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Aaron Watkins James, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Aaron Watkins James, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Pathology


Orthopaedic Pathology, Pathology

Research Interests

Bone biology; Osteogenesis; Skeletal repair; Mesenchymal stem cells; Osteosarcoma


Dr. James received his M.D. with thesis from the University of California, San Francisco with research at Stanford University. Dr. James performed his residency in Anatomic Pathology and fellowships in Orthopaedic Pathology and Surgical Pathology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his Ph.D. in bone biology and osteoprogenitor cells from University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. James is a dual physician-scientist and bone tissue pathologist, with research interests in bone tissue regeneration and repair. Current research interests include perivascular mesenchymal progenitor cells for bone tissue engineering, and novel growth and differentiation factors to speed bone repair. Other interests include an examination of the supporting tissues for osteogenesis and bone repair, including the peripheral nervous system, as well as the study of bone-forming tumors (osteosarcoma) and the development of novel therapies. His work requires the intersection and collaboration of multiple disciplines, including collaborations within Pathology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dental Sciences, Engineering, Bioengineering, and Material Sciences. more


  • Associate Professor of Pathology

Departments / Divisions



  • MD, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine (2010)


  • David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA / Anatomic Pathology (2015)


  • David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (2016)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pathology / Anatomic Pathology (2015)

Research & Publications

Lab Website: James Laboratory

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Zhang L, Chang L, Xu J, Meyers CA, Yan N, Zou E, James AW. Lineage specific Wnt reporter elucidates mesenchymal Wnt signaling during bone repair. Am J Pathol, Oct 2018, 188(10):2155-2163.

Meyers CA, Xu J, Shen J, Asatrian G, Ding C, Shen J, Broderick K, Ting K, Soo C, Peault B, James AW. WISP-1 drives bone formation at the expense of fat formation in human perivascular stem cells. Sci Rep, Oct 2018, 23; 8(1): 15618

Wang Y, Xu J, Chang L, Meyers CA, Zhang L, Broderick K, Lee M, Peault B, James AW. Relative contributions of adipose-derived CD146+ pericytes and CD34+ adventitial progenitor cells in bone tissue engineering. NPJ Regen Med, Jan 2019, 4:1.

Contact for Research Inquiries

720 Rutland Avenue
Rooms 524/523/519
Baltimore, MD 21205 map
Phone: 410-502-4143

Email me

Activities & Honors


  • Phi Beta Kappa, 2004
  • ASBMR President's Poster Competition Winner, 2012
  • ORS Spotlight Podium Presentation, 2013
  • Best Abstract, International Society of Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology, 2013
  • Young Investigator's Award, ASBMR, 2013
  • International Investigator's Award, ASBMR/JSBMR, 2013
  • Daljit S. and Elaine Sarkaria Fellowship Award, 2014
  • Featured Cover Article, Stem Cells, 2015


  • Member, Orthopaedic Research Society, 2014
  • Member, International Society for Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology, 2014
  • Member, American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, 2014
  • Member, United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, 2014
  • Young Investigator Subcommittee member, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR), 2015 - 2018
  • Member, American Heart Association, 2018
  • Member, International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and Science, 2018
  • Member, American Society for Investigative Pathology, 2018

Professional Activities

  • Editorial Board Member, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 2013
  • Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Orthopaedics, 2014
  • Academic Editor and Editorial Board Member, Journal of Orthopaedic Oncology, 2015
  • Associate Editor and Editorial Board Member, Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapeutics, 2015
  • Editorial Board Member, Current Research in Orthopedics, 2017
  • Editorial Board Member, Bone Research, 2017
  • Editorial Board Member, American Journal of Pathology, 2018

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Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

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