Michael J. Davis, PhD

Michael John Davis, PhD

Medical Pharmacology and Physiology

Curators' Distinguished Professor
Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor of Medical Research



My current research focuses on the mechanical and electrophysiological properties of lymphatic smooth muscle and endothelium and how dysfunction of those cell types contributes to lymphedema. Currently I am funded by the NIH as P.I. to study: 1) the contractile and valve properties of lymphatic vessels in mouse models of human diseases; 2) the ion channels involved in pacemaking of lymphatic muscle; and 3) the conduction of electrical signals along and across the lymphatic wall. I also have 3 collaborative NIH grants to study lymphatic valve dysfunction in specific mouse models of primary lymphedema.

Academic Information

Curators' Distinguished Professor
Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor of Medical Research


1 Hospital Dr.
Columbia, MO 65212
United States

P. 573-884-5181

Research Interests

  • Lymphatic system physiology & electrophysiology
  • Lymphedema

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

1979, PhD, University of Nebraska Medical Center


  • 161. Dougherty PJ, Nepiyushchikh ZV, Chakraborty S, Wang W, Davis MJ, Zawieja DZ, Muthuchamy M: PKC activation increases calcium sensitivity of permeabilized lymphatic muscle via myosin light chain 20 phosphorylation dependent and independent mechanisms. Am J Physiol HCP 306(5):H674-H683, 2014.
  • Von der Weid P-Y, Lee S, Imtiaz MS, Zawieja DC, Davis MJ: Electrophysiological properties of rat mesenteric lymphatic vessels and their regulation by stretch. Lymphatic Res Biol 12(2):66-75, 2014.
  • Scallan JP and Davis MJ: Itching for answers: How histamine relaxes lymphatic vessels. Microcirculation 21(7):575-577, 2014.
  • Fairfax ST, Padilla J, Vianna LC, Holwerda SW, Davis MJ, and Fadel PJ: Myogenic responses occur on a beat-to-beat basis in the resting human limb. Am J Physiol 308(1):H59-67, 2015.
  • Chakraborty S, Davis MJ, Muthuchamy M. Emerging trends in the pathophysiology of lymphatic contractility. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 2015 Jan 21. pii: S1084-9521(15)00007-5. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2015.01.005.
  • Fairfax ST, Padilla J, Vianna LC, Holwerda SW, Davis MJ, and Fadel PJ: Response to Letter to the Editor by Meir Nitzan. Am J Physiol 308(5):H554-555, 2015.
  • Scallan JP, Hill MA and Davis MJ: Lymphatic Vascular Integrity is Disrupted in Diabetes: Dual Roles for Nitric Oxide. Cardiovascular Res 2015 Jul 1;107(1):89-97. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvv117
  • Sabine A, Bovay E, Demir CS, Kimura W, Jaquet M, Agalarov Y, Zangger N, Scallan JP, Graber W, Gulpinar E, Makinen T, Ortega S, Delorenzi M, Kiefer F, Davis MJ, Djonov V, Miura N, Petrova TV: Foxc2 maintains postnatal lymphatic integrity, quiescence and function. J Clin Invest 2015 Sep 21. pii: 80454. doi: 10.1172/JCI80454. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Chakraborty S, Zawieja DC, Davis MJ, Muthuchamy M: MicroRNA signature of inflamed lymphatic endothelium and role of miR-9 in lymphangiogenesis and inflammation. Am J Physiol 309(10):C680-C692, 2015.
  • Davis MJ: Letter to the Editor: Is nitric oxide important for the diastolic phase of the lymphatic contraction/ relaxation cycle? PNAS: doi:10.1073/pnas.1521707113, epub December 30, 2015.
  • BertramCD, MacaskillC, Davis MJ, Moore JE Jr. Consequences of intravascular lymphatic valve properties: a study of contraction timing in a multi-lymphangion model. Am J Physiol 2016 Apr 1;310(7):H847-60. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00669.2015. Epub 2016 Jan 8.
  • Ivanov S, Scallan JP, Johnson MW, Saunders BT, Werth K, Kuan EL, Straub AC, Kim K-W, Wang PL, Ouhachi M, Weinstein EG, Williams JW, Gautier EL, Briseno C, Colonna M, Murphy TL, Murphy KM, Oliver G, Forster R, Isakson BE, Davis MJ, Zinselmeyer BH and Randolph GJ: Regulation of lymphatic vessel permeability and transport by IRF4-dependent CCR7+ dendritic cells. J Clin Invest2015;125(10):doi:10.1172/JCI80454.
  • Jamalian S, Davis MJ, Zawieja DC, Moore JE: Network Scale Modeling of Lymph Transport and Its Effective Pumping Parameters. PLoS One 2016 Feb 4;11(2):e0148384. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148384. eCollection 2016.
  • Scallan JP, Zawieja SD, Castorena-Gonzales J, Davis MJ: (invited review) Lymphatic pumping: Mechanics, mechanisms and malfunction (J of Physiol: 2016 May 24. doi: 10.1113/JP272088. [Epub ahead of print]
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