Dr 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 (Co-ordinator)

MEDSCI 312: Endocrinology of Growth & Metabolism

Postgraduate supervision

Rachel Dodd (Ph.D student)

Sarah Qubisi (Ph.D student)

Jake Oh (Ph.D 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)

  • Han, H. I., Skvarca, L. B., Espiritu, E. B., Davidson, A. J., & Hukriede, N. A. (2018). The role of macrophages during acute kidney injury: destruction and repair. Pediatr Nephrol10.1007/s00467-017-3883-1
  • Naylor, R. W., Han, H. I., Hukriede, N. A., & Davidson, A. J. (2017). Wnt8a expands the pool of embryonic kidney progenitors in zebrafish. Developmental biology10.1016/j.ydbio.2017.03.027
  • Sander, V., Patke, S., Lee, J. Y., Chang, Y.-T., & Davidson, A. J. (2017). The Vital Dye CDr10b Labels the Zebrafish Mid-Intestine and Lumen. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 22 (3).10.3390/molecules22030454
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Veronika Sander
  • Naylor, R. W., & Davidson, A. J. (2017). Pronephric tubule formation in zebrafish: morphogenesis and migration. Pediatric nephrology (Berlin, Germany), 32 (2), 211-216. 10.1007/s00467-016-3353-1
  • Naylor, R. W., Qubisi, S. S., & Davidson, A. J. (2017). Zebrafish Pronephros Development. Results and problems in cell differentiation, 60, 27-53. 10.1007/978-3-319-51436-9_2
  • Naylor, R. W., Dodd, R. C., & Davidson, A. J. (2016). Caudal migration and proliferation of renal progenitors regulates early nephron segment size in zebrafish. Scientific Reports, 6, 35647-35647. 10.1038/srep35647
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachel Dodd
  • Naylor, R. W., Skvarca, L. B., Thisse, C., Thisse, B., Hukriede, N. A., & Davidson, A. J. (2016). BMP and retinoic acid regulate anterior-posterior patterning of the non-axial mesoderm across the dorsal-ventral axis. Nature communications, 710.1038/ncomms12197
  • Naylor, R. W., McGhee, C. N. J., Cowan, C. A., Davidson, A. J., Holm, T. M., & Sherwin, T. (2016). Derivation of Corneal Keratocyte-Like Cells from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. PloS one, 11 (10)10.1371/journal.pone.0165464
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Charles McGhee, Trevor Sherwin

Contact details

Primary location

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

Web links