Professor Alan James Davidson

BSc (hons) & Ph.D (University of Auckland)


Professor Alan Davidson received a BSc (Hons) and a PhD from the University of Auckland and did his Post-Doctoral training at Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA.  In 2005, Dr. Davidson started his own research programme in the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School as an Assistant Professor, before being awarded the Rutherford Distinguished fellowship from the Rutherford Foundation and returning to New Zealand in 2011.  He is internationally recognized for his research in the fields of embryonic kidney formation and renal regeneration using zebrafish. More recently Dr Davidson’s group has begun using human induced pluripotent stem cells to generate kidney organoids, as well as generating rat models, and is using these to study kidney disease and injury. Professor Davidson has been head of the Department of Molecular Medicine & Pathology since 2017. 

Research | Current

Dr Davidson's research programme is focused on two areas (1) understanding the embryonic development and injury response of the kidney, which mostly involves the zebrafish model, and (2) using human kidney organoids derived from induced pluripotent stem cells as well as genetically modified rats, to model kidney diseases and injury, such as the lysosomal storage disease cystinosis and acute kidney injury caused by toxins. 

Teaching | Current

MEDSCI 704: Stem Cells and Development 

MEDSCI 740: Stem Cell Biology and Transgenesis​

MBChB 221: Genitourinary module (Director)

MEDSCI 312: Endocrinology of Growth & Metabolism

Postgraduate supervision

Sarah Appleby (PhD student)

Jake Oh (PhD student)

Pang Yuk (PhD student)


Rutherford distinguished fellow


Head of the Department of Molecular Medicine & Pathology

Areas of expertise

Embryonic formation of the kidney

Acute kidney injury

Kidney disease (cystinosis)

Induced pluripotent stem cells

Kidney organoids

Committees/Professional groups/Services

American Society of Nephrology

Subject editor for the journal Nephrology (Carlton)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Li, B., Zhu, C., Dong, L., Qin, J., Xiang, W., Davidson, A. J., ... Weng, C. (2020). ADAM10 mediates ectopic proximal tubule development and renal fibrosis through Notch signalling. The Journal of pathology, 252 (3), 274-289. 10.1002/path.5517
  • Schierding, W., Farrow, S., Fadason, T., Graham, O. E. E., Pitcher, T. L., Qubisi, S., ... Kennedy, M. A. (2020). Common Variants Coregulate Expression of GBA and Modifier Genes to Delay Parkinson's Disease Onset. Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society, 35 (8), 1346-1356. 10.1002/mds.28144
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jo Perry, William Schierding, Tayaza Fadason, Justin O'Sullivan
  • Hollywood, J. A., Przepiorski, A., D'Souza RF, Sreebhavan, S., Wolvetang, E. J., Harrison, P. T., ... Holm, T. M. (2020). Use of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Kidney Organoids To Develop a Cysteamine/mTOR Inhibition Combination Therapy for Cystinosis. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN, 31 (5), 962-982. 10.1681/asn.2019070712
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jennifer Hollywood, Randall D'Souza
  • Digby, J. L. M., Vanichapol, T., Przepiorski, A., Davidson, A. J., & Sander, V. (2020). Evaluation of cisplatin-induced injury in human kidney organoids. American journal of physiology. Renal physiology, 318 (4), F971-F978. 10.1152/ajprenal.00597.2019
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Veronika Sander
  • Przepiorski, A., Crunk, A. E., Espiritu, E. B., Hukriede, N. A., & Davidson, A. J. (2020). The Utility of Human Kidney Organoids in Modeling Kidney Disease. Seminars in nephrology, 40 (2), 188-198. 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2020.01.009
  • Diep, C. Q., Mikeasky, N., & Davidson, A. J. (2020). Development of The Zebrafish Pronephric and Mesonephric Kidneys. In S. C. Cartner, J. S. Eisen, S. C. Farmer, K. J. Guillemin, M. L. Kent, G. E. Sanders (Eds.) (pp. 145-150). ACADEMIC PRESS LTD-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD. 10.1016/B978-0-12-812431-4.00015-4
  • Sander, V., Digby, J. L. M., Przepiorski, A. J., & Davidson, A. J. (2019). Cisplatin Induces Inflammation and Secretion of AKI Biomarkers in Kidney Organoids. Paper presented at Kidney Week 2019: American Society of Nephrology Annual Meeting, Washington DC, USA. 5 November - 10 November 2019. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Veronika Sander
  • Davidson, A. J., Lewis, P., Przepiorski, A., & Sander, V. (2019). Turning mesoderm into kidney. Seminars in cell & developmental biology, 91, 86-93. 10.1016/j.semcdb.2018.08.016
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Veronika Sander

Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 504 - Bldg 504
Level 3, Room 308
New Zealand