Roger Davis, PhD, Elected to Royal Society:

Distinguished UMass Medical School researcher internationally recognized

May 24, 2002

Worcester, Mass. - Roger J. Davis, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor of Molecular Medicine and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, has been elected as a member of the Royal Society. The Royal Society is an independent academy promoting the natural and applied sciences. Founded in Great Britain in 1660, the society recognizes excellence in science, supporting leading-edge scientific research and its applications to further the role of science, engineering and technology in society. Members are elected for their contributions to science, both in fundamental research resulting in greater understanding, and also in leading and directing scientific and technological progress in industry and research establishments.

The first UMMS faculty member to be appointed an investigator of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Davis conducts ground-breaking research into the body's responses to changes in the environment at the cellular level, and the implications of those responses on a wide array of diseases. He and his colleagues were the first to identify and molecularly clone a particular set of genes, the JNK signal transduction pathway, that plays an integral role in apoptosis, or "cell suicide," one way cells respond to stress. Davis has been listed three times as one of the world's most highly cited scientists by the Institute for Scientific Information, in 1995 and 1996, and, most recently, in 2001. Citation is a key measure of influence in science and technology because when researchers refer to the work of others they, in effect, recognize the impact that the work has had on their own studies.

Davis received his bachelor's degree in natural sciences, advanced degrees in biochemistry and natural sciences, and a doctoral degree in biochemistry from Cambridge University, Great Britain, where he also later served as a research fellow. On June 1, he will be invested as the H. Arthur Smith Chair in Cancer Research at UMMS. The University of Massachusetts Medical School is one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, attracting more than $123 million in research funding annually. Ranked fifth in the annual US News & World Report ranking of primary care medical schools, UMMS comprises a medical school, graduate school of nursing, graduate school of biomedical sciences and an active research enterprise, and is a leader in health sciences education, research, clinical care and public service.

Sandra Gray (508)856-2000

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