Growing up in Georgia, Melissa B. Davis, Ph.D., was aware of the lack of representation that doctors of color had in her hometown and she was inspired to become a doctor.
When she was exposed to the world of medical research during a summer program at Ohio State University she realized the impact of healthcare went beyond the exam room. From that experience, she knew that she wanted to be the person making discoveries that saved lives.
Dr. Davis was the first African American faculty member in the Department of Genetics at an institution in her home state. Though she endured various challenging experiences as a person of color in that environment, she found allies and mentors who encouraged her to find a new environment, which led her to a research partner in Michigan; Dr. Lisa Newman, MD, who subsequently recruited her to WCM.
Dr. Davis has been traveling to Africa to conduct her breast cancer research and, using her diverse skill-set, seeks to unravel the multifocal contributions to cancer risk, tumor biology, disparities in clinical outcomes and link this information back to genetic ancestry, particularly Sub-Saharan West African Ancestry. Thrilled with her new team at WCM and most importantly the work she is doing, Dr. Davis is looking forward to making historical contributions to oncology research. “We have to address patient diversity [gaps] in order for precision medicine to be precise for all people.” said Dr. Davis. #WCMDiversityWeek
On Monday, April 22, 2019, Dr. Davis was awarded a Dean’s Diversity and Disparities in Health Care faculty award from Weill Cornell Medicine Dean Augustine M.K. Choi, M.D.
Dr. Davis is an assistant professor of cell and developmental biology, department of surgery and scientific director of the International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes at WCM.
Source: Weill Cornell Medicine