Staff Profile: Emily J. Davis

Emily J. Davis
Emily J. Davis, Ph.D.

AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow (Health Scientist)

Office of Policy, Communications and Education
Education Branch

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

National Institutes of Health

Email Emily J. Davis


Emily Davis is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow serving as a health scientist for NCATS’ Division of Preclinical Innovation (DPI). Working within the Education Branch of the Office of Policy, Communications and Education, she aims to develop and expand translational science education and training for DPI’s intramural fellows. Prior to joining NCATS, Davis worked in the Cancer Immunology department at Genentech as an early-stage biotechnology researcher, developing mouse models of liver cancer for the screening of novel cancer immunotherapies. At the same time, she mentored high school student-led projects through an online research academy called Polygence.

Throughout her scientific career, Davis has sought opportunities to volunteer and mentor with local communities and students. Through such organizations as Genentech’s FutureLab+, the Science Education Partnership at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation and CuriOdyssey, she has developed classroom science lessons and activities, facilitated trainee projects, and communicated her research to a variety of lay audiences.

Davis earned her doctorate in biomedical sciences from UCSF, where her dissertation focused on the role of the second X chromosome in brain aging and neurodegeneration. She uncovered a possible role for Kdm6a, an X-linked gene that encodes a histone demethylase that can escape X chromosome inactivation, in conferring resilience to aging- and Alzheimer’s disease-related cognitive decline in mice and humans.

Professional Interests

Davis’ policy interests include diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce; the recruitment and retention of diverse talent; and science education and outreach to historically underserved groups and communities. She enjoys helping and mentoring others — especially those interested in science careers — and she is committed to supporting a collaborative, diverse and inclusive environment where people can be their authentic selves.

Selected Publications

  1. Sex-Specific Association of the X Chromosome with Cognitive Change and Tau Pathology in Aging and Alzheimer Disease
  2. A Second X Chromosome Contributes to Resilience in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease
  3. Female XX Sex Chromosomes Increase Survival and Extend Lifespan in Aging Mice