About our Editors
Thomas P Davis, Editorial Board Member
University of Arizona, USA
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Dr Thomas P. Davis is Professor of Medical Pharmacology in the College of Medicine, at the University of Arizona. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola University (1973), his M.Sc. in physiology from the University of Nevada (1975) and his Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Missouri (1978). He carried out postdoctoral training at Abbott Pharmaceutical Company as a development chemist in the therapy monitoring venture (TDx) group before joining the UA faculty in 1980.
Dr Davis’ research interests include studies of the molecular, biochemical and pathophysiological mechanisms associated with maintenance and disruption of the blood-brain barrier and endothelial cell, tight junction architecture. He is an expert in the delivery of drugs across the blood-brain barrier having been funded by the N.I.H. since 1981. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed research articles, has served on four consecutive N.I.H., brain disorders clinical neurosciences and acute neural injury and epilepsy study sections and has served on several other N.S.F., Welcome Trust and V.A. study sections.
Dr Davis is the founding director of the University of Arizona Program in Research Integrity Education to answer the mandate from the U.S. Congress and U.S. Public Health Service to educate all University faculty, staff and students in the responsible conduct of research. He was awarded with a special citation from the Chair of the Faculty at the University of Arizona for his extraordinary and expert service to the General Faculty and University of Arizona and a special citation from Loyola-Marymount University College of Science and Engineering as a member of the Alumni Wall of Fame for his outstanding accomplishments in science and engineering.
Dr Davis’ laboratory continues its long-term biodistribution/ pharmacokinetics research program by studying mechanisms involved in delivering drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to the central nervous system (CNS) in pathological disease states. The Davis Lab has recently discovered that specific drug transporters are affected by central and peripheral pathologies and, therefore, can be targeted to enhance therapeutic drug delivery. They are also actively studying the effect of peripheral inflammatory pain and hypoxia/reoxygenation stress on paracellular permeability and tight junction oligomeric protein trafficking at the BBB. They have recently shown that short-term hypoxic stress leads to significant alterations in BBB permeability that can be reversed by Tempol, a free radical scavenger, suggesting that oxidative stress plays a critical role in altering BBB functional integrity during pathophysiological insult. This work has significant consequences to the study of stroke. Additionally, they have very recently shown that peripheral inflammatory pain has significant effects on BBB tight junction protein oligomeric structure, P-glycoprotein structure, trafficking and function, as characterized by changes in oligomeric assemblies of the key tight junction protein occludin, and altered functional expression and trafficking of the drug efflux transporter P-glycoprotein. These changes in BBB functional integrity lead to variations in delivery of opioid analgesic drugs such as codeine and morphine, to the CNS. Lastly, they have demonstrated that changes in BBB functional integrity during peripheral inflammatory pain are regulated, in part, by altered transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling at the level of the brain microvascular endothelium. The Davis Lab is now in the exciting position of coupling their program in analgesic biodistribution with their program in neuropathology.