Helen James has a Bachelor of Dental Surgery  and Graduate Diploma of Forensic Odontology  from the University of Adelaide. She has worked as a dental assistant, private dental practitioner, an oral surgical assistant, forensic odontologist, and a lecturer in the School of Dentistry. She is currently Director of the Forensic Odontology Unit at the University of Adelaide.
Helen lectures in forensic odontology to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as to forensic scientists and police officers. She has assisted the Coroner in South Australia, and the SA and NT Police Departments, in cases involving human identification and analysis of bite marks for a period of twenty years. She was also involved in Disaster Victim Identification following the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Victorian bushfires.