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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

"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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Atorvastatin use in bronchiectasis paper

NEW PAPER Our latest paper, from Pallavi Bedi, in collaboration with Professors Adam Hill and Adriano Rossi, is now published in the Journal Chest. This proof of concept study demonstrates that atorvastatin can be used to reduced systemic inflammation and…
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Aging, lung and microbiome paper

NEW PAPER Our latest paper, in collaboration with Dr Dawn Bowdish and colleagues, is now published in the Journal Cell Host and Microbe. This exciting study demonstrates in mouse models that aging-associated microbiota promote inflammation, and that reversing these age-related microbiota changes…
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RT @The_MRC: John Savill: "AMR challenge as big as climate change. Without antibiotics I'd have had my leg amputated and my son would've di…
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RT @FrankMacMaster: When reviewing papers and grants, take the time to mention the positive aspects. Good for PI morale, also makes your c…
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RT @EdinUni_MeetCIR: The MRC CIR's new Trainee award for Excellence in #PubicEngagement was shared by Cathy Hawley & Iris Mair this year -…
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RT @immjournal: Lung‐resident γδ T cells and their roles in lung diseases. Min Cheng and Shilian Hu. Read in full at https://t.co/61TCJfwFT
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RT @WiringTheBrain: New rule: news stories on vaccination should use a picture of someone with the awful disease, as opposed to a big-ass n…
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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

Brian McHugh

Brian McHugh

Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

PALLAVI BEDI

PALLAVI BEDI

PhD Student

Lauren Melrose

Lauren Melrose

Research Technician

SARA VAN BOECKEL

SARA VAN BOECKEL

PhD Student

Emily Gwyer Findlay

Emily Gwyer Findlay

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow

Danielle Minns

Danielle Minns

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.