Theresa A. Davies-Heerema, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Medical Sciences & Education

PhD, Boston University School of Medicine
BS, University of Virginia

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Dr. Davies began her tenure at BUSM in the Department of Biochemistry over 30 years ago. After receiving her PhD, she was very active in the Department and went on to do research in the field of Alzheimer’s disease investigating the role of platelets and the blood brain barrier in amyloid deposition. More recently she has served as Assistant Director of the MA in Medical Sciences program, and now Director of the Oral Health Sciences program. In 2018, Dr. Davies assumed a new role in Graduate Medical Sciences, the graduate arm of the medical school first as Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs  and more recently expanding her role to include oversight of all Master's programs.  She oversees Marketing & Recruitment, and Student Affairs along with directing the MS in Oral Health Sciences program.  

Dr. Davies has been teaching in the Biochemistry course MD512/OH751 Dental Biochemistry for more than 18 years, is Co-Course Manager for GMS MS 640, Introduction to Biomedical Information and recently developed three new courses Evidence Based Dentistry, Infectious Diseases: Pathogens & Clinical Manifestations and Fundamentals of Head and Neck Anatomy.

Dr. Davies has helped to develop a novel mobile application in collaboration with the Department of Family Medicine, the Alumni Medical Library, and the Virtual Integration Group on Evidence Based Medicine. The BUSM Finding Information Framework (BUSM FIF) app can be found in the app store.

Two recent publications demonstrate the success of the OHS pipeline program. First in 2019 - We show the success of the OHS program in increasing the preparedness and diversity of dental school applicants from under-represented groups to dental school and in 2020 - How alternative predictors of success may help to reduce intrinsic bias among applicants from underrepresented groups during the admissions process.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

I am passionate about promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in academia and the health professions. My commitment to this goal is based on my personal beliefs that every individual should be treated equally and with respect regardless of race, gender identity, political views, religion or anything else society may choose to use to segregate us and choose to celebrate what makes each individual special and unique. Providing a supportive, positive and welcoming environment that enables all to grow professionally, academically and personally is my focus. I work to help others find success in the classroom, after graduation, and beyond the job because what really matters is being part of a community and feeling valued and respected.

As my lived experience is primarily privileged, I began my mentoring as an advocate for pre-med students, seeing some of the challenges and inequities these students faced during the application process. As a member of the BUSM Admissions committee, I learned about holistic review and checking my “bias” when reviewing applications. I readily expanded my advocacy to peers, near peers and female students and supporting their career and academic advancement. Sharing my journey, I have worked to encourage other women to be parents, partners, scientists and clinicians. I support them as they learn work-life balance and managing different identities and areas of their lives. This is something I have lived as a woman in science, and mother of four and I want others to never stop striving for a full career with a family when they feel imposter syndrome creep up and try to hold them back.

As a relatively newcomer to DEIA, I have learned by serving my students, initially in the Medical Sciences (MAMS) and now Oral Health Sciences (OHS) program. I know there is much more to learn, and I am committed to that goal. OHS is a pipeline master’s program that I have directed since 2012 and I have worked for the past 10 years to grow the program and continue its mission to increase the number of students entering the field of dentistry from underrepresented groups, including those who are first in their family to attend college, and/or students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. I tirelessly support these students by providing personalized mentoring. These efforts have led to the implementation of an enrichment series to assist with academic and career development, a near-peer mentoring program, and a ‘soft-skills’ critical thinking and ethics course to prepare students for dental school success. I find working with diverse students incredibly rewarding. Many students have overcome adversity or faced personal or financial challenges, others share their ‘distance traveled’ and really need an ally, mentor, and advocate, something they have never had. I do my best to be that person. I am passionate about educating students, especially underrepresented students of color who have had unequal access to support and opportunities.

Since 2017, I have served as the GMS Liaison for Disability & Access Services for GMS. This was a role that I did not seek out but have truly become passionate about. I have worked with many students over the past 5 years, including some very hard years during COVID-19, to provide students with the support they need to receive equitable access to education. Although challenging, it has been tremendously rewarding. DAS is an area that has received much less visibility over the years and is finally gaining some backing. I’m proud to be an advocate in this endeavor to move forward to providing opportunities to more individuals.

Lastly, I was instrumental in the launch of GMS’ C3 – Community Catalyst Center in August 2021. Our goal, especially following COVID-19 was to foster student success by helping them acclimate to Boston, GMS and the advancing academics of graduate school while gaining a sense of belonging at GMS. This center welcomes all GMS students, including international (gGlobal), first-generation college graduates (gFIRST), students of color (gSOC), LGBTQIA+ (gPLUS), veterans and military-affiliated students (gMAV). This fall we are starting our Disability Support group as well!


TA Davies, MA Kelley (2020) Effective Communication Skills Promote Cultural Awareness. Presented remotely via recording at 2020 American Dental Education Association Annual Session & Exhibition (remote COVID-19).
TA Davies, M Murphy-Phillips, E Stocks (2019) The Road Less Traveled: Student Affairs Careers in Graduate and Professional Schools. Presented at the All of the Above Conference, Boston College, Boston, MA.
TA Davies, JM Calabrese, CW Leone, LG Dunham (2019) Boston University’s MS in Oral Health Sciences Program Advances the Diversity Initiative of the Goldman School of Dental Medicine through Collaborative Programing. Presented at 2019 ADEA
Diversity and Inclusion Workshop, Portland, OR.
TA Davies, LG Dunham, GM Johnson, ES Lacy, C Leone (2018) Meeting the Diversity Imperative through Post-Baccalaureate Programs. Presented at the 2018 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Annual Session & Exhibition, Orlando, Fl.


Davies TA, Kaye E, Stahlberger M, Abbas M, Sarkis C, Reed L, Dunham L, Schreiber BM, Leone C, Mascarenhas AK. Improving Diversity of Dental Students Through the Boston University Masters of Oral Health Sciences Postbaccalaureate Program. J Dent Educ. 2019 Mar; 83(3):287-295. PMID: 30692183


2021-present Launch and Manager of new C3 Community Catalyst Center in GMS
2020-present Graduate Medical Sciences, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Steering Committee
2017-present GMS Disability & Access Services Liaison
2012-present Program Director, MS in Oral Health Sciences (Pipeline focus)


FDD Seminar: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility (DEIA) on CVs & BU Profiles. Seminar by Faculty Development, BUSM. (May 2022)
Why Diversity Statements are Needed from Faculty Candidates. Workshop sponsored by Graduate Medical Sciences DEI Steering Committee & BU DEI Inclusion Catalyst Grant. (Apr 2022)
A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Approach to Graduate Student Access and Outcomes. Boston University Newbury Center and Graduate Affairs at Boston University Diversity and Student Success in The Graduate School at The University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill (Apr 2022)
Listening Session on Inclusive Pedagogy. Sponsored by BU Diversity & Inclusion (May 2021)
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity: Confronting racism and bias through student organizations. Presented at the American Dental Education Association Annual Session & Exhibition (Mar 2021)
Missing at the Table: Exploring Administrative Pipeline Gaps and Solutions. Presented at the American Dental Education Association Annual Session & Exhibition (Mar 2021)
Implicit Bias & Microaggressions, Graduate Medical Sciences, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative. (Feb 2020)
ADEA Diversity Workshop Creating a Climate of Inclusiveness, Portland Oregon, Three-day conference with wide range of presenters addressing current issues facing inclusiveness in the dental admissions and education. (Oct 2019)
ACPA New England Chapter – Deans & Directors Spring Dinner – Responding to Issues of Free Speech: A Campus Wide Collaboration. (Oct 2019)
Mission-Driven Admissions: A Holistic Perspective Presented at Council of Graduate Schools, Washington, DC (Dec 2018)
Implicit Bias & Microaggressions: How our Brain Takes Short Cuts. McCahan Education Day, Boston University School of Medicine. (May 2018)

Director, M.S. in Oral Health Sciences Program
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences
Dean’s Office

Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Davies TA, Miller MB, Moore VA, Kaye EA. Predicting professional school performance with a unique lens: are there other cognitive predictors? BMC Med Educ. 2020 Jan 15; 20(1):14. PMID: 31941519; PMCID: PMC6961370; DOI: 10.1186/s12909-020-1930-2;
  2. Davies TA, Kaye E, Stahlberger M, Abbas M, Sarkis C, Reed L, Dunham L, Schreiber BM, Leone C, Mascarenhas AK. Improving Diversity of Dental Students Through the Boston University Master's of Oral Health Sciences Postbaccalaureate Program. J Dent Educ. 2019 Mar; 83(3):287-295.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30692183
  3. Lui A, Davies TA*, Liu A, Flynn DB, Wiecha JM, Cohen-Osher M, Hoffman-Kleiner M* (*shared senior author). Novel Mobile Application to Promote Evidence-Based Medicine Decision-Making in Medical Education. Medical Science Educator. 2015; (1-2). View Publication
  4. Ulbricht C, Abrams TR, Basch E, Davies-Heerema T, Foppa I, Hammerness P, Rusie E, Tanguay-Colucci S, Taylor S, Ulbricht C, Varghese M, Weissner W, Woods J. An evidence-based systematic review of gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre R. Br.) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. J Diet Suppl. 2011 Sep; 8(3):311-30.View Related Profiles. PMID: 22432729; DOI: 10.3109/19390211.2011.597977;
  5. Basch E, Boon H, Davies-Heerema T, Foppo I, Hashmi S, Hasskarl J, Sollars D, Ulbricht C. Boswellia: an evidence-based systematic review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. J Herb Pharmacother. 2004; 4(3):63-83. PMID: 15829470
  6. Davies TA, Long HJ, Eisenhauer PB, Hastey R, Cribbs DH, Fine RE, Simons ER. Beta amyloid fragments derived from activated platelets deposit in cerebrovascular endothelium: usage of a novel blood brain barrier endothelial cell model system. Amyloid. 2000 Sep; 7(3):153-65.View Related Profiles. PMID: 11019856
  7. Eisenhauer PB, Johnson RJ, Wells JM, Davies TA, Fine RE. Toxicity of various amyloid beta peptide species in cultured human blood-brain barrier endothelial cells: increased toxicity of dutch-type mutant. J Neurosci Res. 2000 Jun 15; 60(6):804-10. PMID: 10861793
  8. Abraham CR, Marshall DC, Tibbles HE, Otto K, Long HJ, Billingslea AM, Hastey R, Johnson R, Fine RE, Smith SJ, Simons ER, Davies TA. Platelets and DAMI megakaryocytes possess beta-secretase-like activity. J Lab Clin Med. 1999 May; 133(5):507-15.View Related Profiles. PMID: 10235134
  9. Davies TA, Billingslea AM, Long HJ, Tibbles H, Wells JM, Eisenhauer PB, Smith SJ, Cribbs DH, Fine RE, Simons ER. Brain endothelial cell enzymes cleave platelet-retained amyloid precursor protein. J Lab Clin Med. 1998 Oct; 132(4):341-50.View Related Profiles. PMID: 9794706
  10. Simons ER, Marshall DC, Long HJ, Otto K, Billingslea A, Tibbles H, Wells J, Eisenhauer P, Fine RE, Cribbs DH, Davies TA, Abraham CR. Blood brain barrier endothelial cells express candidate amyloid precursor protein-cleaving secretases. Amyloid. 1998 Sep; 5(3):153-62.View Related Profiles. PMID: 9818052
Showing 10 of 22 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 22 publications over 16 distinct years, with a maximum of 3 publications in 1997


I have been actively mentoring masters students to medical and dental schools for over 30 years in particular those from groups currently and socioeconomically disadvantaged or under-represented in the biomedical science fields (DMD, MD, DO and MS). I working with students, in a teaching, mentoring and research capacity. I also previously mentored masters and doctoral students in the laboratory in my early career. I continue to serve as a mentor to faculty, especially junior faculty, as they build their careers.

Available to Mentor as: (Review Mentor Role Definitions):
  • Advisor
  • Career Mentor
  • Diversity Mentor
  • Education Mentor
  • Research / Scholarly Mentor
  • Work / Life Integration Mentor
Contact for Mentoring:
  • Email (see 'Contact Info')

72 E. Concord St Instructional (L)
Boston MA 02118
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