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, the MRC, UCB-Celltech, AstraZeneca, the EU, GlaxoSmithKline, Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society.

Last updated: 9-3-2017

Latest publication

Covalent Assembly of Nanoparticles as a Peptidase-Degradable Platform for Molecular MRI, Nat. Commun 2017, 8, 14254


BGD has just given 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.

BGD has been awarded the 2017 Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry, sponsored by the Ronald Breslow Award Endowment as part of the American Chemical Society 2017 National Awards.

Work from the group on constucting and using synthetic nuclesomes has been Spotlighted in Trends in Biochemical Sciences.

Work from the group (in collaboration with Glycovaxyn) on a new antibacterial vaccination startegy has been featured in News and Views in Nature Chemistry, the University of Oxford Science Blog, in a Facebook post in Bioconjugate Chemistry and in a Spotlight in ACS Chemical Biology.

Work from the group (in collaboration with the Schofield, Mohammed, Benesch and Robinson groups) on redesigning the anti-Her2 antibody Herceptin has been featured by Against Breast Cancer.

Ben Bower has been given a commendation for his 1st year Graduate Defence / PRS Transfer

The International Carbohydrate Organization has awarded BGD the Roy L. Whistler Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry for 2016.

Anuchit Phanumartwiwath has won a prize for his poster and presentation at the 2015 International Chemical Biology Symposium.

BGD spoke at the 2015 Stanford University Johnson Symposium.

BGD was elected to the Royal Society in 2015.

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