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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

See our group’s recent research publications

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

PhD studentships available

PhD studentships available We are pleased to have two new fully-funded PhD studentships – open now for applications:   Innate antimicrobial host defence peptides as protective modifiers in atopic dermatitis. Supervisors: Donald J. Davidson, Richard Weller and David Clarke Donald…
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British Skin Foundation Grant award

NEW FUNDING We are delighted to have been awarded a grant by the British Skin Foundation. This award will fund a new PhD studentship, to begin in autumn 2017 (supervised by Donald J. Davidson, Dave Clarke and Richard Weller), to…
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Foetal DNA in preterm birth review out

NEW REVIEW Our new review, written by Sara van Boeckel, is now published in Reproduction, examining the evidence that cell-free DNA may induce inflammatory processes that could contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth Cell-free Fetal DNA and Spontaneous Preterm…
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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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RT @EdinUniLetsTalk: Born too soon or too small affects around 15 million #babies around the world pa @JamesPeterBoar2 @MRC_CRH & @SueRevie…
@djdavidsonlab
Looking forward to further developing #Supercytes & exploring new ways to embed sustainable #PublicEngagement in ou… https://t.co/BnQOhXUKMP
@djdavidsonlab
RT @edin_EID: Pls RT: Pls RT: We're delighted to launch the new Edinburgh Infectious Diseases website! Full of info about our activities,…
@djdavidsonlab
RT @JamesPeterBoar2: Local to Edinburgh / SE Scotland? Want to know more about effect of preterm birth on children? Come along to public le…
@djdavidsonlab
RT @BSFcharity: Every time the @miiskinapp is downloaded this month, they will donate £1 to the British Skin Foundation. Try the FREE skin…
@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.