Rochester, Minnesota


Davis.John4@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


John M. Davis III, M.D., M.S., studies ways to improve the clinical assessment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using a variety of approaches. His research spans epidemiologic population-based studies, patient-oriented translational research and clinical trials. As a clinical translational researcher, Dr. Davis collaborates with other physicians and scientists toward an improved understanding of many facets of rheumatoid disease and the development of improved approaches for individualizing the clinical assessment and decision-making for patients with RA.

Focus areas

  • Patient-physician discordance. Patients often judge their diseases to be more severe or active than their rheumatologists do. Using a patient-centered, mixed quantitative and qualitative approach, Dr. Davis is investigating many factors that may potentially contribute to this discord, with the goal of developing clinical tools that improve not only measurement of disease activity but also communication between patients and physicians, and hence lead to better concordance of disease assessment.
  • Pain research. Pain is the cardinal symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately, pain commonly persists despite current treatment strategies. Dr. Davis and his colleagues are using functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the mechanisms of pain persistence among patients with RA and the dynamics between pain and the immune system.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality are dramatically increased in patients with RA. Dr. Davis collaborates on research seeking to understand the disease biology of heart failure in patients with RA and to develop clinical methods of identifying patients at risk in whom preventive strategies could be initiated. This research involves echocardiographic studies and immune biomarker profiling. Additionally, Dr. Davis is involved with research focusing on improving routine cardiovascular risk assessment through a joint cardiology-rheumatology clinic.
  • Individualized immune response signatures. Dr. Davis collaborates with immunologists to develop new immune biomarkers for predicting disease outcomes and response to drug treatments. He and his colleagues have devised novel approaches of stimulating human immune cells in the test tube and measuring their functional responses in terms of either cytokine protein production or immune gene expression. Recent work has focused on a T cell response to human cytomegalovirus as predictive of inadequate treatment response and joint damage.
  • Clinical trials. Dr. Davis is an investigator of multiple investigator-initiated or industry-sponsored clinical trials of novel therapeutic agents for RA.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Davis anticipates that through his research activities he will advance new clinical tools and approaches to improve care for patients with RA. By improving the ability of rheumatologists to measure the impact of the disease on their patients and to understand mechanisms of adverse health despite treatment, he anticipates new treatment strategies that alleviate patient pain, improve physical and mental functioning and quality of life, and restore satisfaction with health care. He expects the eventual development of new imaging and immune biomarkers that enable early detection of cardiovascular disease and the initiation of strategies to prevent heart involvement.

Professional highlights

  • Research chair, Division of Rheumatology, Mayo Clinic, 2011-present

Clinical Studies

See my clinical studies


See my publications


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine
  2. Practice Chair, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine
  3. Vice Chair, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Medicine


  1. MS - Basic Science Master's Degree in Clinical and Translational Science Center for Translational Science Activities (CTSA) Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program, Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  2. Research Training - Immune response signatures to predict response to methotrexate therapy in early rheumatoid arthritis KL2 Mentored Career Development Program
  3. Certificate - Clinical Translational Research Center for Translational Science Activities (CTSA) Postdoctoral Certificate Program, Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  4. Fellowship Rheumatology Fellowship Program, Programs in Rochester, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  5. Residency Internal Medicine Residency, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  6. MD - Cum Laude University of Missouri School of Medicine
  7. BA - Molecular and Cell Biology Northwestern University
  8. Externship - Research Experience for Undergraduates in Molecular Genetics - Genetics of topoisomerase in yeast - Dr. Mark T. Muller, preceptor The Ohio State University

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