Mark Davis

Contact Information


  • Microbiology
  • Virology

Faculty Photo


  • B.S. - St. Vincent College (Latrobe, PA)
  • M.S. - Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Ph.D. - University of Illinois

Research Interests

My research is in two different areas. First, I work on lipid biosynthesis in Escherichia coli. I investigate the genes responsible for enzymes in the fatty acid synthetic pathway. This information could be used to enable people to utilize bacteria as sources of long chain fatty acids that can be commercially used as cooking oils and perhaps biofuels. Along with modifying fatty acid for commercial use, I research inhibitors of this pathway for use as antimicrobials. My second area of focus is the study of viral induced obesity. Certain viruses appear to have the ability to increase adipose tissue when the host is infected. This new project began last year with a colleague from the University's Exercise Science department. The initial goal of the research program is to develop a fast and sensitive means of detection of the viruses linked to obesity. Once an assay is developed, animal models can be used to test the mechanisms behind weight gain during viral infection. I enjoy my research because students get to use both molecular DNA techniques and biochemistry.

Selected Publications

Caccavo, F., D. J. Lonergan, D. R. Lovely, M. S. Davis, J. F. Stolz, and M. J. McInerney. 1994. Geobacter sulfurreducens sp. nov., A Hydrogen and Acetate-Oxidizing Dissimilatory Metal Reducing Microorganism. Applied and Environment Microbiology 123(2): 3752-3759.

Davis, M. S., J. Solbiati, and J. E. Cronan Jr. 2000. Overproduction of Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase Activity Increases the Rate of Fatty Acid Biosynthesis in Escherichia coli. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 275(37):28593-28598.

Davis, M. S. and J. E. Cronan Jr. 2001. Inhibition of Escherichia coli Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase by Acyl-Acyl Carrier Protein. Journal of Bacteriology. 183(4): 1499-1503.

Brenton, J. N. and M. S. Davis 2003. Analysis of the Phospholipid Content of Escherichia coli Strains that Overproduce Precursor Substrates in the Fatty Acid Synthetic Pathway. Poster Presentation. NCUR Meeting, University of Utah.

Hart, B. J., D. LeGout, and M. S. Davis 2005. Bacterial Symbiotic Organisms Associated with Endangered Asian Freshwater Turtles. Presentation. American Society of Microbiology General Meeting, Atlanta GA.