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York chemist wins Royal Society professorship renewal

Posted on 7 September 2021

Professor Gideon Davies has been awarded a further five year term for his prestigious Royal Society Ken Murray Research Professorship.

Pictured: Professor Gideon Davies

The Ken Murray Research Professorship, first awarded to Professor Davies in 2016, provides long-term support for internationally recognised work in areas such as biochemistry, genetics, chemistry, developmental biology and physics. The renewal of the appointment will extend the term of the post to ten years, granting £1M in funding to the Department of Chemistry. It will allow Professor Davies to continue to lead research into the chemistry of living systems, with impacts for clinical diagnostics, antiviral agents and neurodegeneration drugs as well as biofuels and the degradation of recalcitrant materials.

Commenting on the renewal of the Royal Society professorship, Professor Davies said: “It’s a great honour to receive the renewal. It reflects the ongoing research from my amazing group; they are a talented and dedicated team. The renewal of the professorship, alongside funding from the European Research Council and the BBSRC, will enable us to build on our work.”

The renewal of the Royal Society Professorship is the most recent of three highly significant awards won by Professor Davies this academic year. In November 2020 he was awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Synergy grant of £2.7M over 6 years, as part of a collaborative research programme into how enzymes work on complex sugars. In addition, in March 2021 he and Professor Paul Walton were jointly awarded £555,000 from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to investigate a recently discovered class of enzymes whose capacity to break down solid matter has potential applications for insect control.