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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

Edinburgh Science Festival 2021 Walking Tour

Walking Through the COVID-19 Vaccine 26th June – 11th July 2021 Suitable for ages 8+ As part of the University of Edinburgh College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine’s contribution to this year’s Edinburgh Science Festival, members of the Centre for…
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Low density neutrophils paper out

NEW PAPER Latest paper from Gareth Hardisty, working with Robert Gray’s research team, is now published in Frontiers in Immunology, freely available. link to paper This research suggests conclude that increased Low Density Neutrophil (LDN) numbers in disease reflect the…
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Welcome Jonny!

NEW GROUP MEMBER Welcome to Jonny Gillan, who has joined the Davidson group as a postdoctoral researcher, working on a Chief Scientist Office funded research project – examining the antiviral function of cathelicidins in Respiratory Syncytial Virus infection, and the…
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COVID19 vaccine animation

Vaccine doses for the Coronavirus Working with the British Society for Immunology, Dr Lana Woolford (Cloud Chamber Studios / Centre for Inflammation Reserch Public Engagement Officer) has produced a new short animation about dosing for the COVID-19 vaccines, narrated by…
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Great to have @SSintoris, current @EdinUni_MeetCIR PhD student and previous #ScienceInsights participant, now contributing to the programme from the "other side "! https://t.co/KFiy2usJET
@djdavidsonlab
@jburnmurdoch: NEW: people worry when they hear "40% of hospitalisations are fully vaxxed", but this chart shows that's actually good news. The more people you vaccinate, the higher their share of hospitalisations, but the *total* number in hospital is a fraction of what it would otherwise be https://t.co/rPVbvl8zTW
@djdavidsonlab
@JonathanGillan_: Went and got myself a PhD!🍾 Very grateful to my supervisors @ResearchGray and @djdavidsonlab and to everyone else at the @EdinUni_MeetCIR who made it such an enjoyable 3 1/2 years! https://t.co/2Hkkxibrcy https://t.co/GicE9oDu8Z
@djdavidsonlab
Well done to @JonathanGillan_ passing his PhD viva yesterday - congratulations! https://t.co/K4dUq4SAcP
@djdavidsonlab
@jburnmurdoch: To be clear, the Western world is not out of the woods yet either. In England, hospital & ICU admissions are now above the level where restrictions were introduced last year and continue to rise at the same rate as in previous waves. Tomorrow England completes its reopening 🤔 https://t.co/XYpRhfsunH
@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

Jenny Shelley

Jenny Shelley

PhD Student

Sam Walker

Sam Walker

PhD Student

SOFIA SINTORIS

SOFIA SINTORIS

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