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James M. Davis, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics - Infectious Disease

Contact Information

1120 Boyd Tower (BT)
200 Hawkins Drive
Iowa City, IA 52242


BARCH, Architecture, Mississippi State University
PhD, Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis, Emory University
MD, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Emory University School of Medicine
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Licensure and Certifications

Iowa Medical License
American Board of Pediatrics- General Pediatrics

Research Summary

The Davis lab uses the zebrafish larva as a model host to understand how the innate immune system interacts with potential pathogens over time, and how that interaction determines outcomes like microbial clearance, persistence or disseminated disease. The basic biology of granuloma formation and function is a major focus. Specific infections under study include cryptococcosis and mycobacterial infection.


Rosowski, E. E., Knox, B. P., Archambault, L. S., Huttenlocher, A., Keller, N. P., Wheeler, R. T. & Davis, J. M. (2018). The Zebrafish as a Model Host for Invasive Fungal Infections. Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 4(4). PMID: 30551557.

Johnson, C. J., Davis, J. M., Huttenlocher, A., Kernien, J. F. & Nett, J. E. (2018). Emerging Fungal Pathogen Candida auris Evades Neutrophil Attack. mBio, 9(4). PMID: 30131360.

Nguyen, J. C., Rebsamen, S. L., Tuite, M. J., Davis, J. M. & Rosas, H. G. (2018). Imaging of Kingella kingae musculoskeletal infections in children: a series of 5 cases. Emergency radiology. PMID: 29909593.

Misch, E. A., Saddler, C. & Davis, J. M. (2018). Skin and Soft Tissue Infections Due to Nontuberculous Mycobacteria. Current infectious disease reports, 20(4), 6. PMID: 29556857.

Takaki, K., Davis, J. M., Winglee, K. & Ramakrishnan, L. (2013). Evaluation of the pathogenesis and treatment of Mycobacterium marinum infection in zebrafish. Nature protocols, 8(6), 1114-24. PMID: 23680983.

Yang, C. T., Cambier, C. J., Davis, J. M., Hall, C. J., Crosier, P. S. & Ramakrishnan, L. (2012). Neutrophils exert protection in the early tuberculous granuloma by oxidative killing of mycobacteria phagocytosed from infected macrophages. Cell host & microbe, 12(3), 301-12. PMID: 22980327.

Volkman, H. E., Pozos, T. C., Zheng, J., Davis, J. M., Rawls, J. F. & Ramakrishnan, L. (2010). Tuberculous granuloma induction via interaction of a bacterial secreted protein with host epithelium. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5964), 466-9. PMID: 20007864.

Davis, J. M., Haake, D. A. & Ramakrishnan, L. (2009). Leptospira interrogans stably infects zebrafish embryos, altering phagocyte behavior and homing to specific tissues. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 3(6), e463. PMID: 19547748.

Brannon, M. K., Davis, J. M., Mathias, J. R., Hall, C. J., Emerson, J. C., Crosier, P. S., Huttenlocher, A., Ramakrishnan, L. & Moskowitz, S. M. (2009). Pseudomonas aeruginosa Type III secretion system interacts with phagocytes to modulate systemic infection of zebrafish embryos. Cellular microbiology, 11(5), 755-68. PMID: 19207728.

Davis, J. M., Ramakrishnan, L. (2009). The role of the granuloma in expansion and dissemination of early tuberculous infection. Cell, 136(1), 37-49. PMID: 19135887.

Davis, J. M., Ramakrishnan, L. (2008). "The very pulse of the machine": the tuberculous granuloma in motion. Immunity, 28(2), 146-8. PMID: 18275827.

Clay, H., Davis, J. M., Beery, D., Huttenlocher, A., Lyons, S. E. & Ramakrishnan, L. (2007). Dichotomous role of the macrophage in early Mycobacterium marinum infection of the zebrafish. Cell host & microbe, 2(1), 29-39. PMID: 18005715.

Cosma, C. L., Swaim, L. E., Volkman, H., Ramakrishnan, L. & Davis, J. M. (2006). Zebrafish and frog models of Mycobacterium marinum infection. Current protocols in microbiology, Chapter 10, Unit 10B.2. PMID: 18770575.

Davis, J. M., Clay, H., Lewis, J. L., Ghori, N., Herbomel, P. & Ramakrishnan, L. (2002). Real-time visualization of mycobacterium-macrophage interactions leading to initiation of granuloma formation in zebrafish embryos. Immunity, 17(6), 693-702. PMID: 12479816.

Takada, N., York, J., Davis, J. M., Schumpert, B., Yasuo, H., Satoh, N. & Swalla, B. J. (2002). Brachyury expression in tailless Molgulid ascidian embryos. Evolution & development, 4(3), 205-11. PMID: 12054293.