Kenneth L. Davis

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Kenneth L. Davis, MD
Medical career
Institutions Mount Sinai Health System

Kenneth L. Davis is an American author and medical researcher who developed the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale, the most widely used tool to test the efficacy of treatments for Alzheimer's Disease designed specifically to evaluate the severity of cognitive and noncognitive behavioral dysfunctions characteristic to persons with Alzheimer's disease.[1]

His paper, "Dopamine in schizophrenia—a review and reconceptualization" (American Journal of Psychiatry, 148-11: 1474-86, November 1991) is the third most-cited paper on schizophrenia research in its decade.[2]

He is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

Alzheimer's research[edit]

Davis participated in breakthrough proof-of-concept studies and clinical trials of cholinesterase inhibitors. These trials (the first multicenter ones for cholinesterase inhibitors) established efficacy and ultimately led the first four of the five FDA-approved compounds for treating the symptoms of Alzheimer's: tacrine, rivastigmine, galantamine, donepezil and memantine[3]

In 1978, Davis, together with Richard Mohs, conducted the first well-controlled study of a drug that was shown able to improve the storage and retrieval functions of long-term memory in humans.[4]

In 1987, Davis participated in the first study providing strong evidence that Alzheimer’s risk is inherited.[5]

While at Mount Sinai Hospital, Davis and his associates have been at the forefront in the delineation of the role of amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease,[4] and were among the first to report the cloning and chromosomal location of the amyloid precursor protein, regarded as one of the most important discoveries in Alzheimer’s research in the previous 15 years.[6]

Schizophrenia research[edit]

Davis's work on schizophrenia has shown that oligodendroglia cells and myelin play roles in the disease's pathophysiology[7] and that dopamine – long thought to be merely hyperactive in a schizophrenic brain – is actually hypoactive in different regions.[8]

While studies have shown that individuals born in winter months are disproportionately likely to develop schizophrenia, Davis participated in a 2006 study that demonstrated that this disproportionality also exists in tropical regions, ruling out cold weather as the cause.[9]


Davis graduated magna cum laude from Yale College and later valedictorian of Mount Sinai School of Medicine's second graduating class where he received the Harold Elster Memorial Award for highest academic achievement.[10] Graduate medical education was completed at Stanford University.

In 1979, Davis was made Chief of Psychiatry at Bronx Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, where he became the first director of its Schizophrenia Biological Research Center. From 1987 until 2003, he was Chairman of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

In 2003, Davis was appointed Dean of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and held that position until 2007, when he was succeeded by Dennis S. Charney, M.D. Davis was also appointed as the President and C.E.O. of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in 2003 – positions he holds today. He is the director of the Mount Sinai Silvio Conte Neuroscience Center, Trustee of the New York Academy of Medicine, Trustee of the The Aspen Institute,[11][12] and Chair of the New York Academy of Medicine Deans Council. In addition, he has served as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the Greater New York Hospital Association.

In September 2013, when the Mount Sinai Medical Center merged with Continuum Health Partners, Davis became the President and CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Career Development Award, Veterans Administration
  • A.E. Bennett Award of the Society of Biological Psychiatry
  • American Psychiatric Association Award for Research in Psychiatry
  • Elected member, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science
  • President, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology[13]
  • 2009 George H. W. Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award[14]


  • Alzheimer's Disease: Questions and Answers by Kenneth Davis and Kenneth L Davis and Paul S. Aisen and Deborah B. Marin, Softcover, Merit Pub Intl, ISBN 1-873413-36-X (1-873413-36-X)
  • Brain Acetylcholine and Neuropsychiatric Disease by Philip A. Berger and Kenneth L Davis, Hardcover, Plenum Press, ISBN 0-306-40157-6 (0-306-40157-6)
  • Neuropsychopharmacology: The Fifth Generation of Progress by American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and Joseph T. Coyle and Charles Nemeroff and Dennis Charney and Kenneth L Davis, Hardcover, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, ISBN 0-7817-2837-1 (0-7817-2837-1)


External links[edit]