Meet Angela M. Davis, MD, a 1990 psychology graduate and senior clinical development director at GSK. GSK is a global biopharma company that prioritizes innovation in vaccines and medicines development for therapeutic areas including infectious diseases, HIV, immunology, respiratory and oncology.
Angela Davis knew she wanted to be a doctor from an early age. However, it was not until her older brother – seven years her senior – attended Clemson that her path to medical school began to take shape.
Throughout her youth, frequent visits to campus and a family home on Lake Hartwell solidified Davis’ love for the University and sparked the desire to one day follow in her brother’s footsteps as a Clemson student. Later, the influence of a beloved high school psychology teacher led to her decision to attend Clemson University and double major in psychology and biology with a focus in premedical studies.
As a student, Davis said she felt the spirit of the Clemson Family in the University’s diverse student body and close-knit environment on campus. Despite its size, Clemson maintained the ability to make students feel seen and heard, and professors engaged with students both inside the classroom and out.
After graduation, Davis attended the Medical University of South Carolina where she obtained a doctor of medicine. She later completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in pulmonary medicine and allergy and immunology.
When her brother passed away suddenly during her first year of residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davis said grief turned her into a “super resident.” She poured her heart and soul into her work, embraced the demanding work schedule and earned a duel fellowship in pulmonology and immunology at Vanderbilt University.
Post-fellowship, as a young physician determined to avoid the high rate of burnout common to her field, Davis accepted a position at Duke University with the opportunity for both clinical work and research – in her opinion, the best of both worlds. However, after several years as director of the allergy and pulmonology clinic at Duke, Davis felt pulled in a new direction. Several of her lifelong mentors had made the switch from academic medicine and patient care to pharmaceutical research – and Davis took the leap.
In her current role at GSK, Davis writes clinical protocols and works on strategy development for numerous regulatory authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She serves as an in-house medical expert and leads a matrixed team of statisticians, clinical scientists, operational experts and data management specialists to bridge global regulatory and legal business objectives with a focus on quality control and risk mitigation in the development of therapies for rare diseases.
Outside of research, Davis is passionate about patient advocacy and rural health care and said she is delighted to see the connectivity between her life’s work and the work of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS).
Davis looks back fondly on her time as an undergraduate at Clemson and credits the University for giving her the foundation she needed to first succeed as a student and then as a physician and pharmaceutical researcher. Some of her most treasured relationships were formed at Clemson, and she returns regularly to attend home football games. She also served on the University’s Board of Visitors from 2018 to 2023.
To ensure her connectivity to Clemson, Davis takes an active role in CBSHS development efforts, and her family has established an endowment in her brother’s memory to support students from her high school in Columbia, S.C., who choose to study engineering at the University. In her words, no matter where life takes her, she will always be tethered to Clemson.
The Department of Psychology is in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS). Established in July 2016, CBSHS is a 21st-century, land-grant college that combines work in seven disciplines – communication; nursing; parks, recreation and tourism management; political science; psychology; public health sciences; sociology, anthropology and criminal justice – to further its mission of “building people and communities” in South Carolina and beyond.
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