Alan Davidson, PhD


My research is focused on phages, the viruses that infect bacteria. We study how phages work, and how we can exploit phage-derived entities for applications in human health. We also study anti-CRISPRs, which are phage-encoded inhibitors of CRISPR-Cas systems. We were the first to discover these fascinating and technologically useful proteins. My group combines expertise in phage biology, structural biology, in vitro biochemistry, and bioinformatics, allowing us to address questions through a multi-disciplinary approach.

Selected Publications:

  1. Pawluk, A, Amrani, N, Zhang, Y, Garcia, B, Hidalgo-Reyes, Y, Lee, J, Edraki, A, Shah, M, Sontheimer, E.J., Maxwell K.L., Davidson A.R. (2016) Naturally occurring off-switches for CRISPR-Cas9. Cell 167, 1829-1838.
  2. Büttner CR, Wu Y, Maxwell KL, Davidson AR. Baseplate assembly of phage Mu: Defining the conserved core components of contractile-tailed phages and related bacterial systems (2016). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113, 10174-10179.
  3. Bondy-Denomy, J, Garcia, B, Strum, S, Du, M, Rollins, M, Hidalgo-Reyes, Y, Wiedenheft, B., Maxwell, KL., Davidson, AR. (2015) Multiple mechanisms for CRISPR-Cas inhibition by anti-CRISPR proteins. Nature 526, 136-139.
  4. Bondy-Denomy, J., Pawluk, A., Maxwell, K.L. & Davidson, A.R. (2013). Bacteriophage genes that inactivate the CRISPR/Cas bacterial immune system. Nature 493, 429–432
  5. Pell, L.G., Kanelis, V., Donaldson, L.W., Howell, P.L., Davidson, A.R. (2009) The phage lambda major tail protein structure reveals a common evolution for long-tailed phages and the type VI bacterial secretion system. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106, 4160-4165.