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.

Since 2021 we have been jointly based in the Department of Pharmacology within the Medical Sciences Division and at the national Rosalind Franklin Institute. BGD is also a member of the Department of Chemistry faculty by courtesy.

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.

Latest publication

Distributable, Metabolic PET Reporting of Tuberculosis, Nat. Commun. 2024, 15, 5239


The group's work on an accessible method for now using PET to monitor TB, published in Nature Communications has been featured in various outlets including HealthCare in Europe and The Medical News.

The group's work on the modes of binding shown by SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens to human cell surface sugars, published in Science, has been featured in various outlets including Chemical and Engineering News. This work additionally presents implications for the zoonosis of COVID19.

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 has 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
The Rosalind Franklin Institute