Anna K. Davis

Current Role

Core faculty member in the Department of Basic Sciences


Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Washington

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Cellular Physiology, Department of Zoology, University of Washington Certified Yoga Instructor (Forrest Yoga, Universal Yoga, Pacific Yoga at the 200, 500 hr and advanced levels)


Dr. Davis is trained as a neuroscientist and has a long-standing interest in how people learn. She has studied the physiology of neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning and memory. She has searched for molecules involved in synapse formation and stabilization, processes that are involved in re-wiring the brain and thought to be essential cellular processes that occur with learning. Currently, she investigates how students learn most effectively in the physiology classroom. Collaborating with others, she develops and tests activities and teaching approaches designed to help students learn and understand physiology more effectively.  She is a strong proponent of helping her students cultivate a growth mind-set and build metacognitive awareness and skills.


Dr. Davis believes that knowledge is empowering; knowledge can be used to achieve goals, create solutions to problems and make well-informed decisions that positively impact health, well-being and improve the quality of our lives. As a neuroscience researcher, yoga and physiology instructor, and parent, she believes that the path to becoming a successful learner, requires developing metacognitive awareness (knowing what you know) and metacognitive skills (planning, monitoring, and revising the learning process for success). In her classroom, students explore what they know and also what they do not yet understand, try new approaches for acquiring knowledge and are rewarded for taking risks to engage in exploration.

Classes Taught

  • Integrated Basic Science Courses in the first-year Naturopathic medical curriculum: Integrated Musculoskeletal System; Integrated Cardiovascular System; Integrated Respiratory System; Integrated Digestive System; Integrated, Renal and Reproductive Systems; Integrated Endocrine System.

  • Integrated Case Studies

  • Clinical Skills

  • Yoga


Before joining the core faculty at Bastyr University in 2015, Dr. Davis taught Anatomy and Physiology and Biology at Seattle Central Community College and before that Animal Physiology at the University of Washington where she was engaged in physiology research. She has a long-standing interest in learning and 2012, she was selected as a National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences.  Over the past fifteen years, she has worked on several curriculum development projects. She was a member of a nationwide team of Anatomy and Physiology instructors who developed two courses for Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative ( ). She worked with a small team at the University of Washington to create educational software to teach cell physiology (NerveWorks, Simbio Software).  Dr. Davis has published cell physiology research she did with others in top journals  (see publication list below).

In addition to her academic pursuits, Dr. Davis is a certified yoga instructor who teaches public and private classes. She has trained at Harvard's Benson Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine and is certified to teach their Mind-Body Program for Fertility. Dr. Davis has produced two yoga DVD's with Fairhaven Health where she serves as a Medical Health Advisor: Bend Breathe and Conceive  (, a yoga DVD designed to help couples with fertility challenges, and Healthy Mom, Happy Baby,( ) a yoga DVD specially designed for women during their pregnancies.

Publication List

  • Dallman, JE, Davis, AK and Moody, WJ (1998) Spontaneous activity regulates calcium–dependent K current expression in developing ascidian muscle.  J. Physiol. 15.511.3 683-93.
  • Greaves, AG, Davis, AK, Dallman, JE and Moody, WJ (1996) Coordinated modulation of Ca and K currents during ascidian muscle development.  J. Physiol. 497.1:39-52.
  • Davis, AK, Moody, WJ (1996) Transient absence of an inward rectifier that governs a window of spontaneous activity during muscle differentiation is mediated by modulation of a single channel type.  Annual Neuropharmacology Conference on Potassium Channels, Washington, DC
  • Davis, AK, Greaves, AG, Dallman, JE, Moody, WJ (1995) Comparison of ionic currents expressed in immature and mature muscle cells of an ascidian larva.  J. Neuroscience 15 (7): 4875-4884.
  • Davis, AK, Carlson, SS (1992) Proteoglycans are present in the Transverse-tubule system of skeletal muscle.  Matrix Biology 14 (8): 607-21.
  • Davis, AK, Janigro, D, Schwartzkroin, PA (1986) Effects of tissue preincubation and hypoxia on CA3 hippocampal neurons in the in vitro slice preparation. Brain Research 370:44-53.


Anna Davis
School of Natural Health Arts & Sciences
Department of Basic Sciences