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Roger Davis elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Academy represents innovative thinkers in every field and profession

By Colleen Locke

UMass Medical School Communications

April 22, 2021

Roger J. Davis, PhD, FRS, has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Comprising artists, scholars, scientists and leaders in the public, nonprofit and private sectors, the academy recognizes excellence and expertise among its membership, representing innovative thinkers in every field and profession.

“I am deeply humbled to accept this honor from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences,” said Dr. Davis, the H. Arthur Smith Chair in Cancer Research and chair and professor of molecular medicine. “This honor represents recognition of the many accomplishments of colleagues in my research group at UMass Medical School.”

Roger J. Davis, PhD, FRS

Davis’ election to the academy recognizes his research on stress signaling pathways that are connected to a range of diseases, such as arthritis, cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes. He is the author of more than 400 scientific papers and his studies have led to the discovery of new genes that contribute to the development of these devastating diseases. The impact of his work has been immeasurable, including years when his scientific publications have been the most often cited research papers in the world.

Davis has four degrees from Queens’ College of the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom: a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, advanced degrees in biochemistry and natural sciences, and a doctorate degree in biochemistry. He joined the Medical School community in 1984 as a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund fellow; he was appointed assistant professor in what was then the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1985. In 1990, he was promoted to associate professor, became a founding member of the Program in Molecular Medicine, and named an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

In 2002, Davis was named the H. Arthur Smith Chair and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. In 2012, he received the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Scholarship. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, a member of the National Academy of Inventors and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors excellence and leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together to cultivate every art and science.

University of Massachusetts Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, PhD, was also elected to membership in the 2021 class.

Davis joins these UMMS faculty previously elected to the academy:

  • Thoru Pederson, PhD, the Vitold Arnett Professor of Cell Biology, associate vice chancellor for research and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology;
  • Victor R. Ambros, PhD, the Silverman Chair in Natural Sciencesand professor of molecular medicine;
  • Michael R. Green, MD, PhD, the Lambi and Sarah Adams Chair in Genetic Research,chair and professor of molecular, cell & cancer biology, professor of molecular medicine, vice provost of strategic research initiatives, director of the UMass Medical School Cancer Center, and co-director of the Li Weibo Institute for Rare Diseases Research;
  • Allan Jacobson, PhD, the Gerald L. Haidak, MD, and Zelda S. Haidak Professor of Cell Biology, and chair and professor of microbiology & physiological systems; and
  • Craig C. Mello, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Blais University Chair in Molecular Medicine,distinguished professor of RNA therapeutics and professor of molecular medicine.

Related stories on UMassMed News:
Roger Davis to chair Program in Molecular Medicine
Roger Davis elected to National Academy of Sciences