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University of Exeter Medical School

Dr Jonathan Davies

Dr Jonathan Davies

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

 RILD Building Level 3


University of Exeter Medical School, RILD Building, RD&E Hospital Wonford, Barrack Road, Exeter, EX2 5DW, UK


Originally from Burton-on-Trent, Jonathan studied for a BSc in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Southampton, specialising in the theory of developmental origins of health and disease. He then moved to the University of the West of England to study for an MSc in Biomedical Sciences: Cellular Pathology, graduating in 2013, with an in-depth research project focused on triple negative breast cancer and mechanisms of metastatic initiation in peripheral tumour tissue. Jonathan subsequently worked for the At-Bristol interactive science centre (now known as "we the curious") where he co-ordinated STEM training courses for primary and secondary school science teachers to improve their scientific knowledge, whilst also participating in public engagement through science communication and volunteering in outreach projects with the local community.

Jonathan completed his PhD the University of Plymouth, Peninsula School of Dentistry, under the supervision of Dr Bing Hu, in Oral and Dental Sciences, investigating how specific cell populations within salivary gland tissue may be damaged through exposure to ionising radiation and Sjogren’s syndrome and exploring potential methods to initiate tissue regeneration using novel organoid tissue modelling techniques.

Jonathan made a side step in January 2018 into the field of epigenetics as a research technician/assistant within the group of Professor Jonathan Mill, working on an MRC project investigating regulatory genomic variation associated with schizophrenia in human neuronal nuclei. Most recently, in February 2019, Jonathan has started work as a Research Fellow on a project that hopes to establish the role of epigenetics during foetal stages of neurodevelopment as a potential cause for autism spectrum disorders. This project works on rare sample cohorts from developmental stages of human cortex, isolating neuronal cell populations to create a cell-specific, developmental trajectory of regulatory genomic phenotypes.


  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences, (2008-2011, University of Southampton)
  • MSc Cellular Pathology, (2012-2013, University of the West of England)
  • PhD Oral and Dental Sciences, (2014-2019, University of Plymouth)


2019-present, Post Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Exeter Medical School

2018-2019, Research Assistant, University of Exeter Medical School


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Research interests

Jonathan is interested in developmental origins of health and disease, and has undertaken successive projects that investigate this area using significantly different approaches; from using rodent models to investigate nutrient uptake across yolk sac membranes in developing conceptuses, and modelling the developmental stages of salivary gland development through the use of three-dimensional organoid tissue culture models.

Now, Jonathan is eager to expand his skills by using sequencing techniques and coding based statistical analysis pathways to characterize DNA regulation mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone modification, in different psychiatric disorders and throughout foetal neurodevelopment. In the long term, Jonathan hopes to further investigate the functional impact of DNA modifications as a mechanism for enhancing disease risk or altering brain development pathways by taking the most significantly variable sites of interest from the regulatory genomic work, and performing confirmatory and functional analysis of the role of these genes in cell and tissue functionality.

Research projects

Current Projects:

  • Epigenomics of Schizophrenia
  • Regulatory genomic variation in the developing human brain and autism

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