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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

Supercytes visit the National Museum of Scotland

January 2020 – Donald J. Davidson shows teachers how to use card game Supercytes to teach pupils about immunology The Supercytes workshop was run in conjunction with the current ‘Parasites: Battle for Survival’ exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland. Primary,…
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New kind of PhD to give future researchers an edge

A new PhD programme that aims to also teach engagement skills in future medical researchers is looking for its first intake of students. The four-year Medical Sciences and Translational Research PhD with integrated study in Engagement for Impact Programme is…
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Midlothian Science Festival Schools Programme 2019 workshops

October 2019: Donald and a team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research ran ‘Your Amazing Immune System’ and ‘Supercytes’ workshops at local schools in partnership with the Midlothian Science Festival. Katharin Balbirnie-Cumming, Matthew Burgess, Susanna…
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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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RT @ScienceHzla: More than full-house @EdinUniMedicine tonight to hear the latest on @Gwotzerho ‘s research #inflammation #boweldisease #IB…
@djdavidsonlab
RT @BenJMarsland: 3. Fonseca from @LukacsLab @UMichPath highlight uric acid as an important player in RSV induced immunopathology. https:/…
@djdavidsonlab
RT @MikeyJ: Publication day! https://t.co/91EOBpc9AT This builds on Helen's earlier publication which revealed the impact of respiratory in…
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RT @DrTregoning: Come and join team awesome 😉 1 year research tech position looking at glucose and airway infection. https://t.co/2uOkWyV
@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.