Prof Anthony Day BA, 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 Day is a Professor of Biochemistry within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, UK. He is part of the leadership team of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research (Lead for Translation) and a member of the Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation. During his early career he was based at the University of Oxford where he obtained a BA in Chemistry (1985) and a DPhil in Biochemistry (1988). Between 1988-1998 Tony was a Research Fellow within the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford. 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 is a matrix biologist with a major interest in the role of glycosaminoglycan-protein interactions during inflammation and ovulation. He has published seminal papers on hyaluronan-protein interactions, including structural/biophysical studies on the major hyaluronan (HA) receptor CD44 and the inflammation-associated protein TSG-6. This has provided important insights into the molecular basis of hyaluronan recognition by proteins and underpins the development of TSG-6 as a biological drug.

Tony has published over 180 scientific papers (H-Index 68 on Google Scholar; 43 papers with citations ≥100) and currently has funding from the BBSRC, Fight for Sight, the Macular Society, MRC, Versus Arthritis and the Wellcome Trust. He is a member of Versus Arthritis’s College of Experts (2016-present) and previously served on the MRC's College of Experts  (2005-2009) and the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001-2006) and Matrix Biology (2016-2019). Tony was elected to the Academy of Europe in 2012, is a former member of the Council of the International Society for Matrix Biology, was Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Proteoglycans in 2018 and is President of the International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences.

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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