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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

STEM Career Insights: A day in my life as a student scientist

Watch Davidson lab PhD student Sofia Sintoris’ short video on “a day in my life as a PhD student” Click here to watch the Video
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Supercytes Teacher Training event - May 24th 2022

24th May 2022 16.30 – 18.00 (refreshments from 16.00) at Queen’s Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh After a two year hiatus, the Centre for Inflammation Research was pleased to host another in-person Supercytes Teacher Training Event with Prof. Donald J Davidson.…
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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…
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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…
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@BristOliver: If the supertanker's going to take a while to slow down and reverse, we could easily get too near the 2k level that we know (say from @ShaunLintern's articles or @PaulMainwood's ambulance delay graphs) coincided with/certainly didn't help some serious NHS problems in March/April. https://t.co/NetvkPjdps
@djdavidsonlab
@andrew_croxford: Both of my kids are vaccinated. We even went twice over a national border at significant expense to get it done. We consider it an absolutely top bit of parenting. My partner and I are both career immunologists in academia or industry. We both see, and understand, the data. https://t.co/RW6vkhbQVZ
@djdavidsonlab
@Daltmann10: We’re starting to send out blood test appointments. If you want to help us define mechanisms in #LongCovid please get in touch! Especially: ‘made a full and speedy recovery’, have LC following Delta, have LC following Omicron https://t.co/nCuLMgmHnc
@djdavidsonlab
@Kit_Yates_Maths: The ONS infection survey is basically the only reason we know what is happening with covid prevalence at the moment. To scale it back (as proposed) would be a really bad idea It's vital that we keep it going, so please do fill in the survey. https://t.co/8C7QXkt85q
@djdavidsonlab
@kallmemeg: A little 🐰 sent me these. The BA.4/5 wave is here… 🌊 https://t.co/ojQ7b2TNgQ
@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