John Tavis ’85

Graduation Year
chemistry, biology
Award Year
BA, University of Minnesota Morris
PhD, Pennsylvania State University

John Tavis ’85, chemistry and biology, earned a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from Pennsylvania State University. He completed two post doctorates, first at Pennsylvania State University and then at the University of California, San Francisco. He is professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at St. Louis University School of Medicine, where he is known as a gifted teacher and strong leader. His research focuses on hepatitis B and C viruses. His research has received support from the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society (ACS). His work, ranging from detailed biochemistry of replication enzymes and their substrates to the use of the antiviral regimen of interferon and ribavirin in Hepatitis C patients, will “ultimately translate to benefit cancer patients around the world,” according to his ACS nominator. In addition to his research, Tavis is an avid volunteer leader with the ACS. He began as a volunteer peer reviewer serving on the Molecular Cell Biology and Microbial Pathogenesis peer review committees and later served as chair and vice chair. He is currently a member of the Council for Extramural Grants at the ACS, a position offered to only a small number of cancer research leaders from around the country. The council oversees all peer review panels and is responsible for setting pay lines and for review of grant policies. Tavis is also the academic editor for the journal PLoS One.

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John Tavis