Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Distinguished Alumni

James Ferguson

Dr. James L. Ferguson - 1995

Dr. James L. Ferguson is currently a professor in the department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine in Chicago.  He has been at the college since 1978.  Ferguson has supervised the thesis work of many doctoral candidate students, has a well-funded and vigorous research program on the effects of alcohol on the cardiovascular system and on how sepsis affects the heart and vascular system. 

His research efforts have resulted in more than 100 scientific abstracts and publications.  In addition to his excellent research and service record at the UI School of Medicine, Ferguson has distinguished himself as one of the best and most popular teachers.  He has received numerous accolades for his teaching including the first Dr. C. Thomas Bombeck Award for Excellence in Medical Education presented by the 1990 Medical Student Council. 

He has also been awarded the Raymond B. Allen Award, also known as the Golden Apple Award, for excellence in teaching from the first year medical classes of 1986, 19994, 1995, 1997, and 1998.  In 1991, Ferguson received the coveted UIC Award for Excellence in Teaching which is the highest teaching recognition award presented by the University of Illinois of Chicago. 

Ferguson was born in Thomas, Oklahoma and was raised on the farm and ranch that his grandparents homesteaded in the late 1800s.  After receiving his degree from SWOSU, he received his master’s degree in physiology at North Texas State University before moving on to Purdue University where he received his doctorate in physiology.  He then spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans before joining the University of Illinois faculty. 

He and his wife, Nell, have two children.  Son John H. is a sophomore at Evanston Township High School, while daughter Toni lives in Chicago and works with a law firm as a paralegal spending much time in London, England, with her firm.  Ferguson’s brother, John, still lives on the family farm northwest of Thomas.

James passed away in 2003.