Prof Anthony DayBA, MA, DPhil

Professor of Biochemistry

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Inflammation is part of our body’s natural defence against infection and is required to successfully heal wounds. However, if inflammation continues unchecked (and becomes chronic) then damage to our tissues occurs; for example, as is seen in the joints of individuals with arthritis. It is our aim to better understand the molecular processes that occur during inflammatory diseases. This includes investigating the role of the innate immune system in a major form of blindness (AMD) and how a protective mechanism, triggered by acute inflammation, may serve to prevent cartilage and bone breakdown. A major focus for our studies is a type of sugar that is found on all cell surfaces and in the extracellular matrix of every tissue. These so called, GAGs, determine the location and functions of protein molecules and therefore play a key role in human biology and disease. We are also studying the role of GAGs and GAG-binding proteins in mammalian ovulation – a process that has some things in common with inflammation – in order to understand whether defects in ECM formation underlie infertility in humans. For further details see:


Tony is a Professor of Biochemistry within the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research in the Faculty of Life Sciences (see

During most of his career he was based at the University of Oxford where he obtained a BA in Chemistry from Exeter College (1985) and a DPhil from Wolfson College (1988).

Between 1988-1998 Tony was a Research Fellow within the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, including an Arthritis Research UK (ARUK) Research Fellowship from 1991-1998. In 1998 he became a member of MRC Senior Scientific Staff within the MRC's Immunochemistry Unit (Oxford). In October 2005 he took up his current post at the University of Manchester.

Tony has published over 160 scientific papers and currently has grants from Arthritis Research UK and MRC. He is a Founder Member (and former Trustee) of the International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences (see and has served on the MRC's College of Experts and the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Tony was elected as a member of the Academia Europaea in 2012 and joined the Council of the International Society for Matrix Biology in 2016. In 2018 he will serve as chair for the Gordon Research Conference on Proteoglycans.

Research Networks and Beacons


  • Inflammation, Extracellular Matrix, protein biochemistry, glycosaminoglycans, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, age-related macular degeneration, ovulation, structural biology

Education / academic qualifications

  • Master of Arts Oxford University (1989)
  • Doctor of Philosophy Oxford University (1985 - 1988)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Chemistry, Oxford University (1981 - 1985)

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