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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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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

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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Bronchiectasis neutrophil reprogramming paper out

  NEW PAPER Our latest paper, from Pallavi Bedi, in collaboration with Adam Hill and Adriano Rossi, is now out in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, demonstrating that in bronchiectasis, peripheral blood neutrophils are reprogrammed and…
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Poster prize for Sam Walker

Poster prize for Sam Walker Sam Walker clearly enjoyed presenting her first conference poster on her PhD work at Spring SCIX 2018 (Technology & Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland) – winning the runner-up poster prize, awarded on 19th…
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New BSI appointment for Donald J. Davidson

New BSI appointment for Donald J. Davidson Donald J Davidson has been appointed as the new Public Engagement (PE) Secretary for the British Society for Immunology (BSI). He will help to develop the Society’s strategic plans, overseeing the delivery and…
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RT @JamesPeterBoar2: Breast milk helps premature babies´ brain development, study suggests https://t.co/YIOf5Wke6X via @MailOnline
@djdavidsonlab
RT @JamesPeterBoar2: New @NeuroImage_EiC paper: #breastmilk intake in the weeks after preterm birth improves measures of brain network conn…
@djdavidsonlab
I'm delighted to have been awarded a research grant from @actionmedres to characterise & model #cathelicidin… https://t.co/5Vuqh9WWqK
@djdavidsonlab
RT @PLOSBiology: Which genes are hot... and which genes are not? Massive study of gene-specific bias in publication and funding shows that…
@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

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

Danielle Minns

Danielle Minns

PhD Student

JONATHAN GILLAN

JONATHAN GILLAN

PhD Student

Sam Walker

Sam Walker

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.