Professor Anthony Davenport

Emeritus Fellow
Subject: Medicine
Role of apelin and 'orphan' G-protein coupled receptor systems in the human vasculature and their role in cardiovascular disease, novel agents for imaging atherosclerosis.

Function of G-protein coupled receptors in the human cardiovascular system in health and disease.

Repurposing existing medicines and discovery of novel compound blocking entry of SARS-CoV-2 via the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) pathway.
Director of Studies in Preclinical Medicine and Pharmacology
Professor of Cardiovascular Pharmacology

Anthony Davenport is Professor of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, University of Cambridge. He was previously British Heart Foundation Principal Scientist and for ten years held a BHF Science Lectureship.  He is a Fellow and active member of the British Pharmacological Society. In 2020 he was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Society in recognition of ‘sustained  excellence and leadership in science, healthcare, and public service’. He is also a Fellow of the Hypertension Society and International Fellow of the American Heart Association.  
He is a long standing executive member of the International Union of Pharmacology Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification, that maintains a data base of drugs and their targets at  He is also chair of the Endothelin Receptor Sub-committee, member of the International Scientific Advisory Board on Endothelin  and editor of 'Receptor binding Techniques'. He has held programme grants from the BHF and was co-applicant on three MRC programme grants to establish the multi-imaging facilities at Addenbrooke's Hospital.  From 2018 onwards, he has been identified as a Highly Cited Researcher, as determined by a citation analysis of Web of Science data, having produced multiple highly cited papers ranking in the top 1% by citations for a publication field and year.
In 2020, he was elected to the Council of the University of Cambridge, the principal executive and policy-making body of the University.

One third of all currently used medicines target a family of proteins called G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), that respond to chemical messengers critical for normal signalling between cells but are also altered in many disease processes. New GPCRs have been identified following sequencing of the human genome but their function is not initially known. The aim of my research is to understand the role of GPCRs, together with their transmitters in the human cardiovascular system and how these are altered with disease, to identify new targets for novel drugs.

A second area of research is mapping the expression of proteins by human cells that are hijacked by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to enable entry into the host. The presence of a protein on the cell surface, ACE2 has emerged as being essential for the virus to bind in order to enter the patient’s tissues, such as the lungs and heart. The objective is to test medicines currently in use for other purposes, as well as new compounds, to test if they block entry of SARS-CoV-2 into human cells growing in the laboratory. Since the medicines are already in use, they have the potential to be tested in a clinical trial of patients with the virus, to see if entry is reduced.