David Dockrell's group investigates macrophages in host defence against bacteria and viruses with emphasis on microbicide mechanisms and cell death paradigms in pulmonary infection and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Macrophages play a key role in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. We are interested in understanding how key macrophage innate immune functions protect healthy individuals against infection, despite recurring challenge, and how these core responses are perturbed by human disease inducing susceptibility to infection. We believe that by optimising innate immune responses we can limit our reliance on antimicrobial therapy and provide an alternative strategy to that focused on targeting pathogens by vaccine responses or with antimicrobials to which they can develop resistance.
We study a variety of bacterial infections but focus in particular on Streptococcus pneumoniae and other respiratory pathogens. We also examine Staphylococcus aureus and are interested in how HIV and other viral infections alter the macrophage responses to bacteria. We use a variety of models to interrogate the macrophages' function both in isolation and as part of an immune cell network. These approaches include working with patients with chronic diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and HIV. We are also interested in developing effective screening approaches to identify and manipulate key innate immune responses.
I am a clinician scientist who graduated from Trinity College Dublin and received further training at the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota. I am a former Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellow. Before moving to Edinburgh I was co-director of the Florey Institute, a cross faculty multidisciplinary centre, which focused on studying host-pathogen interactions in the context of Gram-positive bacteria.
Member of the Commission on Human Medicines - Anti Infectives/AIDS/Hepatology Expert Advisory Group 2010 - present
MRC Clinical Training and Development panel (Clinical Fellowship panel) 2013-2017
I am an Infectious Disease specialist whose subspecialty interests include HIV medicine and infections in immunocompromised hosts, including transplant recipients and patients with haematological malignancy.