Welcome to the Davis Group website

Our research comes under the broad heading of the chemistry of Carbohydrates and Proteins. The reactions and manipulation of sugars and proteins have fascinated organic chemists for over a century and this work is culminating today in a host of new drugs for treating diseases.

It is becoming increasingly clear that oligosaccharides (carbohydrates in small clusters) and alterations in proteins (modifications) are examples of chemically complex biological markers that act critcially in important extracellular and organismal processes such as immune response, microbial infection, cancer metastasis and cellular adhesion, inflammation, in addition to vital intracellular communication events such as epigenetics and signalling cascades. Their remarkable structural diversity means that they can often mediate highly specific and therefore complex processes. The application of an understanding of such systems on a fundamental level leads to the design, synthesis and modification of potential therapeutic and biotechnologically applicable systems.

In January 2004 we moved from the Dyson Perrins Laboratory to the new Chemistry Research Laboratory. You can explore the Virtual Tour of the CRL, in particular the 360° paroramas of our write-up area and one of our lab (Quicktime software required).

Our research is supported by the EPSRC, the BBSRC, UCB-Celltech, AstraZeneca, the EU, GlaxoSmithKline, Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society.

Last updated: 1-12-2017

Latest publication

Precise Probing of Residue Roles by Post-Translational β,γ-C,N Aza-Michael Mutagenesis in Enzyme Active Sites, ACS Cent. Sci. 2017, 3, 1168-1173


The demonstration of β,γ-C,N bond formation on protein side chains has been highlighted by a LiveSlides presentation in ACS Central Science.

Simon Nadal has been given a Lilly Prize and Aziz Khan a Commendation for their 1st year graduate work.

BGD has been elected as a member of the Academia Europaea.

BGD has been awarded the 2017 Prix Paul Ehrlich of the Société de Chimie Thérapeutique (SCT). The prize, for outstanding contributions to medicinal chemistry, is awarded annually at the International Meeting of Therapeutic Chemistry (RICT).

BGD gave the 2017 22nd Felix Serratosa lectures at the CSIC-Barcelona and ICIQ-Tarragona.

A strategy for chemical control of plant signaling that increases grain yield and rescues plants from drought published in Nature had been featured on the university's news site and in the The Telegraph Online, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, and The Financial Times.

A strategy for 'bottling' elements as diverse XRF-phores in celluar biology just published in Nature Commun. has been highlighted in the university's Science Blog.

Matt Bilyard was awarded an AstraZeneca D.Phil Symposium Prize for his talk on his graduate work.

A sidechain C–C-bond-forming method that allows Post-Translational Protein Mutagenesis published in Science has been highlighted in C&E News and in Nature Methods.

News archives

Prof Benjamin G. Davis
University of Oxford
Chemistry Research Laboratory
Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TA, UK
Phone: + 44 (0)1865 275652
Fax: + 44 (0)1865 275674