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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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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

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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Bingjie Wang PhD Graduation

BINGJIE WANG PhD – GRADUATION! Congratulations to Dr Bingjie Wang, who has now graduated with a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, with her PhD thesis entitled “A novel function of human beta-defensin 2 – protecting barrier function against pathogenic proteases”.…
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"Supercytes – the immune cell standoff" Teacher Training: MRC Festival of Medical Research 2017 event

“Supercytes – the immune cell standoff” is a new resource for schools, to be launched for academic year 2017/2018. Conceived and developed by Donald J. Davidson and colleagues at the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research at the University of Edinburgh,…
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“Thinking Like a Scientist”– primary school workshop

Donald J. Davidson ran a workshop on “Thinking Like a Scientist”, for East Linton Primary School P5’s Science week, on Thurs 1st June 2017: To contribute to East Linton Primary School P5’s Science week, Donald J. Davidson offered to trial…
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RT @DorinJulia: Fantastic time at Dunbar science club today with "Denny and the T-team fight cancer". MRC CIR U of Edinburgh scientists @Ed…
@djdavidsonlab
Watch @cytobrough lab talking about their recent study and enjoy their many lab coat colours 😉 https://t.co/R8Q6vplpcm
@djdavidsonlab
RT @edin_EID: Edinburgh to play a major role in national PhD programme to tackle #AMR https://t.co/zHzHA52ndb @BachmannTill @jrossfitz @Tha…
@djdavidsonlab
RT @EdinUniLetsTalk: Pleased to announce our new look #MVMLetsTalkAboutHealthSeries! 2017/18 programme details and booking at https://t.co/
@djdavidsonlab
1st #bioRxiv preprint upload with @evbasedbaby @NormanJaneE on cell-free fetal DNA in Inflammation & #PretermBirth https://t.co/VuYZvdpY7V
@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

Brian McHugh

Brian McHugh

Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

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.