Darren Day

Dr Darren Day profile picture

Biochemistry, Molecular Biology School of Biological Sciences


Teaching in 2019

Research interests

My laboratory's interests are focused on developing DNA aptamers for the treatment of human diseases. In particular we a investigating the use of aptamers for treating bacterial infections and as a means of restoring antibiotic sensitivity to multi-drug resistant bacterial strains. The emergence of bacterial strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotics is a major health concern that causes significant suffering. Many bacteria develop multi-drug resistance by pumping antibiotic out of the cells via efflux pumps found in their cell walls. Multi-drug resistance can be reversed by inhibiting the activity of these efflux pumps, however there are currently no suitable efflux pump inhibitors that can be used in humans. We are developing DNA aptamers to neutralise the efflux pumps to restore antibiotic sensitivity. We will target the bacteria that infect the wounds of diabetic patients and which also cause chronic infections in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. These bacteria are highly resistant to antibiotic treatment and cause significant suffering to New Zealanders.

View the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology research group


Steel R, Day DJ. (2014) Increased apoptosis and secretion of tryptase by mast cells in infantile haemangioma treated with propranolol. Pathology. 46:496-500. doi:10.1097/PAT.0000000000000143.

Steel RWJ, Miller JH, Sim DA, *Day DJ. (2014)  Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol disrupts hippocampal neuroplasticity and neurogenesis in trained, but no untrained adolescent Sprague-Dawley rats. Brain Res.

Laing EL, Brasch HD, Steel R, Jia J, Itinteang T, Tan ST, *Day DJ. (2013) Verrucous hemangioma expresses primitive markers. J Cutan Pathol. 40:391-6

Itinteang T, Tan ST, Jia J, Steel R, Laing EL, Brasch HD, *Day DJ (2013) Mast cells in infantile haemangioma possess a primitive myeloid phenotype. J Clin Pathol. 66:597-600.

Itinteang T, Withers AHJ, Leadbitter P, Day DJ, Tan ST (2012) Letters REPLY: Pharmacologic therapies for infantile hemangioma: Is there a rational basis? Plastic Reconstruc Surg 129:725-726.


Teaching in 2019