Prof. David Phoenix OBE

Prof. David Phoenix

Prof. David Phoenix OBE


  • Telephone:
    020 7815 6018
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Professor David Andrew Phoenix is the Vice Chancellor of London South Bank University and CEO of LSBU Group. In addition to being the accountable officer for the University he is accountable Officer for South bank Colleges and Principal Accounting Officer for South Bank Academies. He was elected to Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh) for his contribution to medical research and education and recognized as an Academician by the Academy of Social Sciences for his work in areas linked to educational policy. He is a Director of Universities UK and the elected lead for funding policy.

In 2015 the Prime Minister appointed him as a trustee of the Science Museum Group where he remains as Deputy Chair. He is also a Director of the National Centre for Universities and Business.

With over 250 publications, Prof. Phoenix has held a range of visiting posts including visiting professor at King’s College London and Sichuan University, China. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, The Society of Biology, The Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications, and the Royal Society of Medicine. Through these later bodies he has engaged in a range of discussions regarding the skills agenda, especially related to employer requirements. In 2010 he was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to Science and Higher Education, and appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London in 2015.

Prof. Phoenix has worked extensively overseas, developing and leading on an overseas campus in Cyprus and a research institute in China. He was awarded an individual Excellence award by China’s Vice Premier in 2014 and in 2016 was given the national Friendship Award (China) by the Premier for his outstanding contribution to the country’s economic and social development.

Dave's research is multidisciplinary and draws on a range of specialisms including, biology, chemistry, engineering, physics and computational modelling to help develop understanding of the structure function relationships used by amphiphilic bioactive molecules. The term ‘‘peptide-amphiphile’’ can be used to describe amphiphilic peptides consisting only of amino acids that show segregation of charged and uncharged components within the primary or secondary structure. Alternatively they may be composed of hydrophilic peptides linked to hydrophobic alkyl chains or lipids, and peptide based copolymers. Such molecules are of significant biological importance due to the range of asymmetric boundaries that occur in nature such as those found at a membrane lipid interface. Amphiphilic protein sequences can be involved in protein targeting, membrane protein assembly as well as membrane fusion and lysis. In addition to amphiphilic peptides possessing key biological functions, amphiphiles are becoming of increasing interest in the creation of new biomaterials. Amphiphiles can self-assemble into a variety of different structures such as micelles, vesicles, monolayers, bilayers, nanofibres, nanotapes, ribbons, and twisted ribbons, to minimise unfavorable interactions with their surroundings. A key aspect of his work involves the development of bioactive peptides and new biomaterials with biomedical application.


View my publications at

Recent papers

Manzo G, Ferguson, PM, Gustilo VB, Hind, CK. Clifford, M. Bui TT., Drake, AF Atkinson, RA. Sutton, MJ. Batoni G. Lorenz, CD, Phoenix DA, Mason AJ. (2019) Minor sequence modifications in temporin B cause drastic changes in antibacterial potency and selectivity by fundamentally altering membrane activity. Scientific Reports, 9, 10934.

Manzo G, Ferguson, PM, Hind, CK. Clifford, M. Gustilo, VB. Bansal, SS. Bui TT., Drake, AF Atkinson, RA. Sutton, MJ. Batoni G. Lorenz, CD, Phoenix DA, Mason AJ(2019) Temporin L and aurein 2.5 have identical conformations but subtly distinct membrane antibacterial activities, Scientific Reports, 9, 1385.

Dennison SR, Harris F and Phoenix DA, (2019), Biophysical investigation into the antibacterial action of modelin 5. Soft Matter 15, 4215-4226

M Zang, Q Wang, K Wan, W Ahmed, DA Phoenix, Z Zhang, A Elrayess, A Elhissi, X Sun, (2019), Liposome mediated-CYP1A1 gene silencing nanomedicine prepared using lipid filmcoated proliposomes as a potential treatment strategy of lung cancer. Int J Pharmaceutics, 566, 185-193.

E Malik, DA Phoenix, K Badiani, T Snape, F Harris, J Singh, L Morton, S Dennision, (2020), Biophysical studies on the antimicrobial activity of linearized esculentin 2EM, BBA Biomembranes, 1862, 183141.

A J Mason et al (2020), A Pleurocidin Analogue with Greater Conformational Flexibility, Enhanced Antimicrobial Potency and in vivo Therapeutic Efficacy, Comms. Biol.,  3, 697.

Books and edited collections

Protein Targeting and Translocation Ed. D. A. Phoenix 1998, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0 691 00901 5 pp300

Antimicrobial Peptides, Phoenix, DA, Dennison, S & Harris F, 2013, Wiley Publishers, ISBN 978-3-527-32909-0

Novel antimicrobial agents and strategies. Eds., Phoenix, DA, Harris, F and Dennison, SR. 2014 Wiley Publishers, ISBN-10: 3527336389.

Advances in Medical and Surgical Engineering, W Ahmed, D A Phoenix, M Jackson, CP Charalambous , 2020, Elsevier publishers ISBN 978-0-12-819712-7


Making a success of employer sponsored education, D Phoenix, 2016, Hepi Report 83,  ISBN 978-1-908240-13-2

Filling the biggerst skills gap: increasing learning at levels 4 & 5, D Phoenix, 2018, Hepi Report 110, ISBN 978-1-908240-42-2

Designing an English Social Mobility Index, D Phoenix 2021, Hepi Debate paper 27 ISBN 978-1-908240-77-4

View my publications at
  • Principal Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow and Chartered Chemist, Royal Society Chemistry,
  • Fellow and chartered biologist, Royal Society  of Biology
  • Fellow, Royal Society Medicine
  • Fellow and chartered mathematician, Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, (FIMA)
  • Fellow,  Institution of Engineering and Technology

Recent roles

  • Chair and member of Executive, Million+
  • Invited to give oral evidence to Commons Select Committee: Business Innovation and Skills, Committee on Government's Productivity Plan, 20th October 2015
  • Invited to give oral evidence to Commons Select Committee: Business Innovation and Skills, Committee on Assessing Quality of Higher education 15th December, 2015
  • Invited to give oral evidence to House of Lords, The select Committee on Science and Technology inquiry on EU membership and UK Science Follow up, 13th Sept 2016
  • Member Localis Commission on The making of an industrial strategy (2017)
  • Member UUK Working Group: BAME attainment at universities: closing the gap  (2019) ISBN: 978-1-84036-421-7
  • Member NCUB – Talent 2050 – skills and education for the future of engineering
  • Chair NCUB – Talent 2050 – skills and education for the future of engineering
  • Member, Labour Independent Commission for Life Long Learning 2018
  • Member Minister for Universities and Science Brexit Advisory Forum
  • Prime Ministerial appointment as a Trustee Science Museum Group, Deputy Chair of the Group and Chair of the Museum of Science and Industry Advisory Board
  • Trustee, British University in Egypt
  • Director, National Centre for Universities and Business
  • Director Universities UK and elected lead on Funding Policy
  • Director South Bank Colleges
  • Director South bank Academies
  • Chair, South Bank Enterprises