Professor Daniel Davis (BSc, PhD, FSB, FMedSci) - personal details
Daniel M Davis, PhD, is The Director of Research in the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research - a research institute funded by the University of Manchester, AstraZeneca and GSK. Prior to this, he was a Professor of Molecular Immunology at Imperial College London, UK and Head of the Immunology and Infection Section at the South Kensington Campus. He previously completed an Irvington Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Jack Strominger at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, after earning a PhD in Physics at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, UK, and a BSc in Physics at the University of Manchester, UK. Professor Davis pioneered the use of novel imaging techniques to help visualize key molecular components of the immune response. His work helped establish new concept of how immune cells communicate with each other and how they recognize disease. In 1999, he published the first images showing protein reorganisation at the interface between human Natural Killer (NK) cells and tumour cells. Exploring how changes in the arrangements of proteins occur and how they control communication between immune cells established the concept of the immune synapse, now recognised for its critical importance in cell communication and viral transfer between cells. His group recently described long membrane tethers or ‘nanotubes’ as a new class of physical connectors between immune cells ,which have now been visualised in vivo as well as in vitro. Such membrane nanotubes aid immune cell activity and present a novel direct route for HIV-1 to efficiently spread between T cells. Professor Davis is also involved in teaching immunology and has helped establish a central imaging facility with users from ~50 different laboratories. He has published over 100 papers, collectively cited more than 6000 times, and was the recipient of a Lister Prize Fellowship in 2005, a Wolfson Royal Society Merit Award in 2008 and became a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2011. He has authored many articles for a general audience, has presented several, well-received public lectures, and is currently writing a popular-level science book – The Compatibility Gene - to be published by Penguin in 2013.