Photo of David M. Cohen, M.D.

David M. Cohen M.D.

    • Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension School of Medicine
    • Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology School of Medicine
    • Director, Genetics of Water Balance Consortium
    • Local Site Investigator, VA Million Veteran Program
    • Local Site Investigator, All of Us (Formerly the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative)
    • Cancer Biology Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences School of Medicine

Dr. Cohen’s research interests center around the genetics and physiology of osmoregulation (water balance). His group conducts studies at the cellular level, in animal models, and in human cohorts. Dr. Cohen directs the Genetics of Water Balance Consortium, a global network of major cohorts investigating genetic associations in water balance-relevant phenotypes. He also serves as local site investigator for the Portland site of the VA’s Million Veteran Program – a national voluntary research program to study how genes affect veterans’ health. Local recruitment for this effort recently topped 11,000 enrolled veterans.

Areas of interest

  • Disorders of water balance
  • Genetics of water and electrolyte balance
  • Kidney stones
  • Genetics of racial disparity in the risk of chronic kidney disease
  • Evaluation of potential kidney donors


  • B.S., Pennsylvania State University, State College Pennsylvania 1984
  • M.D., Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1986
  • Internship:

    • Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Boston University Medical Center, 1986-1987
  • Residency:

    • Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Boston University Medical Center, 1987-1989
  • Fellowship:

    • Research Fellow, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Division of Genetics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 1993-1995
    • Clinical Fellow in Nephrology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 1992-1993
    • Research Fellow in Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 1989-1992
  • Certifications:

    • American Board of Internal Medicine, Diplomate
    • American Board of Internal Medicine (Nephrology), Diplomate
    • Oregon License Registration


  • "In reply." JAMA Internal Medicine  In: , Vol. 178, No. 4, 01.04.2018, p. 583-584.
  • "Elephant in the room." Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  In: , 23.01.2018.
  • "Trends and characteristics of US Medicare spending on repository corticotropin." JAMA Internal Medicine  In: , Vol. 177, No. 11, 01.11.2017, p. 1680-1682.
  • "NFAT5 and SLC4A10 loci associate with plasma osmolality." Journal of the American Society of Nephrology  In: , Vol. 28, No. 8, 01.08.2017, p. 2311-2321.
  • "The cumulative effects of intravenous antibiotic treatments on hearing in patients with cystic fibrosis." Journal of Cystic Fibrosis  In: , 19.07.2016.
  • "Modeling the neurologic and cognitive effects of hyponatremia." Journal of the American Society of Nephrology  In: , Vol. 27, No. 3, 01.03.2016, p. 659-661.
  • "A mutation creating an out-of-frame alternative translation initiation site in the GRHPR 5′UTR causing primary hyperoxaluria type II." Clinical Genetics  In: , Vol. 88, No. 5, 01.11.2015, p. 494-498.
  • "Evaluating hyponatremia." JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association  In: , Vol. 313, No. 12, 24.03.2015, p. 1260-1261.
  • "Potassium modulates electrolyte balance and blood pressure through effects on distal cell voltage and chloride." Cell Metabolism  In: , Vol. 21, No. 1, 06.01.2015, p. 39-50.
  • "Individuality of the plasma sodium concentration." American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology  In: , Vol. 306, No. 12, 15.06.2014.
  • "Transcriptome-based analysis of kidney gene expression changes associated with diabetes in OVE26 mice, in the presence and absence of losartan treatment." PLoS One  In: , Vol. 9, No. 5, e96987, 14.05.2014.
  • "Hourly oral sodium chloride for the rapid and predictable treatment of hyponatremia." Clinical Nephrology  In: , Vol. 82, No. 6, 2014, p. 397-401.
  • "A reversible cause of 'end-stage renal disease' : Discrepant findings in serial duplex ultrasonograms in a suspected occlusion of a renal arterial bypass graft." BMJ Case Reports  In: , 04.12.2013.
  • "Candidate tumor suppressor and pVHL partner Jade-1 binds and inhibits AKT in renal cell carcinoma." Cancer Research  In: , Vol. 73, No. 17, 01.09.2013, p. 5371-5380.
  • "Medication for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and criminality [6]." New England Journal of Medicine  In: , Vol. 368, No. 8, 21.02.2013, p. 775-776.
  • "Functional polymorphisms affecting the clinically important arginine-137 residue of AVPR2 do not influence serum sodium concentration at the population level." Physiological Genomics  In: , Vol. 45, No. 6, 2013, p. 210-216.
  • "Heritability of serum sodium concentration : Evidence for sex- and ethnic-specific effects." Physiological Genomics  In: , Vol. 44, No. 3, 02.2012, p. 220-228.
  • "African American living-kidney donors should be screened for apol1 risk alleles." Transplantation  In: , Vol. 92, No. 7, 15.10.2011, p. 722-725.
  • "Transient receptor potential ion channels V4 and A1 contribute to pancreatitis pain in mice." American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology  In: , Vol. 299, No. 3, 09.2010.
  • "Absence of AVPR2 copy number variation in eunatremic and dysnatremic subjects in non-Hispanic Caucasian populations." Physiological Genomics  In: , Vol. 40, No. 3, 02.2010, p. 121-127.
  • "A loss-of-function nonsynonymous polymorphism in the osmoregulatory TRPV4 gene is associated with human hyponatremia." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America  In: , Vol. 106, No. 33, 18.08.2009, p. 14034-14039.
  • "Down-regulation of ZnT8 expression in INS-1 rat pancreatic beta cells reduces insulin content and glucose-inducible insulin secretion." PLoS One  In: , Vol. 4, No. 5, e5679, 25.05.2009.
  • "TRPV4 enhances the cellular uptake of aminoglycoside antibiotics." Journal of Cell Science  In: , Vol. 121, No. 17, 01.09.2008, p. 2871-2879.
  • "Transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 mediates protease activated receptor 2-induced sensitization of colonic afferent nerves and visceral hyperalgesia." American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology  In: , Vol. 294, No. 5, 05.2008.
  • "White thrombus formation in blood tubing lines in a chronic hemodialysis unit." Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology  In: , Vol. 3, No. 2, 03.2008, p. 382-386.
  • "Functional effects of nonsynonymous polymorphisms in the human TRPV1 gene." American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology  In: , Vol. 293, No. 6, 12.2007.
  • "The transient receptor potential vanilloid-responsive 1 and 4 cation channels : Role in neuronal osmosensing and renal physiology." Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension  In: , Vol. 16, No. 5, 09.2007, p. 451-458.
  • "Renal p38 MAP kinase activity in experimental diabetes." Laboratory Investigation  In: , Vol. 87, No. 6, 06.2007, p. 548-558.
  • "TRPV4 and hypotonic stress."   Molecular Sensors for Cardiovascular Homeostasis. Springer US, 2007. p. 141-151.
  • "The role of MAPKs in B cell receptor-induced down-regulation of Egr-1 in immature B lymphoma cells." Journal of Biological Chemistry  In: , Vol. 281, No. 52, 29.12.2006, p. 39806-39818.

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