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Dame Kay Elizabeth Davies (DBE)

Geneticist

 

Prof. Kay Davies was born on 1 April 1951 in StourbridgeWorcestershire,

She was educated at the Gig Mill School and Stourbridge County High School for Girls. She went to 

Somerville College, Oxford and Wolfson College, Oxford where she was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy

degree in 1976. Her research was on the structure and function of chromatin from the slime mould 

Physarum polycephalum.

In the 1980s, she developed a test, which allowed for the screening of foetuses whose mothers have a

high risk of carrying DMD and her research group has an international reputation for work on Duchenne

muscular dystrophy (DMD).

She is Dr Lee's Professor of Anatomy at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford.

She is director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) functional genetics unit, a governor of the 

Wellcome Trust, a director of the Oxford Centre for Gene Function, and a patron and Senior Member of 

Oxford University Scientific Society.

Prof. Davies is collaborating with European Research Council fellow Dr Peter Oliver investigating neurodegenerative and movement disorders.

She has published more than 400 papers and won numerous awards for her work. She has been a Governor of the Wellcome Trust since 2008 and became Deputy chairman in 2013.

Award, honours

Prof. Davies was a founding member of the Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) in 1998, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2003.

She was the recipient of the Women in to Science and Engineering (WISE) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.

 

Awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), she was advanced in 2008 to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the  New Year Honours List.

She is an Honorary Fellow, Somerville College, University of Oxford and gave the inaugural Rose Lecture at Kingston University in 2012. She delivered the Harveian Oration at the Royal College of Physicians in 2013.

In 2015, Prof. Davies was presented with the William Allan Award by the American Society of Human Genetics.

She was appointed a Patron of The SMA Trust in September 2016.

Prof. Davies was awarded the Croonian Lecture by the Royal Society in 2018 for "her achievements in developing a prenatal test for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and for her work characterising the binding partners of the protein dystrophin”.