James Lord, MD, PhD

Research Assistant Member
Office Phone: 
(206) 287-1088

Background Information

James Lord received his PhD in Immunology through the University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Benaroya Research Institute (BRI). He subsequently completed his MD at the University of Washington, where he remained for his internal medicine residency and clinical research fellowship in gastroenterology. During his fellowship, he returned to BRI to pursue a research project in the lab of Steven Ziegler, PhD, exploring the role of FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the pathogenesis of human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). He joined Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) in 2010 and has established his clinical practice at the Digestive Disease Institute, specializing in the care of patients with IBD.

Area of Research

Dr. Lord continues to explore Tregs and other cells of the mucosal immune system in patients with IBD. Through a collaboration with Virginia Mason surgeon Richard Thirlby, MD, he has compiled an extensive archive of research materials and data from the surgically resected intestines of patients with and without IBD since 2006. In 2011, IBD was added to BRI’s biorepository program to archive research materials from the blood and colonoscopic biopsies of IBD patients seen in the VMMC Gastroenterology Division. Using these materials, he is now actively comparing the characteristics of circulating and mucosal immune cells in terms of their composition, expression of immunoregulatory molecules and cytokine signal transduction capabilities, and correlating his findings with clinical characteristics and genetic risk factors for IBD. This work is complemented by investigation of how other mucosal immune cells, such as dendritic cells, may influence the inhibitory potential of Tregs in functional assays.

Lord Laboratory

Translational Research Program