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Faculty Profile

Kelvin Davies, Ph.D.

Dr. Kelvin Davies

Professor, Department of Urology

Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics


Professional Interests

Dr. Kelvin Davies joined the Einstein Department of Urology in 2001 as a basic scientist with a research background in biochemistry and molecular biology. Since 2009 he has had a joint faculty position in the Departments of Physiology and Biophysics. Overall his research applies biochemical and molecular mechanisms to understand urogenital pathology, particularly the role of smooth muscle in the development of urogenital pathology. The primary goal of these basic science studies is clinical translation and Dr. Davies’s work has resulted in the first and only FDA approved clinical trials of gene therapy to treat benign urologic disease (over-active bladder and erectile dysfunction (ED)).

At present the two major interests of his lab are the role of potassium channels in bladder and erectile function, and the role of opiorphin is erectile physiology and priapism. Collaboration with other researchers has been a hallmark of Dr. Davies’s research and he has collaborated and published with several other researchers at Einstein in such diverse areas as the use of NO-encapsulating nanoparticles for treatment of ED, peripheral nerve regeneration as a possible treatment for ED resulting from nerve damage associated with radical prostatectomy, the role of opiorphins in prostate cancer and the impact of opiorphins synthesized in the erectile tissue on systemic blood-pressure as a potential link between ED and cardiovascular disease.


Selected Publications

Publications since 2008

  1. Melman, A., Biggs, G., Davies, K.P., Zhao, W.Z., Tar, M.T. and Christ, G.J. (2008) Gene transfer with a vector expressing Maxi-K from a smooth muscle-specific promoter restores erectile function in the aging. Gene Therapy, 15 364-370.
  2. Tong, Y., Tiplitsky, S.I., Tar, M.T., Melman, A. and Davies, K.P. (2008) Transcription of G-protein coupled receptors in corporal smooth muscle is regulated by sialorphin (an endogenous neutral endopeptidase inhibitor). J. Urology. 180, 760-766.
  3. Yohannes, E., Chang, J., Christ, G.J., Davies, K.P. and Chance, M.R. (2008) Proteomics analysis identifies molecular targets related to diabetes mellitus associated bladder dysfunction. Mol Cell Proteomics, 7, 1270-1285.
  4. Melman, A. and Davies, K.P. Gene therapy of the urogenital system (Chapter 91) (2008) Textbook of reconstructive urologic surgery. Ed. Montague, D., Gill, I., Angermeier, K. and Ross, J. Published by Informa Healthcare
  5. Davies, K.P. and Melman, A. (2008) Markers of Erectile Dysfunction. Indian J. Urol. 24, 269-274.
  6. Tong, Y., Tar, M.T., Melman, A. and Davies, K.P. (2008) The Opiorphin gene (ProL1) and its homologues function in erectile physiology. BJU lnt., 102, 736-740.
  7. Davies, K.P. (2009) The Role of Opiorphins (Endogenous Neutral Endopeptidase Inhibitors) in Urogenital Smooth Muscle Biology. J Sex Med.;6 Suppl 3:286-91.
  8. Chua, R.G., Calenda, G., Zhang, X., Siragusa, J., Tong, Y, Tar, M., Aydin, M., DiSanto, M.E., Melman, A. and Davies, K.P. (2009) Testosterone Regulates Erectile Function and Vcsa1 Expression in the Corpora of Rats. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 303(1-2):67-73.
  9. Calenda, G., Tong, Y, Tar, M., Lowe, D., Siragusa, J., Melman, A. and Davies, K.P. (2009) Vcsa1 acts as a marker of the recovery of erectile function following both gene therapeutic and pharmacological interventions improving erectile function. J Urol. 181(6):2806-15.
  10. Sorin, M., Cano, J., Das, S., Mathew, S., Wu, X., Davies, K.P., Shi, X., Cheng, S.W., Ott, D, Kalpana G.V. (2009) Recruitment of a SAP18-HDAC1 complex into HIV-1 virions and its requirement for viral replication. PLoS Pathog. 5(6):e1000463.
  11. Melman, A., Zotova, E, Kim, M., Arezzo, J, Davies, K.P., DiSanto, M. and Tar, M. (2009) Longitudinal studies of time dependent changes in both bladder and erectile function after STZ-induced diabetes in the same F344 male rats. BJU Int. 104(9):1292-300.
  12. Kanika, N., Tar, M., Tong, Y., Kuppam, D., Melman, A and Davies, K.P. (2009) The mechanism of opiorphin-induced experimental priapism in rats involves activation of the polyamine synthetic pathway. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 297(4):C916-27
  13. Melman, A and Davies, K.P. (2009) Gene Therapy in the Management of ED; Past, Present and Future. In Press: The Scientific World Journal. 9, 846-54.
  14. Christ, G.J., Andersson. K.E., Williams, K., Zhao, W., D’Agostino, R., Kaplan, J., Aboushwareb, T., Yoo, J., Davies, K.P., Calenda, G., Sellers, R. and Melman, A. (2009) Smooth muscle-specific gene transfer with the human Maxi-K channel improves erectile function and enhances sexual behavior in atherosclerotic cynomolgous monkeys. Eur. Urol. 56(6), 1055-1066.
  15. Han, G., Tar, M., Kuppam, S., Friedman, A., Melman, A., Friedman, J. and Davies, K.P. (2010) Nanoparticles as a novel delivery vehicle for therapeutics targeting erectile dysfunction. J. Sexual Med. 7, 224-33.
  16. Yohannes, E., Chang, J., Tar, M.T., Davies, K.P., and Chance, M.R. (2010) Molecular Targets for Diabetes Mellitus Associated Erectile Dysfunction. Molecular and Cellular Proteomics. 9 (3), 565-78.
  17. Melman A, Davies K.P. (2010) Gene therapy for erectile dysfunction: what is the future? Curr Urol Rep;11(6):421-6.
  18. Kanika, N.D., Melman, A. and Davies, K.P. (2010). Experimental priapism is associated with increased oxidative stress and activation of protein degradation pathways in corporal tissue. Int J Impot Res;22(6):363-73.
  19. Kanika, N., Chang, J., Tong, Y., Tiplitsky, S., Lin, J., Yohannes, J., Tar, M., Chance, M., Christ, G., Melman, A. and Davies, K.P. (2011). Oxidative Stress Status Accompanying Diabetic Bladder Cystopathy Results in the Activation of Protein Degradation Pathways. BJU Int. 2011 May;107(10):1676-84.
  20. Calenda, G., Suadicani, S., Iglesias, R., Spray, D., Melman, A., and Davies, K.P. (2011) Silencing MaxiK activity in corporal smooth muscle cells initiates compensatory mechanisms to maintain calcium homeostasis. Aug;8(8):2191-204.
  21. Calenda, G., Tong, Y., Kanika, N.D., Tar, M.T., Suadicani, S.O., Xhang, X., Melman, A,, Rougeot, C., Davies, K.P. (2011) Reversal of Diabetic Vasculopathy in a Rat Model of Type 1 Diabetes by Opiorphin-Related Peptides. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 301(4):H1353-9.
  22. Calenda, G., Strong, T.D., Pavlovich, C.P., Schaeffe,r E.M., Burnett, A.L., Yu, W., Davies, K.P., Bivalacqua, T.J. (2012) Whole genome microarray of the major pelvic ganglion after cavernous nerve injury: new insights into molecular profile changes after nerve injury. BJU Int. 2012 Feb 2.
  23. Calenda, G., Suadicani, S., Iglesias, R., Spray, D., Melman, A., and Davies, K.P. (2011) Silencing MaxiK activity in corporal smooth muscle cells initiates compensatory mechanisms to maintain calcium homeostasis. J. Sex Med. Aug;8(8):2191-204.
  24. Wang, Y., Tar, M.T., Wang, H.Z., Fu, S., Melman, A. and Davies, K.P. (2014) Diabetes induced changes in tension and phasic contractions of isolated bladder strips correlate with modulated Kv7 channel activity. International Journal of Urology, 21(10):1059-64.
  25. Tar, M.T., Cabrales, P., Mahantesh, N., Nacharaju, P., Friedman, A., Friedman, J. and Davies, K.P. (2014) Nanoparticles encapsulating NO can increase intracorporal pressure and elicit spontaneous erections in a rat model of radical prostatectomy. J Sex Med. 11(12):2903-14.
  26. Fu, S. Tar, M.T., Melman, A. and Davies, K.P. (2014) Opiorphin is a master regulator of the hypoxic response in corporal smooth muscle cells. FASEB Journal, 28(8):3633-44.

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Media Coverage

BBC features research by Kelvin Davies, Ph.D., and Joel Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., that highlights using nanoparticles to treat erectile dysfunction.

The Sunday Times (UK) interviews Kelvin Davies, Ph.D., on his involvement in a study that used an innovative new drug-delivery system—nanoparticles infused with nitric oxide and applied topically---to successfully treat erectile dysfunction in animals. The nanoparticle technology was developed by Joel M. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., professor of physiology & biophysics and of medicine at Einstein and his son, Adam Friedman, M.D., a resident in dermatology in Einstein’s department of medicine. The findings received extensive press coverage at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association on April 26, 2009.

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