After graduating from Sheffield University, David joined the Imperial Cancer Research Fund as a Scientific Officer where he completed a PhD on the “Genetics of familial breast cancer”. His PhD involved genetic studies to identify the two breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2 and their importance in familial and sporadic breast cancer. This study resulted in a number of manuscripts including first author papers in the Lancet and Human Molecular Genetics.

In addition, David was author on a number of breast cancer consortium papers including the landmark paper describing the cloning of the BRCA2 gene in Nature. In addition to his studies in breast cancer genetics, he formed a longstanding collaboration with Professor Irene Leigh at the Royal London Hospital, performing genetic studies on familial palmoplantar keratodermas, particularly the localization of a predisposition gene to both skin disease and oesophageal cancer.

After a short but successful Wellcome Trust postdoctoral in which time his team identified Connexin 26 as the main genetic cause of hearing loss, he joined SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithkline) where he used a bioinformatic approach to identify new molecular targets. From there he returned to academia and the Centre for Cutaneous Research as a Senior Lecturer to build an independent research team working on human skin genetics and keratinocyte biology.

David was made Professor of Human Molecular Genetics in September 2003. He is Deputy Director of Research at the Blizard Institute and board member of the European Society of Dermatological Research.