Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The Rosalind Franklin Institute and the University of Oxford’s Department of Pharmacology have entered into a strategic partnership for Next Generation Chemistry.

Pictured left to right are Professor Ben Davis, Professor Frances Platt, Lord Chris Patten, Professor James Naismith and Dr Paul McCubbin celebrate this strategic partnership. Photo credit: Stuart March
(l-r): Professor Ben Davis, Professor Frances Platt, Lord Chris Patten, Professor James Naismith and Dr Paul McCubbin celebrate this strategic partnership. Photo credit: Stuart March

Formed around the lab of Professor Ben Davis, Director of Next Generation Chemistry at The Franklin, the partnership will see bilateral movement of researchers between the Franklin and Oxford, widening access to the cutting edge facilities at Harwell.

Professor Frances Platt, Head of Department at the University of Oxford Department of Pharmacology said, “I am delighted that Professor Davis will be joining our department – his research is an excellent fit with existing work taking place in Pharmacology. This partnership with The Franklin offers a wealth of opportunity for our research and academic staff to form exciting new collaborations with world-leading scientists and facilities.”

One of the key aims for the Davis group is to perform ‘in-cell chemistry’ – editing proteins and other biomolecules within the cell for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes. This work is revolutionary in its approach, and is highly complementary to other Franklin themes, including mass spectrometry imaging, structural biology, and correlated imaging.

Professor Davis said “This collaboration means a huge amount to my group, who will be able to carry out their work in two of the best places to explore the chemistry of life in the country. We are all incredibly excited to get started and have felt very welcomed. ”

Recent collaborative publications from the Davis group include work on borylation of proteins – introducing new function via the element boron to proteins, as well as the light-mediated editing of proteins to change their primary sequence without the need for classical genetic or other ‘gene-editing’ approaches.

Other current work is trying to understand the role that interaction with host (human) sugars may have played in the function of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In 2021, an international collaboration including the Davis group also uncovered the role of LanCL proteins, by using protein editing amongst other methods to solve a 20 year mystery of their function and pointing to a new pathway of protein repair that may be present in many higher organisms.

 

Similar stories

Emptage group successful with £1m MRC-AMED award

Congratulations to the group of Professor Nigel Emptage who have been awarded an MRC-AMED grant, worth £1m, in conjuction with the University of Tokyo and the RIKEN Center for Brain Science

Burton group wins image competition at Oxford BHF CRE Annual Symposium

This image of a blood clot composed of erythrocytes trapped by long fibrous chains of fibrin was judged the winner of the image competition at the BHF CRE 2022 Symposiium, held in December. In this image we can see false coloured erythrocytes (classic biconcave appearance around 5-10 µm in diameter) wrapped by fibrin network.

Understanding the brain at Didcot Girls School Science Club

A group of researchers and students led by Dr Tim Viney visited Didcot Girls School to run a ‘hands on’ event about the brain at the school’s Science Club.

Raised intracellular chloride levels underlie the effects of tiredness in cortex

The feeling of being tired is familiar to everyone. As we know from our own experience, an extended period of wakefulness results in a decline in our performance levels, and the desire to sleep becomes almost irresistible. When you then fall asleep, your sleep is deeper and more consolidated than usual. And yet after just one night of uninterrupted sleep, you can feel refreshed and “back to normal”!

Consequences of Tau pathology on hippocampal pyramidal neurons and network activity in ageing mice

Pathological hyperphosphorylated forms of the microtubule-associated binding protein Tau (pTau) are commonly found in people with neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Corticobasal degeneration, and Progressive supranuclear palsy.