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Jen S. Davis, PhD

Jennifer Davis portrait
Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology

Professional Background

The overall goal of my research is to minimize the morbidity and mortality of colorectal cancer (CRC) using an interdisciplinary approach. Employing my bench-based research background and experience in population and clinical research, my lab seeks a more thorough understanding of the biological influence of risk factors on tumor biology, and to develop a CRC subtype-risk prediction tool, screening and chemoprevention recommendations.

Education and Training
  • BS, Biology, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA
  • PhD, Biomedical Sciences, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Preclinical models of colorectal cancer, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Translational Science, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Professional Affiliations
  • The University of Kansas Cancer Center, Cancer Biology, Member, 2022 - Present
  • UT MD Anderson Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention & Survivorship, Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention & Survivorship, Member, 2016 - Present
  • American Association for Cancer Research, Molecular Epidemiology Working Group, Member, 2014 - 2016
  • American Association for Cancer Research, Member, 2008 - 2021



CRC remains the second most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer-related death in men and women combined. Lifestyle and behavior factors such as obesity, diabetes and cigarette smoking increase the risk of developing CRC, but the mechanism of influence on CRC biology is less clear. Research in the Davis lab centers on the hypothesis that understanding the effects of lifestyle and behavioral risk factors on CRC biology can be used to improve the efficacy of early detection and chemoprevention strategies and reduce the harms in those who are unlikely to benefit from such interventions. Studies in the Davis lab utilize 1) animal models of CRC development, 2) hospital-based patient datasets and 3) large longitudinal studies.

  • Davis, Jennifer., S., Kanikarla-Marie, Preeti, Gagea, Mihai, Yu, Patrick., L., Fang, Dexing, Sebastian, Manu, Yang, Peiying, Hawk, Ernest, Dashwood, Roderick, Lichtenberger, Lenard., M., Menter, David, Kopetz, Scott. 2020. Sulindac plus a phospholipid is effective for polyp reduction and safer than sulindac alone in a mouse model of colorectal cancer development. BMC CANCER, 20 (1)
  • McCowan, Caitlin ., V, Salmon, Duncan, Hu, Jingzhe, Pudakalakatti, Shivanand, Whiting, Nicholas, Davis, Jennifer., S, Carson, Daniel., D, Zacharias, Niki., M, Bhattacharya, Pratip., K, Farach-Carson, Mary., C. 2022. Post-Acquisition Hyperpolarized 29Silicon Magnetic Resonance Image Processing for Visualization of Colorectal Lesions Using a User-Friendly Graphical Interface. diagnostics, 12 (610)
  • Morris, J., S, Luthra, R, Liu, Y, Duose, D., Y, Lee, W, Reddy, N., G, Windham, J, Chen, H, Tong, Z, Zhang, B, Wei, W, Ganiraju, M, Broom, B., M, Alvarez, H., A, Mejia, A, Veeranki, O, Routbort, M., J, Morris, V., K, Overman, M., J, Menter, D, Katkhuda, R, Wistuba, I., I, Davis, J., S, Kopetz, S, Maru, D., M. 2021. Development and Validation of a Gene Signature Classifier for Consensus Molecular Subtyping of Colorectal Carcinoma in a CLIA-Certified Setting.. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 27 (1), 120-130
  • Davis, Jennifer., S., Gupta, Vineet, Gagea, Mihai, Wu, Xiangwei. 2016. An Advanced Histologic Method for Evaluation of Intestinal Adenomas in Mice Using Digital Slides. PLOS ONE, 11 (3)
  • Davis, Jennifer., S., Lee, Hwa., Young, Kim, Jihye, Advani, Shailesh., M., Peng, Ho-Lan, Banfield, Emilyn, Hawk, Ernest., T., Chang, Shine, Frazier-Wood, Alexis., C.. 2017. Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in US adults: changes over time and by demographic. OPEN HEART, 4 (1)