Franklin welcomes new lead for Next Generation Chemistry theme

Professor Ben Davis joins as new Science Director

Professor Ben Davis has joined the Rosalind Franklin Institute to lead the Next Generation Chemistry for Medicine theme.

A fellow of both the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences, Professor Davis has spent the past 18 years in Oxford University’s Department of Chemistry, where he has led research into the chemical understanding and exploitation of biomolecular function, with an emphasis on proteins and carbohydrates. The precise manipulation and redesign of these molecules has vast potential for biotechnological application in areas including drug delivery and disease therapeutics.

At the Franklin, Professor Davis will oversee the development of the Next Generation Chemistry for Medicine scientific theme, which has been led on an interim basis by Professor Adam Nelson. The theme seeks to bring the techniques of chemistry to bear on the drug discovery process, helping to improve efficiency and identify new candidates.

Professor Davis said: ‘I’m hugely excited and deeply impressed by the scale of ambition shown at the Rosalind Franklin Institute – an ambition to innovate and disrupt that makes it stand out globally. There’s a fantastic vision here of fostering collaboration and giving scientists the freedom to explore and take risks.

I have a strong desire to push forward at the interface between chemistry and biology, increasing our awareness of how the physical sciences can help understand, probe and control biological processes from a medical and biotechnological perspective. I’m looking forward to building on Adam Nelson’s excellent legacy in this area.’

Professor Ben Davis at the Rosalind Franklin Institute members meeting.

Professor James Naismith, Director of the Franklin, said “Bringing Ben into the Franklin team is a fantastic step for us. His science is stellar, and we are excited to see the direction he will take his theme, as well as the synergies we can expect with our existing technologies.”

Read more about Ben here.