New arrivals boost Hudson’s inflammation research leadership

By Rob Clancy, staff writer

Hudson Institute’s reputation as a leader in inflammation research has been boosted by the appointment of two specialists in the field.

Professor Carl Walkley and Dr Sophia Davidson inflammation research leaders
L-R: Professor Carl Walkley and Dr Sophia Davidson

Director and CEO Professor Elizabeth Hartland today announced that Professor Carl Walkley and Dr Sophia Davidson will join the Institute’s Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases (CiiiD) as Research Group Heads, bringing impressive resumés and exciting research opportunities with them.

Their arrival further strengthens Hudson Institute’s leadership in inflammation research, following the recent arrival of Professor Seth Masters, who recently took up the reins as Head of CiiiD.

Inflammation research leaders

Prof Walkley joins Hudson Institute from St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research to lead the RNA biology and innate immune sensing group, while Dr Davidson joins from WEHI to establish a new area of neuroscience, the Neuroinflammation and Neurodegeneration Research group.

Professor Hartland said, “We are delighted that Dr Davidson and Professor Walkley will be furthering their research programs at Hudson Institute, bringing new areas of medical science that complement our outstanding breadth and depth in inflammation research.”

Professor Seth Masters, Centre Head of the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases
Professor Seth Masters

Prof Masters said, “The CiiiD team is thrilled to have new expertise in-house brought by Dr Davidson and Professor Walkley, which furthers our mission to understand and treat disorders associated with inflammation, in this case primarily affecting the brain and nervous system.”

Prof Walkley was attracted to Hudson Institute by its reputation as Australia’s national centre of excellence in research into innate immunity and inflammation.

“My research focusses on understanding how RNA interacts with the innate immune system,” he said. “The expertise and research groups at Hudson Institute are highly complementary to our work and will allow us to explore this topic in greater detail than would otherwise be possible.”

Dr Davidson focusses on inflammasomes and autoinflammatory disease, specifically Type I Interferon (IFNab) and its effects on the nervous system.

“I have always wanted to open a lab in a place that does world class inflammatory disease research, so I am delighted to be joining the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases at the Hudson Institute,” Dr Davidson said.

“I feel very privileged that I will be working with so many scientists whose research I’ve spent my career citing.”

Both new Research Group Heads will take up their positions in July.

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