Ralph Davis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
VPH 214/VPH 216
A leading expert on nematode neurobiology, Dr. Davis spent 20 years as a research scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before coming to teach and do research at Northwestern College. His research in the area of neuropharmacology helps lead to new or better drugs that combat parasites in developing countries. In 2001, Davis was awarded a multi-year, $570,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue his research at Northwestern with the help of student researchers. In 2006 the NIH continued funding his research with another three-year grant worth nearly $200,000. Since receiving the grants, Davis has trained approximately 20 undergraduate research students in his lab. Most have gone on to medical school or graduate school in biochemistry, physiology or neuroscience.
Davis has done postdoctoral research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) School of Medicine in Physiology. He teaches human anatomy and physiology, human anatomy, histology, neuroscience, bioethics and the neuroscience and persons seminar and is the director of Northwestern’s Neuroscience and Persons (NAPs) program.
Publications and presentations
- Brain awareness outreach events with examples of visual aids/manipulatives used. R.E. Davis and H. Moser. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL, October 16-21, 2009.
- Morphine, an endogenous opioid in nematodes, has effects on the behavior and specific target tissues of the parasitic gastrointestinal nematode, Ascaris suum. R.E. Davis and H.Moser. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, October 16-21, 2009.
- Practical ways to expand your educational efforts locally, regionally & nationally. Ralph Davis. Presentation at American Scientific Affiliation Annual Meeting, Aug. 1-3, 2009. Baylor University, Waco, TX.
- Morphine has effects on the behavior and specific target tissues of the parasitic gastrointestinal nematode, Ascaris suum. Hannah Moser and Ralph Davis. Fifth Symposium on Research Frontiers in Brain Function and Disorders, Sept. 10-11, 2008. Sponsored by the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.
- Yew, J.Y., Davis, R.E., Dikler, S., Nanda, J., Reinders, B., and Stretton, A.O.W. (2007). Peptide products of the afp-6 gene of the nematode Ascaris suum have different biological actions. Journal of Comparative Neurology 502:673-682.
- Davis, R.E. and Stretton, A.O.W. (2001). Structure-activity relationship of 18 endogenous neuropeptides on the motornervous system of Ascaris suum. Peptides 22:7-23.
- Associate Scientist, Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Postdoctoral Fellow Research Associate, Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- Grass Fellow in Neurophysiology, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
- Society for Neuroscience
- Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience
- American Scientific Affiliation
- International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education
- National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1984
- Grass Fellow in Neurophysiology (Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA), 1984
- Rose Neuroscience Award (best Ph.D. thesis in neuroscience), University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1984
- Phi Beta Kappa, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1976