Alan Davidson

Molecular Genetics


MaRS West Tower
661 University Avenue, Room 1634, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1M1
Research Interests
Bacterial and fungal pathogens, Infectious disease and microbiology, Immunology, Microbiome, Structural biology, Viruses

Phages, the viruses that infect bacteria, profoundly influence the environment as the major predators of bacteria. They are also the most abundant inhabitants of the human microbiome. Research in the Davidson Lab is aimed at elucidating fundamental functional mechanisms of phages and phage-related entities and using this knowledge to design tools to improve human health. We also investigate the systems used by bacteria to resist phage attacks and how phages overcome these systems. In particular, we discovered and are characterizing anti-CRISPRs, proteins produced by phages that inhibit diverse CRISPR-Cas systems. The Davidson group combines extensive expertise in phage biology, structural biology, in vitro biochemistry, and bioinformatics, allowing us to address key questions through a multi-disciplinary approach.

Courses taught 

  • MGY377: Bacteriology
  • Graduate: From Chaperones to CRISPR-Cas: The Incredible Genius of Phages


  • Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Bacteriophage-Based Technologies


  • Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto