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Mark M. Davis

Academic Appointments

  • The Burt and Marion Avery Family Professor

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Contact Information

  • Academic Offices
    Alternate Contact
    Rick Cuevas Administrative Assistant Tel Work 650-725-4755


Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • The Burt and Marion Avery Family Professor of Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine (2007 - present)
  • Director, Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, Stanford University School of Medicine (2004 - present)
  • Chair, Stanford University School of Medicine - Microbiology & Immunology (2002 - 2004)

Honors and Awards

  • Milton and Francis Clauser Doctoral Prize, Caltech (1981)
  • Passano Young Scientist Award, Passano Foundation (1985)
  • Eli Lilly Award in Microbiology and Immunology, American Society of Microbiology (1986)
  • Howard Taylor Ricketts Award, University of Chicago (1988)
  • Gairdner Prize, Gairdner Foundation (1989)
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences (1993)
View All 18honors and awards of Mark Davis

Professional Education

Ph. D.: Caltech, Molecular Biology (1981)
B.A.: The Johns Hopkins University, Molecular Biology (1974)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

We are interested in the molecular basis of T and B lymphocyte recognition, as well as the control of differentiation and functional responses in these cells.These studies have ranged from analyzing the inherent diversity of these highly diverse molecules and relating it to their function and specificity (Davis and Bjorkman 1988; Xu et al 2000) to basic aspects of TCR biochemistry and cell biology (Huppa et al 2010, Lillemeier et al, 2010). We also developed peptide-MHC tetramers which are useful for staining and isolating specific T cells in both basic science and clinical applications (Altman et al 1996; Newell et al., 2012, 2013).
We have also been very much involved in trying to relate what we have learned in basic immunology using mouse models to understanding the human immune system. Here we have employed systems biology approaches to understand vaccine responses (Furman et al., 2013), twin studies to understand the relative influence of environment versus genetics (ongoing) and T cell repertoire studies to understand self vs non-self capabilities and the origin of memory T cell responses (Su et al 2013). In this last paper, what is particularly interesting is that we have found that healthy adults have abundant numbers of pathogen-specific memory T cells even for viruses that they have never been exposed to, whereas newborns do not. This suggests that there is an unexpected source of protective lymphocytes in adults that likely impact disease resistance and conversely, indicates why young children are so vulnerable to infectious diseases. In general we have found that analyzing the human immune system has presented us with many surprises and complements what we have learned in mice.




Prior Year Coursescourses of Mark Davis



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