Bioorganic Chemistry Award 2012 Winner
University of Oxford
Awarded for his work on carbohydrates and their protein partners revealing fundamental mechanisms behind their structures and bond-forming processes and exploiting this understanding in synthesis and technology.
About the Winner
Ben Davis got his B.A. (1993) and D.Phil. (1996) from the University of Oxford. During this time he learned 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.
His group's research centers on chemical biology with an emphasis on carbohydrates and proteins. In particular, the group's interests encompass synthesis and methodology, inhibitor design, protein engineering, drug delivery, molecular modeling, molecular biology, and glycoscience.
In 2005 he was elected the UK representative and secretary of the European Carbohydrate Organisation and in 2011 the President of the RSC Chemical Biology Division. He sits (has sat) on the Editorial Boards of Carbohydrate Research (2005-), Chemical Biology and Drug Design (2006-), Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry (2006-2011) and the Biochemical Journal (2009-). He is also (or has) been appointed to the Editorial Advisory Boards of the Biochemical Journal (2002-2005), Chemical Science (2010-) and ChemBioChem (from 2011). From 2011 he will be the Editor-in-Chief of Current Opinion in Chemical Biology.
Ben Davis was co-founder of Glycoform, a biotechnology company that from 2002-2011 investigated the therapeutic potential of synthetic glycoproteins and of Oxford Contrast a company investigating the use of molecular imaging for brain disease. In 2003 he has been named as among the 100 top young innovators in the world by Technology Review, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)'s magazine of innovation.
He has been presented with many awards including the Elsevier Carbohydrate Research Award (2009), he was the first recipient of the RSC Norman Heatley Award (2009), Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan, (SSOCJ) Lectureship Award (2010), Hirst Lectureship of the University of St Andrews (2011), Boehringer Ingelheim Lectureship of the University of Alberta (2011), in 2012 he will be first UK recipient of the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award for Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry.