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Infilration of a damaged nerve by Natural Killer cells.

© AJ Davies

Alexander J. Davies

B.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D.

UKRI Future Leaders Fellow


Dr Davies’ research focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of nerve injury and neuropathic pain.

He completed his PhD training in neurophysiology with Professor R. Alan North at the University of Manchester. During postdoctoral training at Seoul National University in South Korea his work led to discoveries in spinal mechanisms of neuropathic pain and a clinically-relevant treatment for dental pain. Subsequently, as a NRF Junior Research Fellow, he led a team of international collaborators to reveal a novel immune mechanism of axon degeneration after peripheral nerve injury.

Since moving to the University of Oxford, he has developed methods to study human neuro-immune interactions in vitro, and currently leads several pilot studies phenotyping immune cell function in patients recovering from nerve injury.

Dr Davies was recently awarded a prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship in which he will investigate the mechanisms of cellular cytotoxicity in immune-mediated recovery from nerve injury. His long-term goals are to translate these biological discoveries into novel immune therapies for neuropathic pain.

Axonal targeting of sensory neurons by NK cells

Cytotoxic neuro-immune 'synapse' between NK cell and mouse DRG neuron results in axon degeneration (NK cells, green; Neuronal calcium signal, magenta).