Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Department of Medicine

Faculty Profiles

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photo Esa Matius Davis, MD, MPH, FAAFP

General Internal Medicine

Associate Professor of Medicine, Clinical and Translational Science

Director UPMC Tobacco Treatment Service

Director, Career Education and Enhancement for Health Care Research Diversity (CEED) Program


Phone: 412-692-4862

Office: 230 McKee Place, Suite 600
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-692-4862
Fax: 412-692-4838
Education and Training
BS in Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1993
MD, New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), 1997
MPH (Epidemiology), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2002
Family Medicine Residency, Overlook Hospital, New Jersey, 2000
Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program Research Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, 2002
General Internal Medicine and National Research Service Award Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, 2003
Research Interest
Dr. Davis is an NIH-funded clinical researcher with a patient-oriented research program focused on obesity-related maternal and child health outcomes and in comparative effectiveness research in obesity and tobacco. Much of her work has focused on understanding the development of obesity in women. She has contributed to the field specifically by investigating the perinatal, cultural, and behavioral factors associated with the racial and socioeconomic disparities in obesity among women that have persisted for decades. She published a novel conceptual framework that has been highly cited to help guide the testing of hypotheses associated weight change during pregnancy and the long-term development of obesity and related disparities.

Dr. Davis has contributed new analytic methods in investigating pregnancy-factors associated with the development of maternal obesity and related outcomes. She is currently the principal investigator of a NIH-funded randomized controlled trial titled, "Comparison of Two Screening Strategies for Gestational Diabetes, GDM2 Study," which aims to examine differences in perinatal outcomes of women randomized to two screening/diagnostic strategies for gestational diabetes. She has also conducted studies that investigate the association between obesity and cardiac recovery and remodeling in women with postpartum cardiomyopathy. Dr. Davis also investigates the reduction reducing risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, smoking and patient attitudes associated with cardiovascular disease. She is currently a co-investigator on three NIH/FDA-funded randomized control trials that are studying effective strategies for treating hospitalized smokers and evaluating new nicotine standards for cigarettes.
Clinical Interest
Dr. Davis is a board-certified practicing family physician with more than 20 years of clinical expertise in the acute and chronic management of adults and children, with a specific focus in women's health. She coordinates an outpatient contraception clinic in Turtle Creek and maintains a part-time primary care practice at UPMC Montefiore Hospital General Internal Medicine Practice.

Dr. Davis directs the UPMC Tobacco Treatment Service (TTS) which provides inpatient treatment (high intensity bedside counseling and pharmacotherapy recommendations), education and training to physicians and clinical staff; collaborates with eRecord teams to improve documentation and reporting of tobacco treatment; and supports research through participation in clinical trials. The TTS team uses a systems-level approach to treating hospitalized tobacco users and since September 2012 has treated over 11,000 patients. The TTS is leading the nation's first bidirectional electronic referral from the patient electronic health record (EHR) to the state quitline upon hospital discharge and currently generates 20% of all patient referrals in Pennsylvania.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Davis EM, Zyzanski SJ, Olson CM, Stange KC, Horwitz RI. Racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic differences in the incidence of obesity related to childbirth. American Journal of Public Health. 2009; 99: 294-299.
Davis EM, Clark JM, Carrese JA, Gary TL, Cooper LA. Racial and socioeconomic differences in obese women's weight-loss method experiences. American Journal of Public Health. 2005; 95(9): 1539-1543.
Davis, EM, Appel, L, Wang, X, Greene,T, Astor, B, Rahman, M, Toto, R, Lipkowitz, M, Pogue,V, Wright, J, AASK Research Collaborative Group. Limitations of Analyses Based on Achieved Blood Pressure: Lessons from the AASK Trial. Hypertension. 2011; 57(6): 1061-1068.
Davis, EM, Stange, K, Horwitz, RI. Childbearing, stress and obesity disparities in women: a public health perspective. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2012; 16: 109-118.
Abrams, A, Heggeseth, B, Davis, EM. Parity, race and age increase body mass index in U.S. women: a prospective 25-year study. Obesity. 2013; 18: 1514-1518.
Johnson,T, Weaver, M, Borrero,S, Davis, EM, Myaskovsky, L, Zuckerbraun, N, Kraemer, K. Association of race and ethnicity with management of abdominal pain in the emergency department. Pediatrics. 2013; 132 (4): 851-858.
Davis, EM, Babineau, DC, Wang, X, Zyzanski, SI, Abrams, B, Bodnar, L, Horwitz, RI. Short inter-pregnancy intervals, parity, excessive pregnancy weight gain and risk of maternal obesity. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2014; 18(3): 554-562.
Antognoli, EL, Smith, KJ, Manson, M, Milliner, BR, Davis, EM, Harris-Haywood, S, Seeholzer, E, Flocke, SA. Direct observation of weight counseling in primary care: alignment with clinical guidelines. Clinical Obesity. 2014; 4(2): 69-76.
Catov, JM, Abetemarco, DJ, Althouse, A, Davis, EM, Hubel, CA. Patterns of gestational weight gain among overweight and obese women related to small and large for gestational age births. Obesity. 2015; 23(5): 1071-1078.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Comparison of Two Screening Strategies for Gestational Diabetes
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
Grant Number: R01 HD079647
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2019
Title: Cancer Center Tobacco Cessation Program: "Now's the Time - Quit Tobacco for Life"
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute
Grant Number: P30 CA047904
Start Year: 2018
End Year: 2020
Title: Postpartum Weight Retention and Cardiometabolic Disparities: The Effects of Contextual, Psychosocial, and Behavioral Factors
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R01 HL135218
Start Year: 2017
End Year: 2022
Title: University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute (Workplace Development)
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
Grant Number: UL1 TR001857
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2021
Title: Expanding National Capacity in PCOR Through Training (ENACT)
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Grant Number: R25 HS023185
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2019
Notable Achievements
Member, Institute of Medicine Dissemination of Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines Committee, 2011-2013
Educational Chair, American Heart Association Executive Leadership Advisory Committee, 2012-present
Member, Institute of Medicine Epigenetics and Obesity in Childhood Committee, 2014-2015
Diplomat, American Board of Family Physicians, 2000-present
American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Leadership and Service Award, 2014
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Excellence in Teaching-Small Group Facilitator Award, 2014
New Pittsburgh Courier’s 2013 Women of Excellence Award, 2013
Member,North American Association for the Study of Obesity, 2011-present