Dr. Michael Duff Davis

Michael Duff Davis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Pharmacology

(210) 567-8189 (Phone)
(210) 567-8152 (Fax)


Duke University, Durham, NC
Post-doc (Neuropharmacology)
University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Ph.D. (Pharmacology)
University of Washington, Seattle, WA
M.S. (Zoology))
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
B.A. (Psychology/Cell Biology)

Research Interests

As chief of the Translational Imaging Division at the Research Imaging Institute, one of Dr. Davis’ responsibilities is to provide investigators with opportunities for preclinical non-invasive translational imaging for acute and longitudinal studies. Available technologies include microPET, MRI, and MR spectroscopic modalities. Personal research interests include: (1) developing a primate aging model by studying brain maturation in the marmoset across its entire lifespan, (2) the neuropharmacology of ADHD, depression and schizophrenia using functional imaging and in vivo receptor binding, (3) the mechanism of action and influence of physical exercise in reducing stroke-induced damage, and (3) characterizing the phenomenon that certain psychotropic drugs exhibit in initiating coordinated neuronal networking (e.g., calcium waves) using in vivo optical imaging.

Recent Publications

1. Bian F, Li Zheng, Offord J, Davis MD, McCormick J, Taylor CP, Walker LC. Calcium channel alpha2-delta type 1 subunit is the major binding protein for pregabalin in neocortex, hippocampus, amygdala, and spinal cord: An ex vivo autoradiographic study in alpha2-delta type 1 genetically modified mice. Brain Research, 1075, 68-80, 2006.

2. Petrie KA, Bubser M, Casey CD, Davis MD, Roth BL, Deutch AY. The neurotensin agonist PD149163 increases Fos expression in the prefrontal cortex of the rat. Neuropsychopharmacology. 29(10), 1878-1888, 2004.

3. Davis MD, Nicholson LFB, Faull RLM. Thalamic stimulation promotes, while MFB stimulation inhibits, calcium oscillatory activity in the rat striatum: in vivo fiber-optic recording using ion-induced fluorescence. Acukland New Zealand, 124-131, 2002.

4. Davis MD, Schmidt JJ. In vivo spectrometric calciumflux recordings of intrinsic caudate-putamen cells and transplanted IMR-32 neuroblastoma cells using miniature fibre optrodes in anesthetized and awake rats and monkeys. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 99, 9-23, 2000.

5. Davis MD, Timmerman W, Bouma M, DeVries J, Westerink BHC. A microdialysis study on the mechanism of action of gabapentin. European Journal of Pharmacology, 398(1), 53-57, 2000.

6. Akunne HC, Zoski KT, Davis MD, Cooke LW, Meltzer LT, Whetzel SZ, Shih YH, Wustrow DJ, Wise LD, MacKenzie RG, Georgic LM, Heffner TG, Pugsley TA. PD 158771, a potential antipsychotic agent with D(2)/D(3) partial agonist and 5-HT(1A) agonist actions. I. Neurochemical effects. Neuropharmacology. 39(7), 1197-1210, 2000.

7. Feifel D, Reza TL, Wustrow DJ, Davis MD. Novel antipsychotic-like effects on prepulse inhibition of startle produced by a neurotensin agonist. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 288(2), 710-713, 1999.

8. Iyer RN, Davis MD, Juneau PL, Giordani AB. Brain extracellular levels of the putative antipsychotic CI-1007 and its effects on striatal and nucleus accumbens dopamine overflow in the awake rat. J Pharm Pharmacol, 50(10), 1147-1153, 1998.

9. Wustrow DJ, Capiris T, Rubin R, Knobelsdorf JA, Akunne H, Davis MD, MacKenzie R, Pugsley TA, Zoski KT, Heffner TG, Wise LD. Pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine CRF-1 receptor antagonists. Bioorg Med Chem Lett, 8(16), 2067-2070, 1998.

10. Wustrow D, Belliotti T, Glase S, Kesten SR, Johnson D, Colbry N, Rubin R, Blackburn A, Akunne H, Corbin A, Davis MD, Georgic L, Whetzel S, Zoski K, Heffner T, Pugsley T, Wise L. Aminopyrimidines with high affinity for both serotonin and dopamine receptors. J Med Chem, 41(5), 760-771, 1998.
11. Davis, M.D. and M.E. Hadley, Spontaneous electrical potentials and pituitary
hormone (MSH) secretation. Nature, 261, 422-423, 1976.


Physiology, embryology and development, comparative anatomy, neurophysiology

Honors and Awards

American Institute of Biological Sciences, A.I.B.S. Writing Award
Gorrell Endowed Fellowship
Urban Resource Center Research Award


Southwest National Primate Research Center
11/01/05 – 10/31/06
“Development of a Marmoset CNS Aging Model Using PET and MRI Imaging”
The goal of this study is to develop neuroimaging protocols that will enable investigators to use the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) for longitudinal investigations of the neurobiology of aging.