Divisiong of Nephrology and Hypertension




David H. Ellison, MD

David H. Ellison, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Director, OCTRI
OHSU and Staff Physician VAMC

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David H. Ellison, M.D.

Dr. Ellison returned to OHSU in August 2000 as Professor of Medicine. Dr. Ellison completed a residency in Internal Medicine at OHSU in 1981. He received his Nephrology training at Yale University. He was a faculty member at Yale and later the University of Colorado before returning to OHSU. Dr. Ellison's research investigates the molecular regulation of renal salt excretion and its impact on blood pressure. Specifically, his work focuses on electroneutral salt transporters and on pseudohypoaldosteronism type 2, Gitelman syndrome and Bartter syndrome. Dr. Ellison is also interested in the pathogenesis and treatment of edema. His work is funded by the NIH, the American Heart Association, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.


B.S. – Stanford University 1974
M.D. – Rush Medical College, Chicago, 1978


Internal Medicine - Oregon Health Sciences University, 1978-1981


Research Fellow - Oregon Health Sciences University,1981-1982
Nephrology - Yale University School of Medicine, 1982-1985

Research Interest:
  • Hypertension, pseudohypoaldosteronism type 2, familial hyperkalemic hypertension, Gitelman syndrome, Bartter syndrome: see the editorial about our work in JCI.
  • actions of aldosterone, processing of membrane transport proteins, electroneutral salt transporters,
  • mechanisms ofedema formation and of diuretic resistance.
Clinical Interest:

Hypertension, Edema, Congestive Heart Failure, Gitleman syndrome, Bartter syndrome.

Representative Publications:
Velázquez H., Perazella, M.A., Wright F.S, Ellison, D.H. Renal Mechanism of trimethoprim-induced hyperkalemia. Ann. Intern. Med. 119: 296-301, 1993.  PMID: 8328738.
Abdallah, J.G. Schrier, R.W., Edelstein, C. Jennings, S.D., Wyse, B., Ellison, D.H. Loop Diuretic Infusion Increases Thiazide-Sensitive Na-Cl Cotransporter Expression by an Aldosterone-Dependent Mechanism, J.Am. Soc.Nephrol. 12: 1335-1341, 2001.
  • Yang CL, Angell J, Mitchell R, Ellison DH. WNK kinases regulate thiazide-sensitive Na-Cl cotransport. J Clin Invest. 2003 Apr;111(7):1039-45. (WITH ASSOCIATED COMMENTARY). PMID: 12671053.
  • Yang CL, Zhu X, Wang Z, Subramanya AR, Ellison DH. Mechanisms of WNK1 and WNK4 interaction in the regulation of thiazide-sensitive NaCl cotransport. J Clin Invest. 2005 May;115(5):1379-87. Epub 2005 Apr 7. PMID: 15841204.
  • Subramanya, A.R.,  Yang, C.-L., Zhu, X., Ellison, D.H. Report: Dominant-Negative Regulation of WNK1 by its Kidney-Specific Kinase-Defective Isoform. Am J Physiol. 2006 Mar;290:  F619-24. PMID: 16204408 (WITH ASSOCIATED COMMENTARY) & SELECTED BY ‘FACULTY OF 1000’.
  • Yang, C-L, Zhu, X, Ellison, DH. The thiazide-sensitive Na-Cl cotransporter is regulated by a WNK kinase signaling complex. J Clin Invest. 2007 Nov 1;117(11):3403-3411. PMID: 17975670 (WITH ASSOCIATED COMMENTARY).
  • Ellison, DH. The voltage-gated K+ channel subunit, Kv1.1, links kidney and brain.  J Clin Invest. 119: 763-766, 2009. PMID: 19348045
  • Rozansky, DJ. Cornwall, T, Subramanya, AR, Rogers, S. Yang, Y-F, David, LF, Zhu, X. Yang, C-L. Ellison, DH. Aldosterone signals Na-Cl cotransporter through serum & glucocorticoid-induced kinase 1 and WNK4 (With No lysine=K 4) kinase. J Clin Invest. 2009 119L 2601-12. PMID: 19690383.
  • Ellison DH. Through a glass darkly: salt transport by the distal tubule. Kidney Int. 2011 Jan;79(1):5-8. PMID: 21157456
  • McCormick JA, Ellison DH. The WNKs: Atypical Protein Kinases With Pleiotropic Actions. Physiol Rev. 2011 Jan;91(1):177-219. PMID: 21248166
  • Ellison, DH. Renal Nerves, WNK4, Glucocorticoids, and Salt Transport. Cell Metabolism, 13: 619-20, 2011. PMID: 21641543
  • McCormick, JA, Nelson JH, Yang CL, Curry JN, Ellison DH. Overexpression of the sodium chloride cotransporter is not sufficient to cause familial hyperkalemic hypertension. Hypertension, Hypertension. 2011 Sep 6. PMID: 21896937.
  • McCormick JA*, Mutig K*, Nelson JH*, Saritas T, Hoorn EJ, Yang CL, Rogers S, Curry J, Delpire E, Bachmann S, and Ellison DH (* indicates equal contributions).  A SPAK isoform switch modulates renal salt transport and blood pressure. Cell Metabolism, 2011 Sep 7;14(3):352-64. SELECTED BY ‘FACULTY OF 1000’
  • Hoorn EJ*, Walsh SB*, McCormick JA, Fürstenberg A, Yang CL, Roeschel T, Paliege A, Howie AJ, Conley J, Bachmann S, Unwin RJ§, Ellison DH§ (* and § indicate equal contributions). The calcineurin inhibitor tacrolimus activates the renal sodium chloride cotransporter to cause hypertension. Nature Medicine 2011 Oct 2;17(10):1304-9. SELECTED BY ‘FACULTY OF 1000’
  • Ellison DH. Ubiquitylation and the pathogenesis of hypertension. J Clin Invest. 2013 Jan 25:1-3. PMID: 23348731.