Associate Professor Alan Davidson leads a stem cell and developmental biology laboratory in the Department of Molecular Medicine & Pathology at The University of Auckland. His group is using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCS), which have the potential to give rise to all 200 cell types in the body, to generate human kidney organoids (mini organs grown in a dish). The main interests of the Davidson laboratory are kidney disease, injury and regeneration. By coupling human kidney organoids to microfluidic devices it should also be possible in the future to develop an organoid-based toxicity screening platform that will aid in the discovery of drugs with minimal kidney toxicity (a major limiting factor for many therapeutics).
Alan is a key contributor to discussions in Science and technology comment, providing ‘a biologist’s view’ on making a functioning kidney.