James H. Davis

Dr. Jim Davis
Professor Emeritus

I obtained my BSc in Physics and my BA in Mathematics from Moorhead State University in Moorhead, MN in 1969.  I obtained my PhD in Physics from the University of Manitoba in 1975 on NMR Studies of Magnetic Insulators at Low Temperatures.  I was then an NSERC PDF at the University of British Columbia where I studied NMR of Biological Membranes with Prof. Myer Bloom

I came to the University of Guelph as an assistant professor and an NSERC University Research Fellow in 1980.  I was promoted to Associate Professor in 1988 and to Full Professor in 1994. I spend a year as a visiting professor at the Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR in 1988-1989; was Professeur Associe in the Department de Chimie, Universite de Bordeaux I, in Bordeaux, France in 1993 and Directeur de Recherche at the Institut Europeen de Chimie et Biologie in Bordeaux in 1997.  I also spent two years working in the probe design division at Bruker Biospin, Karlsruhe, Germany in 2006. I was chair of the Department from Jan. 2002 until July 2005.  I was the Director of the University of Guelph NMR Centre.

I have served on three grant selection committees for NSERC, on the NSERC  reallocation steering committee in 2000, I chaired NSERCS Selection Committee in Life Sciences in 1999, am on NSERC’s College of Reviewers for the Canada Research Chair program and served as an apeals consultant for NSERC in 2002.  I served on the organizing committee for the International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Sciences in 2002.

My research has been focused on the physical properties of biological membranes since 1975.  The principle technique which we use in my group is nuclear magnetic resonance although we also do numerical molecular dynamics simulations, ab initio calculations of chemical shift and quadrupolar tensors, x-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, and fluorescence confocal microscopy.

Current projects include the phase equilibria of ternary mixtures of phospholipids and cholesterol, critical fluctuations in binary and ternary mixtures., magic angle spinning (MAS) and static (non-spinning) NMR methods for studying molecular structure, orientation and dynamics in membranes, cholesterol in polyunsaturated lipid bilayers, and the development of solid state techniques for the study of membrane protein structure.