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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

Action Medical Research public talk

26th Sept 2019  Marcliffe Hotel, Aberdeen Donald gave a public talk about his Action Medical Research-funded research project, studying novel approaches to treating Respiratory Syncytial Virus infections in infants, at a free, invitation-only, entertaining and enlightening evening for donors and…
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MRC Festival of Medical Research 2019 event: Supercytes Teacher Training

June 2019: Donald ran a free, “sold out” interactive workshop at the University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research, to train teachers in using our “Supercytes” game-based schools’ resource, for the MRC Festival of Medical Research. Supercytes is a game-centred…
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Action Medical Research funded studies

Research highlighted June 2019: Our group’s new Action Medical Research-funded work is highlighted in the recent Spring/Summer issues of “Touching Lives” and “Re:action“; studying susceptibility to severe infection in infants with Respiratory Syncytial Virus.
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Bid to beat superbugs boosted by immune defence discovery

Press Release June 2019: The fight against superbugs could be helped by the discovery of a potential therapy based on the body’s natural immune defences. Scientists have found that a molecule produced by the body – called LL-37 – changes…
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RT @grainger_konkel: Two Exciting PhD projects available in the lab. Spread the word.... looking for some immunology/microbiome loving stud…
@djdavidsonlab
RT @NMfromUManitoba: Spotlight on my PhD student Hadeesha Piyadasa @HadeeshaP Awesome! - new drug to combat asthma https://t.co/0XAMjsR7mT
@djdavidsonlab
RT @royalsociety: - UK’s annual share of EU research funding has fallen by half a billion Euros since 2015 - Almost a 40% drop in UK applic…
@djdavidsonlab
RT @wellcometrust: Breakthroughs in science won’t #StopSuperbugs unless we fix the economics. Here’s why developing new antibiotics takes m…
@djdavidsonlab
RT @britsocimm: How have vaccines reduced disease in the UK? Watch our short video to find out #VaccinesWork https://t.co/A53hZsgCWF
@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.