Dr. James Lewis earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Virginia in 1987. He received his MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine and subsequently served as Chief Medical Resident at Yale University. Following his residency, Dr. Lewis simultaneously completed a fellowship in Gastroenterology and obtained a master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and currently is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Senior Scholar at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Senior Fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and Associate Director of the Penn Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program.
Dr. Lewis has been actively involved in research related to inflammatory bowel disease since 1996 and has published more than 170 scholarly articles. His research covers a broad range of topics, but primarily focuses on issues related to medication safety and optimizing medical therapies. Examples include a series of studies investigating whether patients treated with various medications for IBD are at increased risk for cancer, infections, neurologic diseases, and death, and whether such risks are warranted given the effectiveness of the therapy. Dr. Lewis is one of limited number of investigators to lead NIH funded clinical trials of novel therapeutic strategies for IBD. He has directed two clinical trials of rosiglitazone to treat ulcerative colitis and a trial of using biomarkers to adjust medical therapy for ulcerative colitis. He is currently on the steering committee of an NIH funded trial examining the efficacy of methotrexate for ulcerative colitis. In recent years, Dr. Lewis and his colleagues have begun to focus their research on how diet and the microorganisms that inhabit the human intestine may influence the course of IBD. Dr. Lewis hopes that this research may help to identify novel strategies for treating IBD that are not based on systemic immunosuppression.
Dr. Lewis has a long history of service to the IBD community and the CCFA in particular. He has previously served on the CCFA’s Professional Education, Research Initiatives, and Grant Review committees. He was the initial chair of the CCFA’s Quality Improvement Task Force and previously served as Vice-chair of the CCFA’s Clinical Research Alliance. Dr. Lewis also helped plan several of CCFA’s national meetings on clinical trial methodology and the annual CCFA Advances meeting. He is a former chair of the Delaware Valley Chapter Medical Advisory Committee. From 2009-2011, he served as Chair-elect of the National Scientific Advisory Committee; he will chair this committee from 2012 to 2014.
Dr. Lewis has been honored for his accomplishments as a researcher, clinician, and teacher by numerous organizations. He has been the recipient of the American Gastroenterological Association’s Young Clinical Investigator Award and was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Dr. Lewis has been named in Philadelphia’s Top Doctors and US News and World Report Top Doctors. He has also been the recipient of several teaching awards at the University of Pennsylvania, including the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching.
Dr. Lewis and his wife Nancy are the proud parents Matthew, 18, and Jonathan, 14. They reside in Moorestown, NJ.