About Dr. Davis


Dr. Thomas P. Davis is Professor of Medical Pharmacology in the College of Medicine and Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the College of Pharmacy, at the University of Arizona- Tucson Campus. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola University (1973), his M.Sc. in physiology with honors from the University of Nevada (1975) and his Ph.D. in physiology/biochemistry with high honors from the University of Missouri (1978). He carried out award winning, postdoctoral training at Abbott Pharmaceutical Company as a development chemist and founder of the analytical confirmation laboratory in the therapy monitoring venture group (TDx) before joining the University of Arizona faculty in November of 1980. Dr. Davis’ research interests include studies of the molecular, biochemical and pathophysiological mechanisms associated with maintenance and disruption of the blood-brain barrier / endothelial cell tight junction proteins and neurovascular unit that leads to CNS drug delivery challenges, in several disease states associated with hypoxia, stroke and acute pain states. He has studied the challenges of drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier with continuous basic science research grant awards , as a PI, from the N.I.H. from 1981 to 2025. His pioneering, award winning program of research has published 247 well cited, high impact, peer-reviewed research articles with a  D - H index of 76 and a i10 index of 199/247 (80%). He has served as a chartered member on five N.I.H., brain disorders clinical neurosciences (BDCN) study sections, including N.S.F., MRC and V.A. study sections. Dr. Davis also directed the synthesis of the new stroke drug, 3K3A activated protein C, while continuing to serve on the scientific advisory board of ZZ-Biotech LLC since 2006.  3K3A-APC recently completed a very successful Phase 2 “Rhapsody” Clinical Trial in 2018 and has received FDA “Fast Track” recognition for Phase 3 in 1500 patients which is NIH funded. Dr. Davis was awarded a special citation from the University of Arizona Chair of the Faculty for his extraordinary and expert service to the University in 2001, a distinguished award citation from Loyola-Marymount University College of Science and Engineering for inclusion on the Alumni Wall of Fame in 2003, and awarded The Founders Day Award  and lecture from The University of Arizona College of Medicine in 2011. Dr. Davis continues his research program as the  Co-P.I. of a newly awarded NIH RO1 drug delivery grant out to 2025, while also directing and teaching a M.Sc. / Ph.D. 600 level graduate course in medical pharmacology at the University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy in Tucson in the Fall, where he has completed his 42nd year of service to the University.  Dr. Davis CV . cvtpd2023.docx

Research Interests : 

Our Brain Barriers Reserach laboratory continues its long-term blood brain barrier / neurovascular unit  (BBB/NVU) research program, continuously funded by N.I.H. since 1981, by studying the mechanisms involved in delivering drugs across the blood-brain barrier  to the central nervous system (CNS) in neuropathological disease states. We have recently discovered specific drug transporters such as Pgp and OATP that are affected by stroke and can be targeted to enhance drug delivery. We are also actively studying the effect of neuropathologies such as hypoxia, stroke, and acute  pain on endothelial cell tight junction protein integrity , leak,  permeability and Pgp transporter trafficking at the BBB. We have recently shown that short-term hypoxia and MCAO  leads to significant alterations in permeability and transporter expression that can be reversed by specific calcium channel antagonists. This work has significant consequences to the study of stroke. Additionally, we have shown that peripheral inflammatory pain and drug-drug interactions have significant effects on BBB Pgp transporter trafficking to the lumen of the brain endothelial cells leading to limitations in the delivery of analgesics such as codeine and morphine, to the CNS. We are now in the exciting position of coupling our program in CNS drug delivery by BBB transporters with our program in stroke neuropathology at the neurovascular unit. cvtpd2023.docx