Prof Benjamin G. Davis
Professor of Chemistry, University of Oxford
Fellow and Tutor in Organic Chemistry, Pembroke College
Science Director for Next Generation Chemistry, Rosalind Franklin Institute

Ben Davis got his B.A. (1993) and D.Phil. (1996) from the University of Oxford. During this time he learnt the beauty of carbohydrate chemistry under the supervision of Professor George Fleet. He then spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Bryan Jones at the University of Toronto, exploring protein chemistry and biocatalysis.

In 1998 he returned to the U.K. to take up a lectureship at the University of Durham. In the autumn of 2001 he moved to the Dyson Perrins Laboratory, University of Oxford and received a fellowship at Pembroke College, Oxford. He was promoted to Full Professor in 2005. In late 2019 he became the Science Director for Next Generation Chemistry at the Rosalind Franklin Institute.

His group's research centres on the chemical understanding and exploitation of biomolecular function (Synthetic Biology, Chemical Biology and Chemical Medicine), with an emphasis on carbohydrates and proteins. In particular, the group's interests encompass synthesis and methodology; target biomolecule synthesis; inhibitor/probe/substrate design; biocatalysis; enzyme & biomolecule mechanism; biosynthetic pathway determination; protein engineering; drug delivery; molecular biology; structural biology; cell biology; glycobiology; molecular imaging and in vivo biology.

This work has been recognised by Prizes and Awards and named Lecturerships.

He sits (has sat) on the Editorial / Editorial Advisory Boards of Carbohydrate Research (2005-2012), Chemical Biology and Drug Design (2006-), Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry (2006-2011), the Biochemical Journal (Advisory Board 2002-2005, Editorial Board 2009-2016), Chemical Science (2010-2012, 2015-) and ChemBioChem (2011-).

He was the Editor-in-Chief of Bioorganic Chemistry (2011-2013), Editor-in-Chief of Current Opinion in Chemical Biology (2011-2019) and an Associate Editor of Chemical Science (2012-14). He is curently a Senior Editor for ACS Central Science (2014-).

In 2005 he was elected the UK representative and Secretary (2005-2013) of the European Carbohydrate Organisation and from 2011-2014 the President of the RSC Chemical Biology Division.

Ben Davis was/is co-founder of Glycoform, a biotechnology company that from 2002-2011 investigated the therapeutic potential of synthetic glycoproteins; of Oxford Contrast a company investigating the use of molecular imaging for brain disease; of SugaROx a company that uses bond-breaking methods in planta to control and stimulate plant growth and productivity and of Scindo, a cleantech company started by former DPhil student Gustaf Hemberg that is harnessing the power of enzymes to recycle the unrecyclables. In 2003 he was named among the top young innovators in the world by Technology Review, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)'s magazine of innovation in the TR35 awards and was a finalist in the BBSRC Innovator of the Year competition in 2010.

He was elected to the Royal Society in 2015.

1999 Royal Society of Chemstry Meldola Prize and Medal
2001 Royal Society of Chemstry Carbohydrate Award sponsored by Syngenta
2001 AstraZeneca Strategic Research Award
2001 DTI Smart Award
2001 Mitzutani Foundation for Glycoscience Award
2002 Philip Leverhulme Prize
2005 Royal Society Mullard Prize and Medal
2005 Royal Society of Chemstry Corday-Morgan Medal
2006 International Association for Protein Structure Analysis and Proteomics Young Investigator Award
2008 Wain Medal for Chemical Biology
2008 American Chemical Society Horace S. Isbell Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry
2009 Elsevier Carbohydrate Research Award for Creativity in Carbohydrate Chemistry
2009 Royal Society of Chemstry Norman Heatley Award
2009 Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award
2010 Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan, (SSOCJ) Lectureship Award
2012 Royal Society of Chemstry Bio-organic Chemistry Award
2012 Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award for Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
2015 Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society
2016 International Carbohydrate Society Whistler Award
2017 American Chemical Society Ronald Breslow Award in Biommimetic Chemistry
2017 Prix Paul Ehrlich of the Société de Chimie Thérapeutique (SCT)
2017 Elected as China 1000 Talents Foreign Expert
2017 Elected as a Member of the Academia Europaea
2019 Elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences
2020 Royal Society Davy Medal
2020 Rosetrees Trust Interdisciplinary Award (jointly w/ Sattentau)

2006 Doctorate Lectureship of the University of Santiago de Compostela
2008 Cornforth Lectureship of the University of Sydney
2009 Novartis Chemistry Lectureship
2009 Carico Lectureship of the University of Milan
2009 Jones Lectureship of the University of Toronto
2010 Invited Visiting Professorship at the Sorbonne, Paris (UPMC-ParisVI)
2011 Hirst Lectureship of the University of St Andrews
2011 Boehringer Ingelheim Lectureship of the University of Alberta
2012 Ginsberg Lectureship of the Technion
2012 Bristol-Myers-Squibb Lectureship in Organic Chemistry of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2013 Liversidge Lectureship of the University of Sydney
2013 Peter Gallagher Lectureship of the Griffiths Glycomics Institute
2014 Bender Lectures of Northwestern University
2015 Sloan-Kettering Institute Gin Lectureship
2015 Stanford University Johnson Symposium
2017 CSIC Barcelona Félix Serratosa Lectureship
2017 Ferrier Lectures of Victoria University of Wellington
2019 Danny Thomas Lecture of St Jude Research Hospital
2019 XingDa Student Elected Lectureship of Peking University
2020 Tarrant Distinguished Visiting Professorship of the University of Florida

Last updated: 11-12-20

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