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Graham Davies

Head of Chemokine Technology Development

My research is focussed on discovering and developing new drugs that can be used to treat heart diseases where inflammation plays a major role. Through employing yeast surface display, a number of small proteins called evasins have been identified from tick saliva. These evasins have a unique “one-to-many” mechanism of action, i.e. they bind multiple chemokines, and potently block inflammation. The “one-to-many” action of the evasins overcomes the robustness of the chemokine system, which is unaffected by traditional anti-chemokine drugs that work on a “one-to-one” basis. Chemokines are produced by the body in response to injury/pathogens, resulting in the migration of white blood cells that can lead to inflammation. I have developed a number of techniques utilising high throughput flow cytometry to functionally validate the evasins. These include fluorescent ligand binding/competition assays and a raft of human and mouse primary cell migration assays. My current work is focussed on the development of the delivery of the evasins to sites of inflammation and the development of a phage peptide display technique to enable identification of evasin derived peptides that interact with chemokines.