions in the areas of research or the advancement of the care of patients with inherited bleeding disorders. The award has not been presented in 10 years.

Dr. Paula James has earned the Cecil Harris Award.

“I’m proud and humbled to receive this national honour,” says Dr. James (Medicine and Pathology and Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine). “It was made even more special to receive the award from my mentor Dr. David Lillicrap.”

Drs. James and Lillicrap are principal investigators of the Clinical and Molecular Hemostasis Research Group located jointly between Queen’s and Kingston General Hospital. The focus of the lab is to utilize a variety of experimental approaches to understand the molecular basis of blood coagulation and to develop strategies to translate this knowledge into clinical benefits.

After completing her training in internal medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. James came to Queen’s to complete her clinical hematology fellowship. She then entered a 30-month training in basic laboratory research in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine. During this time, she honed her talents as an accomplished clinician and researcher in the field of inherited bleeding disorders.

In her clinic, Dr. James directs the Southeastern Ontario Regional Inherited Bleeding Disorder Program and has established a Women’s Bleeding Disorder Clinic. Her expertise in the care of von Willebrand Disease (VWD) – a lifelong bleeding disorder which affects the blood’s ability to clot – has been recognized by the international bleeding disorder community. She also leads a research program with a focus on VWD along with hemophilia.

“For sure, an award like this is a recognition of a team effort,” says Dr. James.  “I’m fortunate to work with great people on a daily basis.”

Dr. James’ Let’s Talk Period website features a bleeding assessment tool to help women that may be suffering from bleeding disorders. More than 2,000 women have taken the test in 106 countries and the website has had more than 15,000 views.

“Receiving this award has given me even more motivation to work harder and help more people,” says Dr. James. “I’m committed to my patients and passionate about my work and I want to help. That’s always been my goal.”

For more information on the award please visit the Canadian Hemophilia Society website.