Dr. Davis is a Harvard educated physician-scientist and investigator specializing in the development of more effective, less toxic therapies for the childhood cancers, with a focus on Osteosarcoma.

Her special interest is to improve the chance of survival for each patient with osteosarcoma by identifying new molecularly-targeted treatments that will be effective for the general population of osteosarcoma patients, while also optimizing a process for choosing personalized targeted treatment regimens for patients with refractory disease. To address these disease, Dr. Davis’s laboratory grows tumor cells in the laboratory, test drugs to see which ones kill the most cells and then investigate why certain drugs work for certain patients’ tumors.  Interestingly, pet dogs also get osteosarcoma and almost all of them will die from the disease.

Dr. Laura Davis and Dr. Paul Meltzer National Cancer Institute
Dr. Laura Davis and Dr. Paul Meltzer NCI


Dr. Davis grew up on a small farm in the rural Adirondacks of upstate New York.  My large family started to migrate westward early on, and I now have siblings in Montana, Oregon, and Idaho.  After graduating from Wellesley College with a B.A. in Neuroscience, she too moved west, settling in Portland to attend medical school at OHSU.  So although she is not an Northwest native, she consider the Northwest her home.

After medical school, she elected to pursue training in a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency.  She had the privilege of learning from the exceptional clinical educators at Brigham & Women’s and Boston Children’s Hospitals in the Harvard Med-Peds Residency Program.  She then began an individualized combined fellowship in Medical Oncology and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at OHSU, where my training focused on sarcomas and cancer in adolescent and young adults (AYAs).  During my fellowship, She joined the lab of Dr. Charles Keller, a NIH-funded Principal Investigator who focuses on the basic science and translational biology of childhood cancers, particularly sarcomas.

Dr. Davis is now on faculty at OHSU, where she splits her time between seeing patients with sarcoma in the clinic and conducting osteosarcoma research in the laboratory (http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/services/providers/index.cfm?personid=2757&searchResult=yes).