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 critically 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 Chemistry Research Laboratory. From 2021 we are also jointly based at the Rosalind Franklin Institute.

Our research is supported by the EPSRC, the BBSRC, the MRC, the EU, Novo Nordisk, UCB, Janssen, GlaxoSmithKline, Lab282, Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society.

Last updated: 17-02-2021

Latest publication

Residue-Selective Protein C‑Formylation via Sequential Difluoroalkylation-Hydrolysis, ACS Cent. Sci. 2021, 7, 145-155


The group's work on light-mediated protein editing has been highighted by the university and in F1000/Faculty Opinions.

BGD along with collaborator Quentin Sattentau have received the 2020 Rosetrees Trust Interdisciplinary Award.

BGD has been awarded the Royal Society's Davy Medal.

Former DPhil student Gustaf Hemberg has founded spin-out company Scindo based on his research and has been named as one of the chosen companies in IndieBio's First New York 'Class'.

BGD has been appointed as the Science Director for Chemistry at the Rosalind Franklin Institute.

BGD has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

The group's work on chemical methods for boosting and rescuing crops has been selected by the University as an Impact Case Study.

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