Office Phone: 301-405-1845
 Office Address:CHEM 3345



  • Colby College, B. A. 1981
  • M.I.T, Ph.D. 1987
  • Genzyme Co., Boston, 1987-1990
  • University of Washington, NIH Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1990-93

Professional Experience

  • University of Maryland, Assistant Professor, 1993-99
  • University of Maryland, Associate Professor, 1999-2003
  • Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, 2003-present
  • Visiting Professor, MESA+ Nanotech Institute, University of Twente, Netherlands. 2002-2003. Associate Professor, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, 1999-2003 Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, 1993-1999.
  • NIH NRSA Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Washington, 1990-1993.
  • Group Leader of Bioorganic Chemistry, Genzyme Co., Boston, MA. 1987-1990.

Research Interests

Supramolecular Chemistry, Molecular Recognition, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Bioorganic Chemistry, Separations Chemistry, NMR Spectroscopy, Synthetic Ion Channels

Major Recognitions and Honors

  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, 1991-1993
  • Outstanding Junior Faculty, College of Chemical and Life Sciences, UMCP 1997
  • Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, 1998-2003
  • Visiting Professor, Univ. of Twente, Netherlands, 2002-2003
  • Inaugural Chemical Society Review Lectureship, 2006

Significant Professional Service and Activities

Phi Beta Kappa (1980); NIH Postdoctoral Fellow (1990-1993); Junior Faculty Award, College of Life Sciences, Univ. of Maryland (1997); Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1998-2003);
UMCP Nanotechnology Advisory Board, 2004-present; Royal Society of Chemistry Inaugural Lecturer (2006);
Chair, 9th International Conference on Calixarene Chemistry (2007).

Students Mentored

To date 30 undergraduates have done research with Prof. Davis. He has also mentored 12 Ph. D. degree recipients and 10 M. S. degree recipients.



We are making functional supramolecular structures via self-assembly.

• Supramolecular Hydrogels from natural products have promise in drug delivery and tissue engineering. We have found that potassium borate Figure 1_Davistemplates self-assembly of guanosine into a supramolecular hydrogel. This guanosine-borate (GB) hydrogel is stable in salt water and absorbs cationic dyes and antiviral drugs. We are working to determine the mechanism of formation and the range of applications for these hydrogels (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 12596 and J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 5819.

Proposed Self-Assembly Mechanism for Hydrogel Formation

 Synthetic Cl Anion Membrane Transporters. DavisWebFig2Anion transport across membranes is critical to life. Chloride channels regulate salt and fluid balance in cells. Dysfunction in chloride channels can lead to disease. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by a defect in the protein that moves Cl- out of the cell. Small molecules that facilitate transmembrane transport of Cl- are attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. We have discovered a series of synthetic compounds that function in phospholipid membranes to transport Cl- anion across the bilayer. Some of the compounds appear to function by a channel mechanism, whereas others seem to operate by a carrier mechanism. For recent studies Chemical Communications2012, 4432 and Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 2014, 12, 7515.

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