Professor Alan James Davidson

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


Associate Professor Alan Davidson received a B.Sc (Hons) and a Ph.D 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 and is using these as new models to study kidney disease and injury. 

Research | Current

Dr Davidson's research programme is focused on two areas (1) understanding the embryonic development and regeneration of the kidney, which mostly involves the zebrafish model, and (2) using human induced pluripotent stem cells 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

Rachel Dodd (PhD student)

Sarah Appleby (PhD student)

Sarah Qubisi (PhD student)

Jake Oh (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

Auckland Medical Research Foundation Science Committee

Subject editor for the journal Nephrology (Carlton)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • 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
  • 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
  • Sander, V., Salleh, L., Naylor, R. W., Schierding, W., Sontam, D. M., O'Sullivan JM, & Davidson, A. J. (2019). Transcriptional profiling of the zebrafish proximal tubule. American journal of physiology. Renal physiology10.1152/ajprenal.00174.2019
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Dharani Sontam, William Schierding, Veronika Sander, Justin O'Sullivan
  • Brilli Skvarca, L., Han, H. I., Espiritu, E. B., Missinato, M. A., Rochon, E. R., McDaniels, M. D., ... Watkins, S. C. (2019). Enhancing regeneration after acute kidney injury by promoting cellular dedifferentiation in zebrafish. Disease models & mechanisms, 12 (4).10.1242/dmm.037390
  • Han, H. I., Skvarca, L. B., Espiritu, E. B., Davidson, A. J., & Hukriede, N. A. (2019). The role of macrophages during acute kidney injury: destruction and repair. Pediatric nephrology (Berlin, Germany), 34 (4), 561-569. 10.1007/s00467-017-3883-1
  • Sander, V., Naylor, R. W., & Davidson, A. J. (2019). Mind the gap: renal tubule responses to injury and the role of Cxcl12 and Myc. ANNALS OF TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE, 710.21037/atm.2019.01.80
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Veronika Sander
  • Jiang, H., Shao, X., Jia, S., Qu, L., Weng, C., Shen, X., ... Wang, C. (2019). The Mitochondria-Targeted Metabolic Tubular Injury in Diabetic Kidney Disease. Cellular physiology and biochemistry : international journal of experimental cellular physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, 52 (2), 156-171. 10.33594/000000011

Contact details

Primary office location

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