Neurological conditions can rob patients of the ability to participate in everyday life. Despite the significant disease burden, there are almost no effective medications available to reverse or manage these diseases. I investigate the role of inflammation in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, with the aim of identifing novel treatments for these devastating conditions.

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Dr Sophia Davidson

Research group

Neuroinflammation and Neurodegeneration


Dr Sophia Davidson’s research explores the interplay between genetics, inflammation, and neurodevelopment.

She began her research career at the University of Newcastle (Australia) investigating the body’s inflammatory response to respiratory infections. Continuing her studies at the Francis Crick Research Institute in London, Dr Davidson conducted her PhD on how genetics can influence the body’s inflammatory response to the Influenza A virus. Surprisingly, Dr Davidson found that certain aspects of the anti-viral inflammatory response can make the disease worse. This discovery has since influenced clinical trials for both Influenza A virus and COVID-19.

Fascinated by the relationship between genetics and inflammation, Dr Davidson joined Professor Seth Master’s laboratory in 2016, (WEHI) focusing on inflammatory diseases caused by genetic mutations. With her team she identified new pathways of inflammatory signalling triggered by genetic mutations which disrupt cell homeostasis, such as the loss of function mutations in proteasome subunits or COP-I complex components.

Dr Davidson’s research has identified novel targets for drug development and has informed design treatment regimens for rare disease patients using existing anti-inflammatory therapeutics.

Her investigation into monogenic autoinflammatory diseases led Dr Davidson to explore the role of inflammation in neurodevelopmental disorders. Her findings suggest that inflammation may be a common factor in many mutations associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr Davidson uses genetic editing, induced pluripotent stem cell models, and super resolution imaging to investigate inflammatory pathways activated in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr Davidson’s research spans from fundamental mechanisms of inflammation and genetics to translational applications in treating complex diseases, highlighting her significant contributions to both basic science and clinical practice.


Awards and fellowships


Publication highlights