Peter L. Davies, Ph.D., FRSC

Canada Research Chair in Protein Engineering

Professor, School of Medicine

Dept of Biological and Molecular Sciences



Botterell Hall, Room 643

Queen's University

Kingston, Ontario

Canada K7L 3N6


Office:  613-533-2983

Fax:     613-533-2497


Meet our team

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Dr. Peter L. Davies


We are studying the relationship between structure and function in two different types of proteins: antifreeze proteins (AFPs), which help organisms resist or tolerate freezing, and calpains, enzymes that selectively cut proteins within the cell in response to calcium signals.

Antifreeze proteins are found in some fishes, insects, plants and microorganisms. They bind to ice crystals and prevent them from growing to a size where they would damage the host. Our research involves the isolation and characterization of antifreeze proteins from different sources, the study of their evolution, and the cloning and expression of their genes to produce recombinant proteins for 3-D structural analysis by NMR and/or X-ray crystallography.

They are proving to have remarkably diverse structures. We are trying to identify their ice-binding sites/residues using site-directed mutagenesis in order to learn more about their mechanism(s) of action and what structural features are required for binding to ice. We are also trying to design new AFPs based on this information and to engineer improvements in existing AFPs.

We are grateful to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) for funding our research.


Queen's University

Kingston Ontario Canada

© 2018  Peter L. Davies

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