Mark M. Davis

Mark Morris Davis (born 27 November 1952) ForMemRS[1] is Director and Avery Family Professor of Immunology in the Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection at Stanford University.[2][3]

Mark M. Davis

Mark Davis at the Royal Society admissions day in London in 2016
Born (1952-11-27) 27 November 1952 (age 67)
Alma mater
Scientific career
InstitutionsStanford University
ThesisProgrammed DNA rearrangements during differentiation : immunoglobulin class switching (1981)
Doctoral advisorLeroy E. Hood


Davis was educated at Johns Hopkins University[2] and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) where he was awarded a PhD in 1981 for research supervised by Leroy E. Hood.[2][4]


Davis is well known for identifying the first T-cell receptor genes, which are responsible for T lymphocytes ability to "see" foreign entities, solving a major mystery in immunology at that time. He and his research group have made many subsequent discoveries about this type of molecule, subsequently, specifically concerning its biochemical properties and other characteristics, including the demonstration that T cells are able to detect and respond to even a single molecule of their ligand-fragments of antigens bound to Major Histocompatibility Complex cell surface molecules. He also developed a novel way of labeling specific T lymphocytes according to the molecules that they recognize, and this procedure is now an important method in many clinical and basic studies of T cell activity, from new vaccines against cancer to identifying "rogue" T cells in autoimmunity. In recent years his has increasingly focused on understanding the human immune system, from developing broad systems biology approaches to inventing new methods to help unravel the complexities of T cell responses to cancer, autoimmunity and infectious diseases.[1][5][6][7]

Awards and honors

Davis has won numerous awards including:


  1. Anon (2016). "Professor Mark Davis ForMemRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2016-04-29. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:
    All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-09.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. "Mark M. Davis: Burt and Marion Avery Family Professor". Stanford: Archived from the original on 2016-03-25.
  3. Mark M. Davis publications indexed by Google Scholar
  4. Davis, Mark Morris (1981). Programmed DNA rearrangements during differentiation : immunoglobulin class switching (PhD thesis). California Institute of Technology. OCLC 436997013.
  5. Altman, J. D.; Moss, P. A. H.; Goulder, P. J. R.; Barouch, D. H.; McHeyzer-Williams, M. G.; Bell, J. I.; McMichael, A. J.; Davis, M. M. (1996). "Phenotypic Analysis of Antigen-Specific T Lymphocytes". Science. 274 (5284): 94–96. doi:10.1126/science.274.5284.94. PMID 8810254.
  6. Davis, Mark M.; Bjorkman, Pamela J. (1988). "T-cell antigen receptor genes and T-cell recognition". Nature. 334 (6181): 395–402. doi:10.1038/334395a0.
  7. Grakoui, A. (1999). "The Immunological Synapse: A Molecular Machine Controlling T Cell Activation". Science. 285 (5425): 221–227. doi:10.1126/science.285.5425.221. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 10398592.