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Dr Jeffrey Davies

Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792 602209

Welsh language proficiency

Fluent Welsh Speaker

Research Links

Academic Office - 205
Second Floor
Institute of Life Science 1
Singleton Campus
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

About

Dr Jeff Davies is Associate Professor of Molecular Neurobiology at Swansea University Medical School.  

His research laboratory, based at the Institute for Life Sciences, is interested in how alterations in metabolic status effect brain function. Dr Davies’ laboratory is focused on delineating the mechanisms of action of circulating hormones, that are regulated by feeding, on protecting against nerve cell loss associated with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. A key interest involves to understanding how these circulating hormones may modulate neural stem cell (NSC) plasticity in adults to promote the generation of new nerve cells in the adult brain to promote memory function. These fundamental studies are essential to understanding brain function and aim to combat age-related neurodegenerative diseases

Areas Of Expertise

  • Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Ghrelin
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Neural Stem Cells
  • Regenerative medicine

Career Highlights

Teaching Interests

Dr Davies teaches Physiology and Neuroscience across all undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Teaching centres on the regenerative capacity within the adult brain, with an emphasis on research-led teaching on the topic of adult hippocampal neurogenesis. 

Dr Davies is also involved with the dissemination of Welsh language learning & teaching provision within the Medical School. 

Research

Dr Davies has more than 20 years’ experience of neuroscience and neuroendocrinology research. Dr Davies is a Principal Investigator in the Molecular Neurobiology laboratory at the Institute for Life Science and leads the Biomarkers & Genes theme, within the School of Medicine.  

His laboratory investigates the effect altered metabolism on brain function, with a particular interest in neural stem cell physiology. With funding from the MRC and the Royal Society, Dr Davies has established that the stomach hormone, acyl-ghrelin, enhances new neurone formation in the adult brain and improves memory function (Kent al.2015). Subsequently JD has also shown that calorie restriction, which increases levels of circulating acyl-ghrelin, also enhances hippocampal neurogenesis and memory in a ghrelin-receptor dependent manner (Hornsby et al.2016). These studies have established the importance of physiological ghrelin to mechanisms that govern adult brain plasticity. Ongoing studies seek to; 

identify mechanisms that underlie this effect on plasticity 
understand the role of unacylated-ghrelin on brain plasticity 
characterise the role these hormones play in human neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease. 
Dr Davies has published more than 30 scientific manuscripts and book chapters, and has been awarded intellectual property relating to his research.  

Collaborations

Scientific research is highly dynamic and relies on diverse insight and expertise. Dr Davies’ lab is highly collaborative, with several active projects linking scientists around the globe.

For example; 

Dr Zane Andrews, Monash University, Australia 
Dr Jemeen Sreedharan, Kings College London, UK 
Dr Tim Wells, Cardiff University, UK 
Dr Alison Yarnall, Newcastle University 

Please get in touch if you're interested in collaborating with us.