Myrtle Davis is the currently the Branch Chief for Toxicology and Pharmacology in the Developmental Therapeutics Program of the Division of Cancer Diagnostics and Treatment of the National Cancer Institute and serves as Scientific Director of the Laboratory of Investigative Toxicology at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR). Dr. Davis contributes broadly to the DCTD by providing mechanistic toxicology expertise to drug discovery and development teams, creating and leading major research initiatives within DTP and managing the daily operations of the Toxicology and Pharmacology Branch. The branch is responsible for developing safety evaluation strategies to establish toxicology profiles for investigational agents in the NCI’s Experimental Therapeutics Program (NExT). The branch also provides expertise in discussions with the FDA about the design and adequacy of planned (or completed) nonclinical toxicology studies that are expected to support Investigational New Drug Applications.
Prior to her appointment at NCI in 2008, Dr. Davis was a Research Advisor in the Investigative Toxicology Group at Lilly Research Labs, Eli Lilly and company. Prior to taking the position at Eli Lilly in 2002, Dr. Davis was an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine where she had an active grant-supported research program exploring mechanisms of toxicant-induced apoptosis and the role of protein phosphorylation.
Dr. Davis is an active member of the Society of Toxicology and is a long-standing member of the Society of Toxicological Pathology. She currently serves on SOT Council and on the Board of Trustees for the ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute as an outside activity. She was a member of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research Council, The National Academies of Sciences for a six-year term ending in 2012. She served as Co-Editor in Chief for the ILAR Journal and has served and an Associate Editor for various Toxicology and Journals including Toxicological Sciences. She also served as a member of the standing NIH Study Section, ALTX1 for 5 years. She has authored several book chapters and co authored peer-reviewed publications on a range of topics including apoptosis, toxicant-induced cell signaling and biomarkers of tissue injury. She has also developed course content and lectures for medical and graduate student education.
Activities particularly relevant to cardiovascular safety include: Associate Editorial Team Lead, Cardio-Oncology Clinical Topic Collection on ACC.org, Member of the NCI Cardiotoxicity Task Force, Member of the NCI/NHLBI Cross Functional Team to develop research program opportunities in Cardio-oncology; Member of the HESI Cardiac Safety Technical Committee; Laboratory Contributor and partner for the Comprehensive In Vitro Proarrhythmia Assay initiative (CIPA).
A native New Yorker, Dr. Davis completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Toxicologic Pathology at the University of Maryland. She earned a Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine. She also completed undergraduate work in Chemistry and Math at Tuskegee University.