Research theme

Research interests


Research affiliations

Research summary

There is an increasing awareness of the role of chromatin structure (epigenetics) in the regulation of gene expression and in the genesis or suppression of cancer. Dr. Davie’s research program investigates the role of the enzymes that remodel chromatin structure and function. A component of this research is to understand the mechanisms by which a cell transmits signals from its surface to its nuclear interior to effect changes in gene expression. Signal transduction events impact on histone modifications, which in turn remodel chromatin structure and enable gene expression.


Dr. Jim Davie is a recognized leader in chromatin, a rapidly expanding field now known as epigenetics. His several seminal findings resulted in knowledge translation towards improving human health. His early studies set the foundation for development of histone deacetylase inhibitor drugs, which are approved therapeutics for hematologic malignancies and in clinical trials for a broad range of human disorders. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers that have been cited more than 22,000 times.

In recognition of Dr. Davie’s seminal contributions in epigenetics, he was inducted as a fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and in the Royal Society of Canada, and awarded the title of Distinguished Professor. Many of his trainees have landed fellowships in outstanding laboratories at first-tier institutions. His trainees were awarded distinguished fellowships and awards for their work in his laboratory. Twice his trainees won the Drewry Memorial Award for Excellence in Graduate Research, the highest honor given to a student in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. His doctoral trainees won the (former) Faculty of Medicine Graduate Student Award (Merck Frost Inc. Award, MMSF) eight times, University of Manitoba Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award two times, and the University of Manitoba Governor General's medal for outstanding achievement at the graduate level two times (master's and doctoral classifications).

In addition to his research and mentorship activities, he has contributed significantly to university administration and to scientific knowledge dissemination through his service as editor-in-chief and associate editor on many journals. He is the founder of the Manitoba Epigenetics Network and represents the epigenetic interests of prairie researchers through his membership on the Canadian Epigenetics, Environment and Health Research Consortium Executive. He has promoted Canadian science through his many years of service with the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences (CSMB) and is currently the general secretary of CSMB.



* Select

  • Distinguished Professor, University of Manitoba (2019)
  • Canada Research Chair in Chromatin Dynamics, Tier I (2004-2018)
  • Canadians for Health Research, Researcher of the Month (April 2017)
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Canada (2015)
  • Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2015)
  • The University of Manitoba Health Science’s Graduate Students’ Association Award for Distinction in Mentorship (2006)

ORCID profile

Visit James Davie's ORCID profile for a complete listing, or view his Google ScholarResearchGateLinkedIn or Academia pages.

James Davie's profile

Contact us

Biochemistry and Medical Genetics
Room 336 Basic Medical Sciences Building
745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada