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Dr Luke Davies

Dr Luke Davies

Research Associate

2/07, Sir Geraint Evans Cardiovascular Research Building, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a passionate scientist with a research background in innate immune cell biology and metabolism. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition driven by dysregulated immunity which results in organ failure and metabolic dysfunction. I am excited to work with Project Sepsis to investigate new diagnoses and treatments for sepsis.


I was always interested in science, but specifically with the seeming randomness of biology consisting of mostly unknowns. The exploration of these unknowns through the understanding of chemistry was what drove me to a BSc. in biochemistry at Cardiff University in 2006. My course highlighted how little we really know about how biological systems work, and that to understand these systems, we need to work from the ground up. After my BSc. degree I wanted to further pursue these questions, so I worked on a voluntary basis in a research laboratory where I later secured a CUROP grant for 8-weeks of summer work investigating a novel protein biomarker in Arthritis. I then progressed to a research assistant position in the myeloid cell biology group, where I won a competitive medical research council (MRC) PhD. studentship to study macrophage biology in 2010.

My PhD research was focused on the biology of tissue macrophages. These cells exhibit extreme heterogeneity in their phenotype and function in an anatomical and micro-anatomical niche-specific manner. During my PhD, I published works which were contrary to the previously established dogma but have now become generally accepted in the macrophage field (e.g. Davies et al. 2011, Davies et al. 2013, Davies et al. 20132, *Rosas, *Davies et al. 2014). My studies have emphasised that accounting for the heterogeneity and tissue context of macrophages is paramount when considering their role in acute injury and chronic disease.

As a biochemist, I have always been interested in metabolism, and the studies during my PhD/ MRC project emphasised heterogeneity in the expression of metabolic regulators in macrophages. This interest was also shared by Daniel McVicar at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), USA. Therefore, I spent a year at the NCI reviewing my old biochemistry training and obtaining data for grant applications. I then secured a Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral fellowship in 2015, a position based at Cardiff University, but I remained at the NCI to take advantage of the state-of-the-art technology to publish more studies (e.g. Davies et al. 2015, Davies et al. 2017, Davies et al. 2019).

I have recently joined Project Sepsis in order to apply my skills to a human disease and investigate metabolic immune cell dysfunction in Sepsis.

Honours and awards

Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2014)

William Morgan Thomas Travel Scholarship (2014, 2018)

Medical Research Council Centenary Award  (2013)

British Society for Immunology Travel Scholarship (2012)

Cardiff University Postgraduate Research Day Prize (2011)

Medical Research Council PhD fellowship (2010)

Cardiff University 125 for 125 Research Scholarship (2010)

Cardiff University Research Opportunity Programme (CUROP) Grant (2010)

Academic positions

2006-2009 - BSc Student, Cardiff University

2009-2010 - Research Assistant, Cardiff University

2010-2014 - PhD Student, Cardiff University

2014-2015 - Visiting Research Fellow, National Cancer Institute, USA

2015-2018 - Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting Scientist), National Cancer Institute, USA

2018-2019 - Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, Cardiff University

2019-Present - Research Associate, Cardiff University
















I have taught laboratory techniques on year 1 and year 2 MEDIC SSC (Student Selected Component) modules. I also teach on the MSc. Bioinformatics module on metabolomics.


Past projects