Melissa B. Davis, PhD is an Assistant Professor (Interim) of the Department of Surgery and Scientific Director of the International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes (ICSBCS) at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, NY. She is holds adjunct faculty appoints in the Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA and in the Department of Population Health Sciences at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, MI.
Dr. Davis received her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics at the University of Georgia (Athens, GA, USA) and her postdoctoral training was completed at Yale School of Medicine and University of Chicago where she completed groundbreaking genomics work related to steroid hormone functions during development. At the University of Chicago she also trained at the U-Chicago Center for Interdisciplinary Health Disparities, where she began her current research program: To identify biological mechanisms of racial disparities in cancer risk and clinical outcomes of in breast cancer (more recently also in prostate and gynecological cancers). The Davis lab has produced findings that have proven that unique genetic signatures in both breast and prostate tumors of African and African American patients are enriched for mechanisms that correlate with aggressive tumor progression, which generate novel opportunities for precision medicine applications in minority populations. The recent findings emerging from her breast cancer research include identification of an African-Ancestry allele, and that the recently discovered tumor expression of a gene named DARC (ACKR1) is linked to the tumor immune/inflammatory response. These findings are expected to be transformative to breast cancer management and prevention.