Professor Behind Carbometrics and Ziylo Technology Wins Robert Robinson Award for Chemistry

Professor Tony Davis, who developed the glucose binding molecule that may pave the way for the world’s first smart insulins, has won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s (RSC) Robert Robinson Award. The award was given in recognition of his “outstanding contributions to the design and synthesis of selective carbohydrate receptors with potential to improve the well-being of those with diabetes.”

Prof Davis, who is now a board member at carbometrics, the spin-out from Ziylo, said: “It’s hugely motivating trying to do something that will reach beyond the academic world and have a real effect on people’s lives.”

Molecules are the smallest objects that can possess complex shapes, and thus the smallest things that can be designed. Natural evolution designs molecules to perform many tasks, and these tend to be far cleverer and more effective than anything that can be made in a lab.  Even so, Professor Davis and his team can try to match nature, and if their creations work well enough they can find medical applications.

A major goal of Professor Davis’ research group has been a molecule which binds glucose selectively under biological conditions. This could be used to help diabetics, either as a component in glucose monitors or as part of glucose-responsive insulin (insulin which becomes active only when needed). Recently, his team have found a good solution to this problem and are working with industry to develop applications. They have also made molecules which can bind chloride anions and carry them across cell membranes, and believe these agents could counteract the genetic defect which causes cystic fibrosis and could potentially be used as treatments for this condition.

Professor davis (far left) with his research group at the University of Bristol

Professor davis (far left) with his research group at the University of Bristol

Biography

By | 2020-07-01T15:35:23+01:00 July 1st, 2020|News|