John M. Davis, M.D.

John M. Davis, M.D.
John M. Davis, M.D.

Gilman Professor of Psychiatry and Research

Professor of Medicine

University of Illinois at Chicago

2017 Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research

John M. Davis attended Princeton University, received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine, interned at Massachusetts General Hospital, and went back to Yale for his psychiatric residency. He received his research training at the National Institute of Health. He is now in the department of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine.

Dr. Davis did the first studies of how antipsychotic drugs are metabolized in the body and how this process may impact their efficacy and side effects. His work showed that the therapeutic doses were much lower than previously thought. His early research also included work on the involvement of the neurotransmitter dopamine in schizophrenia, leading to the development of partial dopamine blockers as antipsychotic drugs.

Among his other accomplishments, Dr. Davis wrote the first science-based textbook on psychopharmacology as a guide for psychiatrists seeking to use medications more effectively. In 1975, he also performed the first meta-analysis study in psychiatry (the second in medicine). Meta-analyses use mathematical techniques to summarize data from multiple clinical trials. Dr. Davis’ first meta-analysis provided convincing evidence that maintenance antipsychotic, mood stabilizers and antidepressant drugs could help prevent future schizophrenic episodes. Dr. Davis has also studied nutrition and his work on the role of adequate dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids has resulted in changes to the FDA guidelines and the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Dr. Davis currently studies gene expression abnormalities in schizophrenia and conducts clinical trials addressing the disease. He has been a member of numerous national scientific advisory committees and editorial boards, and is the recipient of several awards including the American College of Psychiatrists’ Stanley Dean Award for Research in Schizophrenia for 2006.


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