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Michael J. Davis, PhD

Professor and Associate Department Head, Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology
Office Location: M451f Medical Sciences Building
Office Phone: 573-884-5181
DavisMJ@health.missouri.edu

Research Interests

Research focus is on mechanisms of vascular mechanotransduction: How do vascular cells detect changes in pressure and shear stress? What cellular proteins and signaling pathways are involved in these processes? How are the mechanisms impaired in vascular disease states? Currently, we focus on two main projects with a particular emphasis on the role of vascular ion channels.

Research Description

Currently funded to investigate the intracellular signaling axis linking the extracellular matrix with integrin receptors, the cytoskeleton, and plasmamembrane ion channels. Studies indicate that the L-type, voltage-gated calcium channel and the large-conductance, calcium-activated (BK) potassium channel are acutely regulated by integrins (adhesion molecules) in vascular cells, under both physiological and pathological conditions; ion flux through these channels subsequently controls the state of contraction of vascular smooth muscle.

The experimental approaches used in Davis' laboratory — isolated, perfused microvessel methods and single-cell electrophysiology  — are combined with a variety of imaging techniques, including confocal microscopy, atomic force microscopy and total-internal reflectance fluorescence microscopy.Molecular analyses, such as site-directed mutagenesis and co-immunoprecipitation, is also used to identify the specific integrin-associated proteins that are involved in the modulation of ion channels and to identify the specific domains on the channels that are required for their regulation.

Professional Background

  • Obtained BS in zoology, University of California–Davis.
  • Obtained PhD in physiology and biophysics, University of Nebraska Medical Center.
  • Completed postdoctoral research at University of Arizona.
  • Received an Established Investigatorship from the American Heart Association.
  • Served as member of editorial boards for Microcirculation and Journal of Vascular Research.
  • Served as member of National Institutes of Health (NIH) Experimental Cardiovascular Sciences Study Section.
  • Received Lyndon B. Johnson Award from Texas Affiliate of the American Heart Association.
  • Received Excellence in Research Award 2001 from Texas A&M University.
  • Research funded by NIH.

Selected Publications


Published by Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, 134 Research Park Dr., Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 573-882-7588 | Fax: 573-884-4232 | Email: dalton@missouri.edu