David H. Ellison, MD, FASN

KidneyCure Board of Directors


David H. Ellison, MD, FASN is a graduate of Stanford University and Chicago?s Rush University. He completed his internal medicine residency and a research fellowship at the Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU), and a nephrology fellowship at Yale University.

At OHSU, Dr. Ellison, a tenured Professor of Medicine, Physiology, and Pharmacology, is also director of the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, associate vice president for Clinical and Translational Research, and a staff physician for the Veteran Administration?s Portland Health Care System. Dr. Ellison is board certified in internal medicine and nephrology.

Dr. Ellison?s research interests include the interface between the kidney and the heart, with work ranging from fundamental biochemistry to human implementation. He has focused on the thiazide-sensitive NaCl cotransporter (NCC) in the distal nephron work that led him to study rare monogenic diseases, such as Gitelman syndrome and Familial Hyperkalemic Hypertension, but also to research mechanisms of edema formation in heart failure in order to devise better treatments of diuretic resistance. His other research includes study of mechanisms by which therapeutic drugs impact solute transport, and unravelling the mechanism of trimethoprim-induced hyperkalemia and tracrolimus-induced hyperkalemia with hypertension. He has won numerous research and teaching awards and been recognized as a national and international lecturer and fellow.

He has served ASN in numerous roles, including a term as At Large Councilor, as well as membership on its Awards, Basic Science, Education, Abstract Review and Selection, Nominating, and Recertification Task Force Committees, and as organizer for Kidney Week Programs and Symposiums. In addition to his ASN efforts, Dr. Ellison has held many leadership positions for various industry councils, studies, and research projects. He is currently a consulting editor for Hypertension and was an associate editor for the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

ASN Highlights - Moderator

Dr. Ellison is a professor of medicine and physiology and pharmacology, director of the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute and associate vice president for Clinical and Translational Research at OHSU. He is the past chair of the Subspecialty Board in Nephrology for the American Board of Internal Medicine, and past chair of the American Heart Association?s Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease. He was program chair for the American Society of Nephrology?s Kidney Week in 2010, and was recently elected by its members to its leadership council. He is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians, and is past chair of the Kidney Molecular Biology and Genitourinary Organ Development study section for NIH. He also was previously a standing member of the Renal Merit Review Study Section for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Current Position/Titles:

  • Professor of Medicine & Physiology & Pharmacology (with tenure)
  • Director, Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute
  • Associate Vice President for Clinical and Translational Research, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Staff Physician, VA Portland Health Care System - Portland, OR
  • Degrees/Training:

  • B.S., Stanford University, 1974
  • M.D., Rush University, Chicago, IL, 1978
  • Internal Medicine Residency; Oregon Health & Science University 78-81
  • Research Fellowship: Oregon Health & Science University 81-82
  • Nephrology Fellowship: Yale University 1982-5
  • ASN Service:

    Member ASN Council, 2018-present; Associate Editor, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2013-2017; Member, Task force on recertification, 2016-17; Organizer, Cardiovascular Disease in Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney Week, Atlanta, 2016-17; Member, Awards Committee, 2013-14; Conference Organizer, Pre-course on CKD ? CVD, 2012; Chair, Program Committee, Kidney Week, 2010; Member, Program Committee, Kidney Week 2008 & 2009; Member, Awards, Committee, 2003-05 & 2010-12; Member, Education Committee, 2009-2010; Basic Science Committee, 2005-2008; Conference Organizer, 'Disorders of Protein Folding' Basic Science Symposium, 2008 . Member, Nominating Committee, 1999-00; Chair, Abstract Review Committee, Cell and Transport Physiology/Inorganic Ions, American Society of Nephrology National Meeting Abstract Selection Committee Member.

    Leadership positions:

    Chair, Kidney Precision Medicine Program External Expert Panel, 2018-present; Chair, Kidney Molecular Biology and Development Study Section (KMBD), NIDDK, 2015-17; Chair, Kidney Precision Medicine Project, Special Emphasis Panel, NIDDK ZDK1 GRB-3 M1, 2017; Chair, ARG1 DKUS-G ‐ CMBK Conflict Study Section, 2010; Chair, Subspecialty Nephrology Board, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2010-14; Chair, Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease, American Heart Association, 2010-12; Associate Program Chair, American Society of Hypertension Annual Meeting 2015-17; Chair, Scientific Sessions Program Committee, Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease, American Heart Association, 2007-10; Secretary, Renal Section of the American Physiological Society, 2004-2007; Consulting Editor, Hypertension, 2012-present. Associate Editor, JASN, 2013-present.


    Gottschalk Award, American Society of Physiology, 2016; 24th Robert W. Berliner Lecturer, Yale University; American Clinical & Climatological Association, Elected 2014; Marie Curie Fellowship of the European Union, 2014; The Robert Schrier Endowed Lectureship of the American Society of Nephrology, 2013; The 8th Donald Seldin Lectureship of the American Heart Association, 2013; Association of American Physicians (AAP), Elected, 2012; Distinguished Faculty Award for Outstanding Research, OHSU Faculty Senate, 2010; Teaching Award, Preclinical Curriculum, Oregon Health & Science University, 2006-09; Western Society of Clinical Investigation, Elected, 1998.

    Board Certification:

    Internal Medicine, 1981 (valid indefinitely) Nephrology, 1986 (valid indefinitely) Nephrology, 2010 (voluntarily recertified)

    Research Interests:

    Our work probes heart-kidney connections, inherited electrolyte disorders, and drug nephrotoxicity. It has unraveled how mirror image monogenic disorders, Gitelman and Gordon syndromes, affect solute transport and blood pressure, through a novel signaling pathway. This has led us to identify a new potassium switch model showing how dietary sodium and potassium interact to reduce blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. We have also elucidated mechanisms that cause diuretic resistance in patients and proposed new treatment approaches. Along the way, we have identified how several commonly-used drugs cause kidney-related side effects, thereby allowing their use to be optimized.

    Personal Statement:

    I am passionate about building a bright future for kidney medicine and kidney science, but both must be reinvigorated for Nephrology to be a "field of choice" for trainees once again. We are at a promising inflection point, driven partially by ASN's current efforts, but many risks remain and a clear path forward is just now emerging. We must address new challenges, while retaining and evolving ASN's traditional areas of strength. It has been the honor of my professional life to serve on the ASN Council, but I have just now developed sufficient perspective to be most effective.