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WISE Lifetime Achievement Award: Professor Dame Kay Davies CBE

Dame Kay Davies on her lifetime's work in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Kay Davies

CBE, DBE, F.MedSci., FRS

Dr Lee's Professor of Anatomy and Director of the MRC Functional Genomics Unit

Kay Davies was an undergraduate at Somerville College and a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford. She was elected as Dr Lee’s Professor of Anatomy at the University of Oxford in 1998. Professor Kay Davies was Head of Department from 2008 to 2011.

Her research interests lie in the molecular analysis of human genetic disease, particularly the genetic basis of neuromuscular and neurological disorders. She first became interested in muscular dystrophy more than 20 years ago and many of her research group are dedicated to finding effective treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and spinal muscular atrophy.

In 1999, she set up the MRC Functional Genomics Unit aimed at exploiting genome information for the analysis of the function of genes in the nervous system. She is currently its Director. In 2000, she co-founded the Oxford Centre of Gene Function with Professors Ashcroft (Physiology) and Donnelly (Statistics) to bring together genetics, physiology and bioinformatics in a new multidisciplinary building which was completed in 2003. She is Co-director of this new initiative.

She has an active interest in the ethical implications of her research and in the public understanding of science. She is a founding fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2003..

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