Daniel J. Davis, PhD

Assistant Research Professor

Assistant Director, MU Animal Modeling Core (AMC)

  • BS, Missouri State University – Cell and Molecular Biology / Chemistry Minor
  • PhD, University of Missouri – Pathobiology (emphasis in animal modeling and molecular genetics)
Daniel J. Davis

Building Address: 4011 Discovery Drive, Columbia MO 65201 (Discovery Ridge Research Park)
Office: S121 | Lab: N113
Phone Number: (573) 884-1804
Email: davisdaniel@missouri.edu
Lab Website: https://research.missouri.edu/animal-modeling


My research interests include genetic engineering, molecular genetics, CRISPR-Cas technology, and creating animal models to study human diseases. My lab has projects focused on the development and optimization of new genetic engineering techniques such as using electroporation and adeno-associated virus (AAV) to deliver genetic editing tools into rodent embryos while also comparing different DNA repair template designs. Expansion of genetic engineering methods will not only allow for more efficient rodent model creation but can also be adaptable for use in other model organisms and even in human gene therapy applications. We also have collaborative projects focused on the generation and characterization of animal models to study specific human-variant alleles. These projects involve modeling human patient mutations in a variety of different model systems to study gene function as well as characterize the downstream effects of the mutant allele. In addition to the molecular and phenotypic characterization we are also able to provide an animal model that can be used for testing treatments or gene therapy approaches.

Animal Modeling Core (AMC)

The AMC utilizes traditional approaches such as embryonic stem cell modification as well as cutting-edge genetic modification tools such as the CRISPR-Cas system when generating animal models. CRISPR-Cas technology can be used in virtually any species and is completely customizable in regard to what genetic alterations to make. The AMC is remarkably efficient in generating genetically modified animals mediated via CRISPR-Cas editing abilities. These models range from knocking out the function of a gene to introducing a specific human variant allele to mimic a human disease. Aside from only providing genome editing services, AMC personnel are a source of expert advice on the design and appropriate approach to use for generating animal models and we can partner with researchers on grant applications. With state-of-the-art facilities and experienced scientists with expertise in cutting-edge technologies related to genetic engineering, the AMC is advancing discoveries for both animal and human health.


LAB AN 9476: Grant and Manuscript Writing for Biomedical Researchers (small group leader); Genome Editing 101: Using CRISPR/Cas9 (workshop director)


Daniel J. Davis, James McNew, Hailey Maresca-Fichter, Kaiwen Chen, Bhanu P. Telugu, and Elizabeth C. Bryda. (2023) Efficient DNA knock-in using AAV-mediated delivery with 2-cell embryo CRISPR-Cas9 electroporation. Frontiers in Genome Editing.

Rachel M. Schafer, Luigino A. Giancotti, Daniel J. Davis, Susan A. Farr, and Daniela Salvemini. (2023) Behavioral characterization of G protein-coupled receptor 160 knockout mice. Pain.

James F. McNew, Daniel J. Davis, Kristin N. Grimsrud, and Elizabeth C. Bryda. (2023) Comparison of Thermal and Mechanical Nociceptive Testing in Sprague Dawley and Fischer 344 Rats (Rattus norvegicus). JAALAS.

Susheel Bhanu Busi, Daniel J. Davis, Jacob Moskowitz, and James Amos-Landgraf. (2023) Shift from a Simplified to Complex Gut Microbiota Reduces Adenoma Burden in a Preclinical Rat Model of Colon Cancer. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.01.20.524931

Daniel J. Davis*, Hongsheng Men, and Elizabeth C. Bryda. (2023) Electroporation-Mediated CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing in Rat Zygotes. Book Chapter: Methods in Molecular Biology series: Transgenesis – Methods and Protocols. Springer Protocols (Chapter 11). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-2990-1
*corresponding author

Hongsheng Men, Daniel J. Davis, and Elizabeth C. Bryda. (2023) Gene Targeting in Rat Embryonic Stem Cells. Book Chapter: Methods in Molecular Biology series: Transgenesis – Methods and Protocols. Springer Protocols (Chapter 15). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-2990-1

Andrew M. Kelleher, Carolyn Allen, Daniel J. Davis, and Thomas E. Spencer. (2022) Prss29 Cre recombinase mice are useful to study adult uterine gland function. Genesis. https://doi.org/10.1002/dvg.23493

Caley Smith, Monique Lorson, Sara Henandez-Ricardez, Zayd Alrawi, Jiude Mao, Jose Marquez, Eric Villalon, Amy Keiholz, Catherine Smith, Mona Kacher, Toni Morcos, Daniel Davis, Elizabeth Bryda, Nicole Nichols, and Christian Lorson. (2022) The Ighmbp2 D564N Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress Type I (SMARD1) Mouse Model Demonstrates Respiratory Defects. Human Molecular Genetics. https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab317

Hongsheng Men, Miriam A. Hankins, Anagha S. Bock, Benjamin P. Beaton, Daniel J. Davis, Kari L. Chesney, and Elizabeth C. Bryda. (2021) Mutational analyses of novel rat models with targeted modifications in inflammatory bowel disease susceptibility genes. Mammalian Genome. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00335-021-09868-2

Aaron C. Ericsson, Susheel B. Busi, Daniel J. Davis, Marcus Crim, David Eckhoff, Rebecca A. Dorfmeyer, Giedre Turner, Henda Nabli, and Elizabeth C. Bryda. (2021) Molecular and culture-based bacterial ecology in a zebrafish (Danio rerio) housing system during set-up and equilibration. Animal Microbiome. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42523-021-00116-1

Robert K DeLong, John M. Dean, Garry Glaspell, Majid Jaberi-Douraki, Kartik C. Ghosh, Daniel Davis, Nancy A. Monteiro-Riviere, Parwathy Chandran, Tuyen Nguyen, Thanh Nguyen, Santosh Aryal, Russell Middaugh, Seok Chan Park, Seong-O Choi and Meghana Ramani. (2020) Amino/amido conjugates form to nanoscale cobalt physiometacomposite (PMC) materials functionally delivering nucleic acid therapeutic to the nucleus enhancing anticancer activity via Ras-targeted protein interference. ACS Applied BioMaterials. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsabm.9b00798

Monir Shababi, Caley E. Smith, Mona Kacher, Zayd Alrawi, Eric Villalon, Daniel Davis, Elizabeth Bryda, and Christian L. Lorson. (2019) Development of a novel severe mouse model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress Type 1: FVB-nmd. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.10.032

Elizabeth C. Bryda, Hongsheng Men, Daniel J. Davis, Anagha S. Bock, Mary L. Shaw, Kari L. Chesney, and Miriam A. Hankins. (2019) A novel conditional ZsGreen-expressing transgenic reporter rat strain for validating Cre recombinase expression. Scientific Reports. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49783-w