Physical Organic Chemistry Award 2015 Winner

Professor Anthony Davis
Professor Anthony Davis
The University of Bristol


Awarded for creative design and study of innovative functional molecular architectures, such as carbohydrate receptors and transmembrane anion transporters





About the Winner

Tony Davis gained a B.A. in Chemistry from Oxford University in 1977, then stayed on for a D.Phil. under Dr. G. H. Whitham and two years' postdoctoral work with Prof. J. E. Baldwin.  In 1981 he moved to the ETH Zürich as a Royal Society European Exchange Fellow working with Prof. A. Eschenmoser, then in 1982 was appointed as a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at Trinity College, Dublin.  In September 2000 he moved to the University of Bristol, where he is Professor of Supramolecular Chemistry in the School of Chemistry.  In 2002 he was awarded the Tilden Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.  He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Organic and Biological Chemistry.

After some early work on synthetic methodology, especially the use of organosilicon reagents, the Davis group's research has focused on supramolecular chemistry.  A particular aim is the design of functional molecules which are both inspired by, and competitive with, biology.  

Two areas which align with this theme are: 

(i) Biomimetic carbohydrate recognition;  the selective binding of carbohydrates under aqueous conditions by synthetic receptors, employing strategies analogous to those used by carbohydrate-binding proteins.  

(ii)  The recognition and transport of inorganic anions;  the design, synthesis and study of molecules which bind inorganic anions strongly and selectively, and are able to carry their substrates across cell membranes.  The group also has a newer programme on the crystal engineering of nanoporous solids (the design of organic molecules forming crystals with nanometer-scale pores).  A company "Ziylo" has been founded to exploit the group's work on carbohydrate sensing.

Related Links

Link icon Professor Davis' webpage
The University of Bristol

External links will open in a new browser window