Dr Colin Davidson is a Senior Lecturer in Neuropharmacology, the study of how drugs affect the brain.
Prior to his appointment at St George’s, University of London, Dr Davidson worked in the Psychology department at the University of Leicester (2008-2010) and was an Assistant Professor at Duke University (2000-2007) in North Carolina, where he studied the long-term effects of psychostimulants and also tested novel pharmacotherapeutics in pre-clinical models of drug abuse.
After gaining a BSc in Biology and Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, Dr Davidson completed a PhD at the London Hospital Medical College. For this he researched the long-term mechanisms of action of paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant with Dr Jon Stamford. He gained postdoctoral experience in the brain reward system at the School of Psychology at the University of St Andrews. Moving to the USA in 1998, he gained further postdoctoral experience working with Professor EH Ellinwood in the Psychiatry department.
Since 2010, Dr Davidson has been a member of the editorial board of the journal Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, and also the European Journal of Pharmacology. He is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Leicester, an Honorary Research Fellow in the Health Sciences Research Centre at the University of Roehampton, and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Kingston.
Dr Davidson is module leader for 'Neuroscience' on the MRes degree course in Biomedical Science. He is module leader for ‘CNS and Mental Health’ for the Pharmacy MPharm course run by Kingston University. He is co-module leader for ‘Clinical Neuroscience’ on the BSc in Biomedical Sciences, and co-module leader for ‘Physiology and Pharmacology of Drugs of Abuse’ in year 3 of the Biomedical Science BSc. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has a Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare and Biomedical Education.
Dr Davidson specialises in teaching neuropharmacology and in addition to teaching at St George’s he has given invited lectures at the University of Roehampton and the University of Leicester. He has also taught on the Medical Research Council (MRC) Psychiatry course run at Springfield Hospital.
- Hutchinson CV, Walker J, Davidson C (2014). Oestrogen, ocular function and low-level vision. Journal of Endocrinology 223, 9-18.
- Opacka-Juffry J, Pinnel T, Patel N, Bevan M, Meintel M, Davidson C (2014). Stimulant mechanisms of cathinones - Effects of mephedrone and other cathinones on basal and electrically evoked dopamine efflux in rat accumbens brain slices. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 54, 122-30.
- Dawson P, Opacka-Juffry J, Moffatt JD, Daniju Y, Dutta N, Ramsey J and Davidson C (2014). The effects of benzofury (5-APB) on the dopamine transporter and 5-HT2-dependent vasoconstriction in the rat. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 48, 57-63.
- Tana A and Davidson C (2013). Amphetamine makes caudate tissue more susceptible to oxygen and glucose deprivation. Neurotoxicology 38, 61-66.
- Brierley D and Davidson C (2013). Harmine augments electrically evoked dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens shell. J Psychopharmacology 27, 98-108.
- Chauhan NK, Young AMJ, Gibson CL and Davidson C (2013). Inhibition of pre-ischemic conditioning in the mouse caudate brain slice by NMDA- or adenosine A1 receptor antagonists. Eur J Pharmacol 698, 322-327.
- Brierley D and Davidson C (2012). Developments in harmine pharmacology – implications for ayahuasca use and drug-dependence treatment. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 39, 263-272.
- Davidson C, Gow AJ, Lee TH and Ellinwood EH (2001). Methamphetamine neurotoxicity: necrotic and apoptotic mechanisms: Relevance to human abuse and treatments. Brain Res Reviews 36:1-22
- Stamford JA, Davidson C, McLaughlin DP and Hopwood SE (2000). Control of raphe 5-HT function by 5-HT1 autoreceptors: parallel processes or pointless plurality? Trends Neurosciences, 23: 459-465.
Dr Davidson has worked with Professor Fabrizio Schifano, Mr John Corkery and Dr Lisa Lione (University of Hetfordshire) toxicity of legal highs.
He has worked with Professor Gaetano Di Chiara (Cagliari, Italy) and Professor Emilio Ambrosio Flores (Madrid, Spain) on the neurochemistry of legal highs.
Prof Mire Zloh, Dr Jacqueline Stair and Dr Stewart Kirton (University of Hetfordshire) - mathematical modelling of legal highs at various cell surface proteins.
Dr John Ramsey, TICTAC Communications Ltd - Pharmacology of new psychoactive substances.
Prof Jolanta Opacka-Juffry and Dr Paco Molina-Holgado (University of Roehampton) - effect of new drugs of abuse (legal highs) on brain monoamine and cannabinoid systems.
Dr Claire V Hutchinson and Dr Jose Prados (University of Leicester) - invertebrate behaviour and neurochemistry.
Dr Davidson is currently researching the neurochemical and toxic effects of legal highs. His work is funded by an EU grant from EU MADNESS (European-wide Monitoring, Analysis and Knowledge Dissemination on Novel/Emerging Psychoactives). His research aims to achieve integrated EU New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) monitoring and profiling to prevent health harms and update professionals.
Dr Davidson is leading a workstream looking into the neurochemical effects of legal highs with Professor Gaetano Di Chiara (Italy) and Professor Emilio Ambrosio Flores (Spain). He is also leading a workstream on creating educational resources on legal highs, and is working closely with Christine Goodair, National Coordinator of the St George’s National Programme on Substance Abuse Death (npSAD) project. Partner countries on the educational workstream include Italy, Spain, Germany and Scotland.
In addition to work related to drugs of abuse, Dr Davidson undertakes stroke-related research and has published in the areas of pre-ischaemic conditioning and the testing of potential neuroprotective drugs.