James W. Lillard

James W. Lillard, PhD, MBA 

Senior Associate Dean

Research, Innovation and Commercialization


Microbiology, Biochemistry & Immunology
Location: Hugh Gloster Building, Room 340
Phone: 404-752-1863
E-mail: jlillard@msm.edu


University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology & Immunology 

Emory University Goizueta Business SchooL
Degree: Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Track


Ohio State University
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Electrical & Computer Science Engineering 

Research Interests

Dr. Lillard is an immunologist who uses both in silico and in vivo methods to develop biologics or molecular tests to better treat or diagnose, respectively, chronic diseases. His research involves dissecting the molecular mechanisms of cancer and inflammatory diseases, using clinically annotated NGS and real-world data for the implementation of precision medicine. His research contributions span disciplines including oncology, immunity, inflammation and biodefense. Dr. Lillard’s cumulative peer-reviewed funding principally directed over his scientific career exceeds $70 million and he has authored over 300 scientific communications, which have been cited over 10,000 times.


  • R. Fairley, J.W. Lillard, Jr., A. Berk, S. Cornew, J. Gaspero, J. Gillespie, L.L. Horne, S. Kidane, S.B. Munro, M. Parsons, E.R. Powers, S.E. Rizzo, A. Tishcler, H. Wohl, and M.C. Weiss. 2023. Increasing Clinical Trial Participation of Black Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities PMID: 37314691
  • J.W. Lillard, Jr., K.A. Moses, B.A. Mahal, and D.J. George. 2022. Racial disparities in Black men with prostate cancer. Cancer PMID: 36066378
  • O.O. Adebayo, E.B. Dammer, C.D. Dill, A.O. Adebayo, S.O. Oseni, T.L. Griffen, A.Q. Ohandjo, S. Jain, B.G. Barwick, R. Singh, L.H. Boise, and J.W. Lillard, Jr. 2022. Multivariant Transcriptome Analysis Identifies Modules and Hub Genes Associated with Poor Outcomes in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma Patients. Cancers PMID: 35565356
  • T.L. Griffen, F.W. Hoff, Y. Qiu, J.W. Lillard, Jr., A. Ferrajoli, P. Thompson, E. Toro, K. Ruiz, J. Burger, W. Wierda, and S.M. Kornblau. 2022. Proteomic profiling-based classification of CLL provides prognostication for modern therapy and identifies novel therapeutic targets. Blood Cancer PMID: 35301276
  • S.K. Nunez, C.D. Young, T.L. Griffen, A.Q. Ohandjo, L.P. McKinney, S. Kopetz, and J.W. Lillard, Jr. 2021. Identification of Gene Co-Expression Networks Associated with Consensus Molecular Subtype-1 of Colorectal Cancer. Cancers PMID: 34830978
  • A.P. Howard, L.S. Slaughter, K.M. Carey, and J.W. Lillard, Jr. 2021. Bridges to biotechnology and bioentrepreneurship: improving diversity in the biotechnology sector. Nature Biotech PMID: 34754115
  • T.L. Griffen, E. Dammer, C.D. Dill, K.M. Carey, C. Young, S.K. Nunez, and J.W. Lillard Jr. 2021. Multivariate transcriptome analysis identifies networks and key drivers of chronic lymphocytic leukemia relapse risk and patient survival. BMC Med Genomics PMID: 34187466

    Click here to view additional publications.

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Fellow of the American Association of Immunologists
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow
  • National Academy of Inventors Fellow
  • American Association for Cancer Research President’s Initiative -2020 by 2020, Principal Investigator
  • Veterans Affairs, National Research Advisory Council Member
  • National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review, Innate Immunity & Inflammation Study Section Member
  • National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review, Cancer Diagnostics & Treatments (CDT) SBIR Peer Review Panel Member
  • National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review, Provocative Questions Special Emphasis Peer Review Panel Member
  • Georgia Cancer Coalition, Distinguished Cancer Scholar Award
  • United States Food & Drug Administration Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Panel Member
  • Academy of Microbiologist, Microbial Triggers of Chronic Human Illness Colloquium Member 
  • Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America Senior Research Scientist Award