Edinburgh Research Explorer

David Hume, FRSE, FRSB, FMedSci

(Former employee or visitor)

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Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, University of Oxford
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Australian National University
Mitogenic Lymphocyte Transformation.
Bachelor of Science, Australian National University
Regulation of glucose metabolism in isolated rat hepatocytes by insulin and concanavalin A.
Bachelor of Science, Australian National University


Professor David Hume FRSE, FSB, FMedSci is an international authority in genome sciences, with a particular focus on the function of macrophages, specialised cells of the immune system involved in infection, inflammatory disease and cancer. He was Director of The Roslin Institute and Research Director of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies between 2007 and 2017 and the Director of The National Institute for Bioscience until December 2016. He was previously Director of the ARC Special Centre for Functional and Applied Genomics at the Institute for Molecular BioScience at the University of Queensland.

Research Interests

The research in our group revolves around the cellular and molecular biology of macrophages. Macrophages are major cellular effectors of innate immunity and inflammation, but are also involved in normal growth and development and tissue repair.  Our research involves the use of cell and molecular biological approaches, on genome-wide scale, to understand how these cells differentiate from their common precursors in the bone marrow under the influence of factors such as macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF-1) and interleukin 34 (IL34), how mature cells of this lineage are able to respond to environmental signals such as microorganisms, and their functions in normal embryological development and postnatal growth. This research utilises transgenic reporter genes in a range of species including mouse, rat, chicken, sheep and pig. We are especially interested in comparative analysis of the way that macrophages recognise potential pathogens,  the way that function has evolved between species, and how it varies amongst individuals within a species. Our research utilises mouse, rat, chicken, dog, cat, sheep, cattle, pig and human systems to investigate different aspects of macrophage biology.

The laboratory coordinates a BBSRC-funded resource of information on macrophage biology, gene regulation and gene function at www.macrophages.com 


DAH holds a Senior Scientist position at RIKEN and is an active member of the Genome Network Project and the FANTOM Consortium (see genome.gsc.riken.go.jp

DAH is a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland (www.imb.uq.edu.au)  with ongoing active collaborations and grant-funding with former colleagues including Drs Matt Sweet, Kate Stacey, Kate Irvine, Kate Schroder, Liza Raggatt, Allison Pettit, Brandon Wainwright, Julie Campbell and Jane Mooney
To hear DAH talking about The Roslin Institute click here.

Administrative Roles

I was Chairman of the Organising Committee for ComBio99, the combined meeting of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology and the Australian Society for Plant Physiology on the Gold Coast in September 1999.

I was on the Board of the Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research at Princess Alexandra Hospital from 2002-2007.

Membership of Societies: 
Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; 
American Association of Immunologists, 
Royal Society of Edinburgh
American Society for Microbiology
Society for Leukocyte Biology
International Endotoxin Society


1976-1979: Casual Demonstrator, Biochemistry Dept., Australian National University

1978: Casual Tutor in Biochemistry, Canberra College of Advanced Education 

1979: Casual Lecturer in Biochemistry, Australian National University 

1979-1982: Tutor in Biochemistry/Immunology at Oxford University

1984-1986: Casual Tutor in Biochemistry, Australian National University 

1989 Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, University of Queensland. 

1992 Reader/Assoc. Prof. in Biochemistry, University of Queensland

1997 Professor in Biochemistry and Microbiology. 

At the University of Queensland, I was actively involved in teaching undergraduate Biochemistry and Immunology. The major focus was in Immunology and Molecular Cell Biology, teaching around 30 lectures per annum In 2002-3, that commitment has dropped to around 15 lectures. I presented 9 lectures in advanced immunology (BIOL3003) dealing with immunogenetics and aspects of innate immunity, and six lectures in Molecular Cell Biology (BIOL3006) dealing with signal transduction in cell proliferation and survival. 
19 PhD thesis examinations.

38 Completed PhD Students, 4 current PhD students.

28 Completed Honours Students.

Current Research Interests

Macrophage biology, genomics and transcriptomics and the genetics of disease resistance.

Research activities & awards

  1. Pierre Fabre Pharmaceutical R&D Science Day

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  2. Lecture - FOR2240

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  3. Symposium for the 100 years of the death of Ilya Metchnikoff

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

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