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Meet Our California Scientists Joanna D. Davies
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Joanna D. Davies

Joanna D. Davies, D.Phil.TorreyPinesInstituteCA

Director of Scientific Affairs
Member, Immunology

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The overall interest of the laboratory is to understand the role of the immune system in preventing tissue pathology including, autoimmunity, transplant rejection and severe muscle wasting. Most of our research is dedicated to understanding how the immune system protects tissue in healthy individuals, and how defects in the immune system can lead to disease including type I diabetes and cachexia, the severe muscle wasting seen in patients with disorders like cancer, autoimmunity and chronic infection. We use this information to design strategies to re-build the defective immune system so that the tissue is once again protected from immune-mediated damage. In the long term it is hoped that this program will contribute to the design of new therapeutic strategies for immune-mediated disease.

Education

  • 1979 – 1982    Bristol University, UK. B.Sc.Hons. Cellular Pathology.
  • 1982 – 1986    Oxford University, UK. D.Phil. (Ph.D.) Immunology.

Positions

  • Sept. 2009 – present. Director of Scientific Affairs, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego, California.
  • 2008 – present.  Member, Steering Committee for Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, Florida.
  • 2007 – present.  Member, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego, California.
  • 2001 – 2007.   Associate Member, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego, California.
  • 1998 – 2001.   Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California.
  • 1996 – 1998.  Senior Research Associate, Department of Immunology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California.
  • 1995 – 1996.  Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Biology, UCSD, La Jolla, California.
  • 1990 – 1995.  Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Immunology, Cambridge University, UK.
  • 1986 – 1990. Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Immunology, Medical Biology Institute, La Jolla, California.

Professional Affiliations

  • 2009 – present.  Member, American Diabetes Association (ADA) Research Committee, San Diego, California.
  • 2000 – 2003.   Consultant for the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, La Jolla, California.
  • Reviewer for professional publications:
    • American Journal of Transplantation – reviewer
    • Journal of Immunology – reviewer
    • Thrombosis and Haemostasis – reviewer
    • Current Molecular Medicine - ad hoc reviewer
    • Human Gene Therapy – ad hoc reviewer
    • International Immunopharmacology – ad hoc reviewer
    • Current Medicinal Chemistry - ad hoc reviewer
    • Immunology – ad hoc reviewer
    • Central European Journal of Biology – ad hoc reviewer
  • Current membership in Professional Societies:
    • American Diabetes Association (ADA)
    • American Association of Immunologists (AAI)

Honors & Awards

Scientific Review Committees:

  • 1999. NIH Special Emphasis Panel – Member.
  • 2000. NIH NIDA – Member - Contract Review Committee.
  • 2000. Society of Fellows Fall Symposium co-judge. The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California.
  • 2001. NIH Special Emphasis Panel – Member.
  • 2001. The Wellcome Trust, UK. Member - Grant Review Committee.
  • 2002 - 2005. American Heart Association Western States Affiliate Peer Review Committee -  Member.
  • 2003.   NIH Immunological Science Study Section, ad hoc reviewer – February, June and October.
  • 2003.   NIH Department of Veterans Affairs Immunology Merit Review Board, December.
  • 2004.   NIH Immunological Science Study Section, ad hoc reviewer – February.
  • 2004.   NIH Special Emphasis Panel – Member.
  • 2005 - 2009. NIH Study Section, Hypersensitivity, Autoimmune, and Immune-mediated Disease - Member.

Selected Publications (10 of 32)

  1. Zhao, C., and Davies, J. D. A peripheral CD4+ T cell precursor for naïve, memory and regulatory T cells. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 2010. 207: 2883-2894.
  2. Davies, J. D., Leong, L. Y. W., Mellor, A., Cobbold, S. P., and Waldmann, H. T cell suppression in transplantation tolerance through linked recognition. 1996. J. Immunol. 156:3602.
  3. O'Connor, E. Roberts, E, and Davies, J. D. Amplification of cytokine-specific ELISAs increases the sensitivity of detection to 5 – 20 picograms per milliliter. J. Imm. Methods.1999. 229:155–160.
  4. Hall, D., Roberts, E. and Davies, J. Allograft rejection results from a failed attempt by the immune system to protect foreign tissue. Immunologic Research. 2000. 21:177-183.
  5. Roberts, E. M., Hall, D. S., Ferguson, S., Minson, S. and Davies, J. D. IL-4 expression delays eosinophil-independent vasculopathy and fibrosis during allograft rejection in the mouse. J Clinical Immunol. 2003. 23:120-132.
  6. Hall, D. S., Roberts, E. M., Ferguson, S., Wang, Z., and Davies, J. D. Increasing transplant mass results in long-term allograft survival and recovery from transplant vasculopathy. J Clinical Immunol. 2003. 23:162-174.
  7. Wang, Z., and Davies, J. D. CD8 blockade promotes the expansion of antigen-specific CD4+ FOXP3+ regulatory cells in vivo. Int. Immunopharmacology. 2006. 7:249-265.
  8. Wang, Z., and Davies, J. D. CD8 blockade promotes antigen responsiveness to non-tolerizing antigen in tolerant mice by inhibiting apoptosis of CD4+ T cells. J. Immunol. 2007. 178:6148-6157.
  9. Zhao, C., Wang, Z., Robertson, M. W., and Davies, J. D. Cachexia in the non obese diabetic mouse is associated with CD4+ T cell lymphopenia. Immunology. 2008. 125:48-58.
  10. Wang, Z., Zhao, C., Moya, R., Davies, J. D. A novel role for CD4+ T cells in the control of cachexia. J. Immunol. 2008. 181:4676-4684.