Home

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.

What is our Research Group Ethos?

In 2020 our research team worked together to create a statement detailing the group’s responsibilities and expectations, which we hope all future members of the team will also use as a guiding framework.

View the Davidson Group Ethos Statement

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 success - Jennifer Shelley

Congratulations Jennifer Shelley Jennifer Shelley today successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “Investigating the mechanism of Human Beta Defensin-2-mediated protection of skin barrier in vitro”. Many thanks to her examiners Professor Sheena Cruickshank and Professor Sara Brown, and to non-examining Chair…
Read Morearrow_forward

British Society for Immunology Congress 2021

British Society for Immunology Congress 2021 28th Nov – 1st Dec 2021 As part of the British Society for Immunology Congress 2021 in Edinburgh, Donald Davidson Chaired a panel discussion session on “Engaging with the public about COVID19 vaccines”, with…
Read Morearrow_forward

Cystic Fibrosis mouse macrophage paper out

NEW PAPER Our latest paper, by Jonny Gillan, from Robert Gray’s group, is now published in the Journal of Cystic Fibrosis – freely available to read. This research shows that a commonly used mouse model of cystic fibrosis, in which…
Read Morearrow_forward

Bronchiectasis lipid mediators paper out

NEW PAPER New publication from Pallavi Bedi, arising from our collaboration with Adam Hill and Adriano Rossi, is now published in Thorax, demonstrating a dysregulation of lipid mediators in bronchiectasis, with excess proinflammatory lipids, and showing that LXA4 can improve…
Read Morearrow_forward
@Dr_D_Robertson: It's been a while since I've taken a step back and looked at the Covid situation. Here goes. 🧵 https://t.co/8oRiD6yIDF
@djdavidsonlab
@PaulMainwood: A lot more heat than light in this area, but just to check I'm not misunderstanding: is everyone in the same place on the central weakness of covid models? Essentially: people change their behaviour as rates rise - it's as important as lockdown and really hard to model. https://t.co/l6Z23SEZjI
@djdavidsonlab
@DrAzizSheikh: We're fortunate to have the privilege of working with PPI colleagues across our respiratory initiatives. Read about the wonderful Eve Smyth "Respiratory diseases advocate living with severe asthma" in @LancetRespirMed https://t.co/l1a0FjZAzZ @LanaWoolford @AUKCAR @BREATHEdata
@djdavidsonlab
@VincentRK: Omicron who? South Korea continues to be the role model. I hope they can sustain their science driven strategy which so far has saved hundreds of thousands of lives. https://t.co/AabfOAakBQ
@djdavidsonlab
"False balance in news media coverage of natural herd immunity as a pandemic response legitimized this approach and potentially undermined more widely accepted mitigation approaches." https://t.co/O3sn5Po8E8
@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.

Portrait photo of Professor Davidson

Lab Members

Lauren Melrose

Lauren Melrose

Research Technician

Jonathan Gillan

Jonathan Gillan

Postdoctoral Researcher

SOFIA SINTORIS

SOFIA SINTORIS

PhD Student

Sam Walker

Sam Walker

PhD Student

Katie Smith

Katie Smith

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.

Picture of the Queen's Medical Research Institute building