About Professor Stephen Alexander

Stephen I Alexander is a Professor at the University of Sydney and heads the laboratory at the Centre for Kidney Research where he oversees a research program aimed at regulatory T cell therapy and tolerance in nephritis and transplantation and is involved in research in genetic paediatric renal disease.

Professor Alexander is a clinician-scientist with a longstanding interest and track record in the role of regulatory T cells and transplant tolerance in including human studies and mouse models of transplant rejection/tolerance and glomerulonephritis. He has lead the laboratory of the Centre for Kidney Research for over 10 years. He is the department head for paediatric nephrology at Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Professor Alexander has made a number of important contributions in the area of tolerance and Tregs including: the description and analysis of spontaneous tolerance due to mixed chimerism in liver transplants; the first use of gene therapy to treat renal disease by conversion of T cells to regulatory T cells using Foxp3 transduction; the use of animal models to define novel regulatory pathways in renal disease including CD8 regulatory T cells and gamma delta regulatory T cells; The development of novel strategies of tolerance including “pruning” with the selective removal of alloreactive T cells. He has also had a major role in defining transplant rejection including the molecular analysis of T cells in the transplant. His laboratory has received continuous NHMRC funding for 10 years since returning from the US. He also receives funding as a CI from the NIH and JDRF for work on islet and kidney transplantation with his Westmead colleagues. His work has been published in NEJM, Blood, JExMed, JASN, JImmunol, JCI, AJT, Cell Transplantation, Transplantation. He is a CI on the CRE that forms the Centre for Personalised Immunology with a specific interest in autoimmune renal disease including lupus.

In 2000 after completing his research training and clinical fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston, MGH and Harvard and returning to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Professor Alexander has established a national and international reputation in transplant immunology, nephritis and renal genetics.  This leadership has been shown by his appointment as the paediatric chair of the paediatric subcommittee of the World Transplant Congresses in 2008 and 2014 and as co-chair of the Basic Sciences Symposium of the Transplantation Society in 2015 a biannual international research meeting. Internationally, he was an invited member of the American Transplantation Society, Pediatric committee, locally by his election to ANZSN (the Nephrology Society) council and TSANZ (Transplantation) council. Professor Alexander has 45 publications in the last 5 years, and 108 career publications including NEJM, JExMed, JI, JCI, AJT, JASN, and Blood. These are top journals in transplantation, nephrology, and immunology and include the top general medical journals. He was recently appointed editor of Current Pediatric Reports and is a reviewer for a range of international journals.  

Selected publications

Professor Alexander’s group is based at Children’s Hospital Westmead in the Centre for Kidney Research. His group collaborates closely with the nephritis and transplantation groups in the CTRR as part of the Westmead Hub, with strong interests in translational research particularly in the area of tolerance.