Roger J. Davis

University of Massachusetts Medical School
Biological Sciences
Cellular and Developmental Biology

Dr. Roger J. Davis is the H. Arthur Smith Professor and Chair, Program in Molecular Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He received his initial training as a student at Cambridge University. He also trained as a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation fellow with Michael P. Czech at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He subsequently joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and was a founding member of the Program in Molecular Medicine.

Dr. Davis’ studies of signal transduction mechanisms led to the molecular cloning of the first human stress-activated MAP kinase, the cJun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK). Subsequent studies defined the molecular structure of the JNK pathway, including the identification of upstream and downstream pathway components and scaffold proteins. This signaling pathway is activated in response to many pathological/physiological stimuli and is implicated in inflammatory diseases (e.g. arthritis), cancer, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. The overall goal of Dr. Davis’ research is to understand the molecular basis for these diseases and to design novel therapeutic strategies.  

Dr. Davis has served as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator for 30 years. He was identified as the most highly cited scientist worldwide in 1995-1996 by the Citation Index (Thompson Reuters) and is the author of more than 400 scientific papers. He was elected to The Royal Society, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Inventors, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, American Academy of Microbiology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the European Molecular Biology Organization. He was also the recipient of the Steven C. Beering Award from Indiana University. Dr. Davis was the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, and he currently serves on the Editorial Boards of eLife, Genes & Development, and Molecular Cell. He also served as the Chair of the Cellular Aspects of Diabetes & Obesity Study Section (National Institutes of Health).

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