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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

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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Immune discovery set to boost cancer therapies

Press Release May 2019: Cancer therapies that use immune cells to trigger the body to attack tumours could be improved by a molecule that boosts their function. Studies with mice, conducted in the Davidson lab, led by Emily Gwyer Findlay,…
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Your Amazing Immune System: Operation Colodenum

May 2019: Donald J. Davidson ran a pilot school workshop “Your Amazing Immune System: Operation Colodenum” with the primary 7 children at East Linton Primary School. This is a new interactive game- and presentation-based workshop, principally focused on the importance…
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RT @MironLab: We're on the cover! Check out illustration by @amyfranceslloyd & lab, made using @BioRender : a phoenix made of microglia rep…
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RT @Kimberley__F: This is part of the problem with the individual approach we have taken to supporting public engagement with research - we…
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RT @britsocimm: Our Communicating Immunology grants are available to BSI members with a great idea for #publicengagement activities about #…
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RT @p_openshaw: Apparently, "44% of the measles cases in Ukraine are adults - adults who thought that they had been vaccinated, but the vac…
@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

Jamil Jubrail

Jamil Jubrail

Postdoctoral Researcher

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.