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Welcome to the Davidson Group

This is the personal website of Prof. Donald J. Davidson, highlighting research and engagement activities. For Professor Davidson’s professional website within the University of Edinburgh, please see the Centre for Inflammation Research.
View Professor D.J. Davidson’s profile on the Centre for Inflammation Research website

What is our Research Focus?

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

Research

Find out about our research

Publications

See our group’s recent research publications

Information for the Public

Get closer to our work

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 viva successes

PhD VIVA SUCCESSES Danielle Minns and Sara van Boeckel both successfully completed their PhD vivas with lockdown online formats. Many congratulations to both students, and to their primary supervisors Emily Gwyer Findlay and Sarah Stock (respectively). It has been a…
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Low density neutrophils preprint out

NEW PREPRINT Our latest paper, from Gareth Hardisty, together with Robert Gray and Emily Gwyer Findlay’s research teams, is now out as a pre-print in BioRxiv, freely available. link to paper This research suggests that increased low density neutrophil numbers…
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Jennifer Shelley wins 2020 IRR Early Career Innovators Competition

JENNIFER SHELLEY WINS 2020 IRR EARLY CAREER INNOVATORS COMPETITION Jennifer Shelley is a second year PhD student in Prof Donald J. Davidson’s lab, studying antimicrobial peptides and atopic dermatitis (eczema). Her seven-minute pitch explained the importance of reliable tissue models…
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Defensins review out

NEW REVIEW Our latest review article, on the dichotomous responses driven by defensins, written with Jennifer Shelley and Julia Dorin, is now out in Frontiers in Immunology. Freely accessible version link   The Dichotomous Responses Driven by Beta-Defensins Jennifer Shelley,…
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RT @mere_conjecture: Super proud of this publication. A few years of work into this! @cytobrough @ComorbidCath @ae_mather
@djdavidsonlab
"Three areas that now require urgent action from the Government" on NHS Vaccinations https://t.co/NaAplNFasg
@djdavidsonlab
RT @devisridhar: Thinking about this issue today as debate over COVID v. non-COVID harm continues. Ironically, Sweden moves towards strong…
@djdavidsonlab
RT @britsocimm: 💬 How many vaccines does my child need? 💬 Can receiving multiple vaccines overload the immune system? 📖 Our guide to chi…
@djdavidsonlab
RT @britsocimm: Our #CelebrateVaccines resources provide evidence-based information on vaccines! From hands-on games & educational materia…
@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, before being awarded the personal Chair of Host Defence and Inflammation Biology.


Lab Members

Lauren Melrose

Lauren Melrose

Research Technician

Jamil Jubrail

Jamil Jubrail

Postdoctoral Researcher

Jenny Shelley

Jenny Shelley

PhD Student

Sam Walker

Sam Walker

PhD student

SARA VAN BOECKEL

SARA VAN BOECKEL

PhD Student

ALICIA RUIZ RODRIGUEZ

ALICIA RUIZ RODRIGUEZ

Postdoctoral Researcher

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.