Our group works to understand the mechanisms of protein modification by reactive species (radicals, two-electron oxidants, glycation reactions), the biological consequences of such reactions, and the development of methods to quantify protein damage in disease with a particular emphasis on cardiovascular pathologies.
The Protein Oxidation group is also very interested in peroxidase enzymes (particularly myeloperoxidase), EPR spectroscopy for the detection of transient radicals, the kinetics of oxidant reactions, extracellular matrix damage and the development of antioxidants and inhibitors of oxidant formation.
Free radicals (reactive species with an unpaired electron) and other oxidants are generated in biological systems by both native processes (e.g. metabolic pathways and enzymes) and exposure to external events (UV and high-energy radiation, exposure to drugs, pollutants, mineral fibres, chemicals etc).
The damage induced by these oxidants has been linked to human disease, as well as changes in food quality and shelf life, agricultural yields and the quality and efficacy of medicines, vaccines and antibodies.
Under normal circumstances, the formation and reactions of oxidants are kept in check by multiple defensive and repair systems, including low-molecular-mass antioxidants, enzymes that scavenge oxidants or remove precursors, repair enzymes, and systems that remove irreversibly damaged materials.
Despite the number and range of these protective systems,there is considerable evidence for widespread oxidative damage in mammals, plants and micro-organisms, and for links between increased oxidation and multiple human diseases. This may arise from increased oxidant formation, a failure or decrease in defence systems, or both. This altered balance between formation and their removal / repair of oxidants, in favour of higher oxidant levels in often termed “oxidative stress”.
Proteins are major targets for oxidation due to their abundance and rapid rates of reaction with oxidants. We want to understand in a quantitative and rigorous manner, the role of oxidants in protein damage, as such data will allow the rational and informed development of protective strategies against damage and disease.
A particular emphasis is being placed on protein oxidation and modification in cardiovascular disease, but the data obtained is also likely be of direct relevance to the pharmaceutical, food and hygiene industries, and agricultural production.
Protein oxidation has been detected at elevated levels on proteins present with human atherosclerotic lesions, the major underlying cause of most heart attacks and strokes. This damage is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, and has massive economic and social costs, but the processes that give rise to oxidation and the consequences of these reactions are poorly understood.
Prevention of oxidant damage in cardiovascular disease is in its infancy - many agents are being screened, but without adequate knowledge of the species involved and their reactions these efforts may not be well guided.
A key goal of our research is understanding the biochemical behaviour of oxidants associated with inflammation (e.g. hypochlorous acid, peroxynitrous acid, metal ions and radicals derived from these species) and elevated glucose levels (as seen in diabetes), and how these damage cells (endothelial, smooth muscle and macrophages) of relevance to cardiovascular disease, and their associated extracellular matrix.
These multidisciplinary projects are using a battery of tools including quantification of modified materials in human and animal tissues, cellular and animal studies, kinetic and mechanistic experiments, and computational chemistry. Such quantitative analysis is allowing the informed and rational development of novel preventive strategies.
Our group is currently working on a number of exciting projects:
- Oxidation- and glycation-induced changes in protein structure and function.
- Extracellular matrix damage and atherosclerosis.
- Kinetics and mechanisms of oxidative damage to proteins induced by hypochlorous acid, peroxynitrous acid, singlet oxygen, peroxides, sugars and metal ions.
- Myeloperoxidase, inflammation and cardiovascular disease.
- Novel selenium- and sulphur-based antioxidants.
We collaborate with a number of international and national researchers. Here is a selection of our closest collaborators.
- Professor Clare Hawkins (BMI, Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Dr. David Pattison (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Professor Anthony Wise University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
- Professor Ernst Malle, Dr. Astrid Hammer (University of Graz, Austria)
- Associate Professor Bob Anderson (Auckland, New Zealand)
- Professor Wanda Reynolds (Stanford-Burnham Institute, La Jolla, USA)
- Professor K. Indira Priyadarsini and Professor Vimal Jain (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, India)
- Professor Carl Schiesser (Seleno Therapeutics, Melbourne, Australia)
- Professor John Whitelock (University of New South Wales, Australia)
- Professor Steve Bottle (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
- Professor Peter Ogilby (Aarhus, Denmark)
- Prof Camilo Lopez Alarcon (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile)
- Prof. Elias Arner (Karolinska Institute, Sweden)
- Assoc. Prof. Victor Chechik (Univ. of York, UK)
- Prof. Brian Day (National Jewish Health, Denver, USA)
- Prof. Stuart Cordwell (Sydney, Australia)
- Prof. Brian Geisbrecht (Kansas State Univ., USA)
- Assoc. Prof. Adelina Rogowska-Wrzesinska (Univ. Southern Denmark, Odense)
- Dr. Marta Ignasiak (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland)
- Assoc. Prof. Felipe Avila Concha (Universidad de Talca, Chile)
- Dr. Linda Giblin (Teagasc Food Research, Ireland)
- Prof. Leo Radom (Univ. Sydney, Australia)
- Assoc. Prof. Amir Karton (Univ. Western Australia, Australia)
- Prof. Morten Bjerrum and Asst. Prof. Manish Tiwari (Chemistry, Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Prof. Daniel Otzen and Prof. Max Møller (Aarhus University, Denmark)
The Protein Oxidation Group has received grants from a number of private and public foundations. Here is a selection of them.
2020: Oxidative damage to tropoelastin and elastin; Davies M, Novo Nordisk Foundation, Project Grants in Bioscience and Basic Biomedicine.
2019: Biomimicry of the thiocyanate analog selenocyanate; Davies M, Lundbeck Foundation
2017: Oxidation: an evil, but also a necessity for functional extracellular matrix?; Davies M, Danish Council for Independent Research
2016: Novel seleno sugars as modulators of inflammation and tissue damage; Davies M, Novo Nordisk Foundation.
2014: Quantitative oxidative biology of proteins; Davies M, Novo Nordisk Foundation Laureate Research Grant.
2014: Protein oxidation induced by singlet oxygen and peroxyl radicals and its consequences; Davies M, Pattison D; Australian Research Council Discovery Projects.
2013: SF-61SX2/s stopped-flow fluorimeter and upgrade of SX-17MV stopped-flow spectrometer; Clarke R, Davies M, Lay P, Witting P, Rasmussen H, Matthews J, Pattison D,
Vandenberg J; National Health and Medical
Research Council Equipment Grant.
2012: Mechanisms and consequences of damage
to arterial extracellular matrix induced by reactive
nitrogen species; Davies M, Whitelock J; Heart
Foundation of Australia Grant-in-Aid.
2012: Multiplexed capabilities for surface analysis and imaging by mass spectrometry; Blanksby S, Davies M, Truscott R; Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure,
Equipment and Facilities.
2012: Are selenium based antioxidants effective in the repair of protein radicals?; Pattison D, Davies M, Anderson R; Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering Award.
- Editor-in-Cheif: "Free Radical Research"
- Editor: "Biochemical Journal"
- Editor: "Royal Society of Chemistry, ESR/EPR Specialist Periodical Reports" (1993-2008, vols. 14-21)
- Associate Editor: "Photochemistry and Photobiology"
- Professor Davies is also a member of a large number of journal editorial boards.
Professor Davies has served in senior roles in a number of scientific societies and organisations including the following:
- 2019-2020: President of the Society for Free Radical Research Europe
- 2020: Chair: Society for Redox Biology and Medicine – SFRR-Europe Publications Outreach committee
- 2017-2018: President-Elect of the Society for Free Radical Research (Europe)
- 2016-2019: Senior Scientific Advisor, EU H2020 ITN-ETN MASSTRPLAN program
- 2013-2014: President of the Society for Free Radical Research International
- 2012-2013: President-Elect, Society for Free Radical Research International
- 2008-2011: Vice-President, International EPR Society
- 2007-2010: Secretary-General, Society for Free Radical Research International
- 2005-2008: Council member, American Society for Photobiology
- 2001-2003: President, Society for Free Radical Research (Australasia)
- Director, Seleno Therapeutics Pty. Ltd
- International Scientific Advisory Board, Reven Pharmacueticals
2016: PhD student Tina Tybo awarded Young Investigator award of the Society for Free Radical Research–Europe
2015: PhD student Anna Kramer awarded Young Investigator award of the Society for Free Radical Research–Europe
2014: Professor Davies presented with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Society for Free Radical Research-India
2013: Professor Davies invited to give the “Informa Lecture” by Society for Free Radical Research-Asia
2012: Professor Davies presented with a “Distinguished Service Award” by the Society for Free Radical Research-Australia
2008: Professor Davies presented with a “Distinguished Service Award” by the Asia-Pacific EPR Society
2007: Professor Davies invited to give the Piette Memorial Lecture at the 49th Rocky Mountain Analytical Conference
2006: Professor Davies presented with the Archibald Olle Prize of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute
2004: Professor Davies presented with the Aniko Whealy Research Award of the National Heart Foundation of Australia
2003: Professor Davies presented with the Silver Medal of the International EPR Society for Biology/Medicine
The Protein Oxidation group is looking for colleagues
We are looking for highly motivated Bachelor, Master and PhD students to work on the projects:
Please contact Michael Davies, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested in working with us.
|Annika Hummersgaard Hansen||PhD fellow||+4553383334|
|Carina Rajner||Erasmus master student|
|Christine Chuang||Assistant professor||+45 353-37852|
|Eirini-Angeliki Choremi||Erasmus master student|
|Emily Mary Martin||Erasmus master student|
|Jianfei He||PhD student|
|Lasse Gøbel Lorentzen||Postdoc||+45 353-27449|
|Luke Francis Gamon||Postdoc||+45 50 22 15 59|
|Martin Pehrsson||PhD student|
|Max Benjamin Sauerland||PhD fellow||+45 50 20 87 15|
|Natasha Pavey||Erasmus master student||+447407433256|
|Per Mårten Hägglund||Associate professor||+45 353-32764|
|Shuqi Xu||PhD fellow (affiliate)|
|Shuwen Jiang||PhD student|
|Tizia Thoma||Erasmus master student|
|Álvaro Viedma Poyatos||Visiting Researcher|
- Prof. Brian Day
- Prof Camilo Lopez Alarcon
- Assoc. Prof. Victor Chechik
- Benjamin Sevcnikar
- Carina Rejner
- Emily Martin
- Natasha Pavey
- Eirini Angeliki
- Álvaro Viedma Poyatos
- Caroline Poremba
- Dr. Eduardo Fuentes
- Francesca Mangiovacchi
- Colm Shanahan
- Ralf Mertes
- Sandra Goll
- Tizia Thoma
- Wararat Suetrong