June 07, 2023

Announcing Brian Davis, Ph.D., as director of the UAB Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center

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Brian Davis CFRC Director LRBrian R. Davis, Ph.D.After a national search, Brian R. Davis, Ph.D., has been named the director of the UAB Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center (CFRC), effective July 1. As director, Davis will advance the mission of the CFRC to support cutting-edge research in basic science, pathophysiology, therapeutics, translational and precision medicine, clinical implementation and genetic therapies of cystic fibrosis and related disorders in the U.S. and around the world.

“I am honored and delighted to be joining UAB as the Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center director,” said Davis. “Working alongside my new colleagues in Birmingham, my goal will be to actively support and enhance the center’s current areas of strength while also advancing a significant initiative focused on development of genetic-based therapies for CF.”

Davis joins the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine from McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Since 2012, he has served as director of the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (CSCRM) at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, where he is professor and holds the C. Harold and Lorine G. Wallace Distinguished University Chair. He also has directed the Senator Lloyd and B.A. Bentsen Center for Stroke Research.

Davis leads a robust cystic fibrosis (CF) research program, funded by both the NIH and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), comprising two main areas of investigation:

  • Developing a gene editing-based therapeutic and potential cure, initially for patients with CF who produce little-to-no CFTR protein, and eventually to be applied more broadly.
  • Developing and utilizing assays employing CF iPSC-derived airway epithelium to identify those patients with CF who may benefit therapeutically from currently available modulators or future small molecule drugs.

At UTHealth, Davis has also served as a dedicated mentor to faculty, postdoctoral fellows, research staff, and graduate and medical students.

“I look forward to welcoming Dr. Davis,” said Anupam Agarwal, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the Heersink School of Medicine. “His impressive track record of collaborative leadership, innovative research, and commitment to training will strengthen and expand the already exceptional impact of the Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center.”