OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

Davis Lab

The Davis Lab focuses on developing new therapeutic approaches for aggressive pediatric, adolescent, young adult and adult sarcomas.  

Current active projects include:

  • Treatment of molecularly-selected bone and soft tissue sarcomas with CDK4 inhibitors to synchronize and sensitize tumor cells to chemotherapy. 

  • Integrating ex vivo functional drug sensitivity and next generation sequencing of metastatic osteosarcoma to predict effective targeted drug combinations. 

  • Identifying, characterizing and targeting kinase alterations in sarcomas, an ongoing collaboration with Department of Pediatrics co-faculty member Dr. Monika Davare.

Meet our lab members

Lara Davis, M.D.

Lara Davis, M.D., Primary Investigator at the Davis Lab, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

Lara Davis, M.D. graduated from Wellesley College and then went on to receive her medical degree from OHSU. After training in a dual Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency program at Harvard, she returned to Portland to complete a combined Adult and Pediatric Oncology fellowship with a focus on Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs). She focuses exclusively on sarcoma in both the clinic and in the laboratory.

Kevin Nusser, Ph.D.

Kevin Nusser, Ph.D., lab member at the Davis Lab, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

Kevin graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in microbiology and went on to get a M.S. in animal science at University of Hawaii before completing his Ph.D. in physiology at Penn State. He began working in a cell culture lab working with newly discovered oncogenes and after 20 years working on projects from pituitary development, reproductive cloning, mechanisms of hearing and predictors of alcohol addiction, he has completed his loop and returned to cancer research.

Janét Pittsenbarger

Janét Pittsenbarger, lab member at the Davis Lab, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

Janét received her B.S. in microbiology from UC Davis and had several years of laboratory cancer research experience even before joining the Davis lab. She is a native of California but has called Oregon home for the past decade. She and her husband have school-aged triplet boys who keep them busy.