Sharon Davis, M.Ed., M.P.A., Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Metabolic, Cardiovascular and Inflammatory Disease Genomics Branch


Building 10A, Room 7N320
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892


Research Topics

Dr. Davis' research has focused on the effects of social determinants on cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity among disproportionately affected sub-populations. Her lab is now engaged in an emerging field of human social genomics. This research identifies the types of genes that are subject to social-environmental regulations, the neural and molecular mechanisms that mediate the effects of social processes on gene expression, and the genetic polymorphisms that moderate individual differences in genomic sensitivity to social context.

Dr. Davis' lab is also assessing the association of ancestry on sub-clinical cardiovascular risk factors among African-Americans and skin color as a phenotype associated with genetic ancestry and cardiovascular outcomes. The group is measuring differential telomere length correlated to cardiovascular outcomes and social determinants on telomere length among African-Americans.

Dr. Davis' team, along with other investigators in the Cardiovascular Section, have implemented a research protocol with the objective of developing a community-based cohort and novel genomic science resource for defining the biological significance of ancestry-related genomic variation in African-Americans related to cardiovascular disease. The study is designed to test the hypothesis that race-ancestry differences in the burden of cardiovascular disease in African-Americans reflects the influence of a unique interplay between the distinct genomic variations characteristic of African-Americans and the "exposome" of social determinants and environmental factors that influence the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease.

Selected Publications

  1. Gebreab SY, Davis SK, Symanzik J, Mensah GA, Gibbons GH, Diez-Roux AV. Geographic variations in cardiovascular health in the United States: contributions of state- and individual-level factors. J Am Heart Assoc. 2015;4(6):e001673.

  2. Riestra P, Gebreab SY, Xu R, Khan RJ, Bidulescu A, Correa A, Tekola-Ayele F, Davis SK. Gender-specific associations between ADIPOQ gene polymorphisms and adiponectin levels and obesity in the Jackson Heart Study cohort. BMC Med Genet. 2015;16:65.

  3. Davis SK, Gebreab S, Quarells R, Gibbons GH. Social determinants of cardiovascular health among black and white women residing in Stroke Belt and Buckle regions of the South. Ethn Dis. 2014;24(2):133-43.

  4. Khan RJ, Gebreab SY, Riestra P, Xu R, Davis SK. Parent-offspring association of metabolic syndrome in the Framingham Heart Study. Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2014;6(1):140.

This page was last updated on August 25th, 2017