About the Author
Dr. Thomas P. Davis has excelled in science, teaching, mentoring and service for over 30 years with consistency and creativity. Dr. Davis’ many accomplishments and work ethic can be credited to his disciplined training by renowned Harvard physiologist, David Bruce Dill, Missouri biochemist and lunar researcher, Charles W. Gehrke, and his University of Arizona College of Medicine mentors, the first Founders Day Lecturer, Henry I. Yamamura, and a College of Medicine founder, John D. Palmer.
Dr. Davis joined the University of Arizona in 1980, after completing two years of rigorous post-doctoral training at Abbott Pharmaceutical Company, as a member of the Therapeutic Drug Delivery (TDx) team. The Abbott TDx program proved highly successful in developing the first non-radioactive, automated, assay platform to monitor therapeutic drug levels in the physician office. Since his arrival at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Dr. Davis has made outstanding contributions to the field of blood brain barrier (BBB) research by changing how drugs are designed and manufactured by pharmaceutical companies for brain delivery.
Many national and international scientists consider the substantial body of work that he has contributed to the scientific community as ground- breaking. In understanding the role that the blood brain barrier, at the level of the cerebral vasculature, plays in human health and disease, Dr. Davis is regarded as one of the premier investigators in the field. His pioneering studies, showing that drug pharmacokinetics and brain uptake of pain relieving, analgesic agents differ under pathologic conditions, are considered paradigm shifting; thus fundamentally affecting how we approach drug delivery for all CNS disorders, including brain injury, stroke and neurodegeneration. His work on hypoxia, stroke, peripheral pain and drug delivery is credited with the pivotal discovery that macromolecular, structural movement in “tight junction proteins and drug transporter proteins at the BBB dramatically alters CNS drug delivery, under disease states.
His outstanding record of attracting extramural funding for his research also reflects the quality of Dr. Davis’ work. Since 2000, he has been the Principal Investigator on three continuing National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 Basic science research grants, the sponsor of seven-funded post-doctoral National research service Awards and six pre-doctoral NIH awards to his students. Each of Dr. Davis’ last seven post-doctoral fellows has been funded by a three year NIH-NRSA grant sponsored by Dr. Davis. This success rate for NIH-NRSA funding may be the highest of record at Arizona; a true testimony to Dr. Davis’ mentoring success. The merit of his highly cited research has been awarded by continuous RO1 and PO1 NIH funding for over 30 consecutive years and publishing over 210 well cited manuscripts leading to a h factor of 50.
His enthusiastic mentorship of more than 50 undergraduate, graduate and medical students, and 25 post-doctoral fellows in his laboratory, since 1982, reflect Dr. Davis’ contribution to the teaching mission of the College of Medicine. Dr. Davis’ success at placing his students in tenure track professor positions, 12 since 2000, demonstrates his dedication and respect as a mentor. He presently coordinates and directs the graduate pharmacology course and sincerely enjoys teaching both graduate and medical students while receiving outstanding teaching evaluations every year.