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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

Edinburgh World Pneumonia Day event: 12th Nov 2018

World Pneumonia Day is an international celebration. Pneumonia is the most common cause of childhood death globally. On 12th November 2018, we honour the fight against respiratory infections, and raise awareness about the magnitude of the problem. The University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research is hosting…
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GRC on Antimicrobial Peptides 2019

GRC on Antimicrobial Peptides 2019 As co-Chair of the next Gordon Conference on Antimicrobial Peptides, Donald invites you to apply to attend.   Apply now to attend the Gordon Conference on Antimicrobial Peptides “Mechanisms and Application: Realizing the Potential of Antimicrobial…
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New group members - Autumn 2018

NEW GROUP MEMBERS Welcome to Jenny Shelley, Katie Smith and Katharin Balbirnie-Cumming who have all joined the Centre for Inflammation Research, starting PhD’s supervised, or co-supervised, by Donald. We are delighted to have you here and hope you’ll enjoy your PhD…
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MRC Festival of Medical Research 2018 event: Supercytes Teacher Training

“Supercytes – the immune cell standoff” is an immunology and inflammation biology resource for schools Conceived and developed by Donald J. Davidson and colleagues at the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research at the University of Edinburgh, this is game-based educational…
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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

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

JONATHAN GILLAN

JONATHAN GILLAN

PhD Student

Sam Walker

Sam Walker

PhD student

Jenny Shelley

Jenny Shelley

PhD Student

University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research

The group is part of the University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research; 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.