Luke Davis, MD

Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases); Associate Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine)

Research Interests

Critical Care; Tuberculosis; Global Health; Mobile Applications

Public Health Interests

Global Health; Health Care Quality; Respiratory Disease/Infections

Research Organizations

School of Public Health: Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases | YSPH Global Health Concentration

Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine

Faculty Research

Research Summary

My research is based in Uganda and uses translational methods to improve TB diagnosis and evaluation in high-burden, resource-constrained settings. Ongoing projects span two general areas: 1) discovery and validation of TB biomarkers using novel biotechnologies, and 2) translation of evidence-based TB diagnostic strategies into practice using implementation science through the Uganda TB Implementation Research Consortium (www.u-tirc.mak.ac.ug). Training and capacity-building are an important aspect of my research activities, through the Fogarty Pulmonary Complications of AIDS Research-Training Program at Makerere University (www.part.mak.ac.ug) and Walimu (www.walimu.org), a non-profit that uses implementation science to improve care of severe acute illness in Uganda and other low-income countries.

Extensive Research Description

Current Projects:

mHealth for Home Contact Investigation in Kampala, Uganda – This community-based household RCT, funded by the National Institutes of Health NIH), is examining the effectiveness, context, and potential impact of short-messaging services (SMS)-supported, home-based TB and HIV contact investigation, compared with standard TB contact investigation.

Expression in HIV and Tuberculosis (eHAT) – In collaboration with collaborators at the University of Colorado and Stanford University, and the University of California San Francisco, we using novel host- and pathogen-targeted gene-expression profiling platforms to identify better biomarkers, therapeutic targets, and developmental models of the response to TB treatment in Haiti, Kenya, Peru, South Africa, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Exosomes for Discovery of Novel TB Biomarkers – In collaboration with colleagues at Notre Dame, Colorado State, and the University of California San Francisco, and with support from NIH, we are leading a discovery effort to identify and isolate novel proteomic targets on human exosomes as the basis for a future point of care TB diagnostic test.

Comparative Effectiveness of Xpert MTB/RIF in Uganda – In collaboration with colleagues at Johns Hopkins University, and with support from NIH, we have been collecting data on the implementation experience with Xpert MTB/RIF in Uganda to populate a pilot impact and cost-effectiveness model to guide decisions about national Xpert policies in local settings.

Pediatric TB Guideline Implementation in Uganda – In collaboration with colleagues from Makerere University in Uganda, and with support from USAID and NIH, we are using mixed methods to collect data on common barriers and enablers to uptake of and adherence to consensus guidelines on pediatric TB evaluation and management in Uganda. We will then apply evidence-based theories of behavior change to categorize these barriers and enablers and design targeted interventions to improve quality of care.

Xpert Omni Performance Evaluation for Linkage to Tuberculosis Care: The XPEL TB Trial – In collaboration with colleagues from the University of California San Francisco and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and with support from the Wellcome Trust and NIH, we will be designing and implementing a cluster-randomized trial comparing to single-specimen microscopy within an SMS-assured Xpert MTB/RIF referral network to conventional microscopy and Xpert MTB/RIF algorithms.

Xpert TB Caring Wisely in the US – In collaboration with colleagues at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, we have recently implemented Xpert MTB/RIF as a test to guide triage of patients out of airborne infection isolation rooms, replacing the conventional strategy of using serial smear microscopy. We are using multiple data collection approaches in order to describe the context, effectiveness, impact, and cost-benefit ratio of the intervention.

Severe Illness Management System (SIMS) – With support from international agencies and private foundations, Walimu is adapting novel approaches from the field of implementation science to improve the identification and management of severe illness in hospitals in Uganda.

Selected Publications

Full List of PubMed Publications

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Contact Info

Luke Davis, MD
Lab Location
Patient-oriented TB Diagnostics Specimen RepositoryLaboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health (LEPH)
60 College Street

New Haven, CT 06510
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Office Location
Room 620Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health (LEPH)
60 College Street

New Haven, CT 06510
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Mailing Address
P.O. Box 208034
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
The long road to tuberculosis diagnosis. Lake Victoria, Entebbe, Uganda.

Patients seeking evaluation for cough and other symptoms of tuberculosis in low-income countries like Uganda take long and often circuitous journeys to access basic diagnostic services.