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Welcome to the Davidson Group

Our research focuses on understanding the physiological importance of host defence peptides (HDP) to our ability to combat bacterial and viral infections. In addition, we study the potential of HDP in the development of novel therapeutic approaches, with the potential to circumvent problems of microbial resistance to conventional treatments by enhancing natural defences.

Research

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Publications

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Information for the Public

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RESEARCH FOCUS

We focus on the role of host defence peptides (HDP; also known as antimicrobial peptides) as modulators of inflammation, immunity and cell differentiation & death in infectious and inflammatory diseases. We have particular interest in diseases of the lungs (including infections with RSV and influenza, and cystic fibrosis) and the skin (including atopic dermatitis), as well as novel approaches to cancer immunotherapy and extending our knowledge of inflammatory processes to the development of novel therapeutics.

NEWS

BSI Communicating Immunology grant

BSI Communicating Immunology Grant Iris Mair, David Taggart, Julia Dorin and Donald Davidson are delighted to have been awarded a ‘Communicating Immunology’ grant from the British Society for Immunology to develop new Science Festival activities with the theme of ‘Denny…
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IMAP2017 interview with Donald J. Davidson

IMAP2017 interview Donald recently attended the IMAP2017 conference in Copenhagen to present his group’s research on the antiviral activities of cathelicidins, with a specific focus on Respiratory Syncytial Virus infections. This was a very useful and enjoyable, European-based, international antimicrobial…
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Inflammatory neutrophil death in cystic fibrosis paper out

NEW PAPER Our latest paper, from Robert Gray, in collaboration with colleagues in Edinburgh, Ireland and the USA, is now published in Thorax, demonstrating that CFTR mutation in neutrophils leads to a delay in spontaneous apoptosis, with a resultant increase…
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Cell free DNA in Preterm birth Preprint

NEW PRE-PRINT PAPER Our latest paper, from Sara vanBoeckel, in collaboration with Sarah Stock and Jane Norman, is now online as a Preprint paper at BioRxiv, evaluating the role of cell-free fetal DNA in inflammation in pregnancy and spontaneous preterm…
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RT @EdinburghBQ: Do you live local to #EBQ? Are you one of the almost 6,000 people who work here daily? Come along and get involved in thes…
@djdavidsonlab
"Chance favours the prepared mind" and why we need to fund fundamental science research https://t.co/OVgn49K3gU
@djdavidsonlab
RT @MaizelsLab: Out today in @NatureComms our discovery of TGM - a potent parasite derived mimic of TGFbeta. #Tregs #parasites https://t.co
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RT @EdinUniLetsTalk: S4-S6 pupils - tours will be available of our zebrafish and cytometry facilities from 4.20-5.20pm Wed 6 Dec @UniofEdWP…
@djdavidsonlab
RT @drkirstyross: Are you an #artist based in #Scotland? Want to practice your speed illustration skills w/@cdt_optima researchers? If so,…
@djdavidsonlab

Donald J. Davidson is a medical graduate of the University of Edinburgh who chose to pursue a scientific research career. He completed a PhD at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, studying the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis lung disease, then was awarded a Wellcome Trust Travelling Research Fellowship to undertake post-doctoral training in innate immunity research at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. After four years in Canada, he was recruited to the MRC / University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research, where he has developed an independent research group, focused on host defence peptides and pulmonary innate defence mechanisms, funded as a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellow, and subsequently as an MRC Senior Non-clinical Fellow.

Lab Members

Emily Gwyer Findlay

Emily Gwyer Findlay

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow

Lauren Melrose

Lauren Melrose

Research Technician

SARA VAN BOECKEL

SARA VAN BOECKEL

PhD Student

Danielle Minns

Danielle Minns

PhD Student

JONATHAN GILLAN

JONATHAN GILLAN

PhD Student

Sam Walker

Sam Walker

PhD student

MRC Centre for Inflammation Research

The group is part of the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research at the University of Edinburgh; a multidisciplinary centre established in 1999 to bring together a critical mass of internationally outstanding researchers in inflammation, harnessing the skills of basic and clinical scientists to conduct internationally competitive research on the roles of inflammation in health and disease, in order to develop new approaches toward diagnosis, prevention and treatment.