Donald E. Kohan, MD, PhD


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Internal Medicine - Professor
  • Divisions: Nephrology

Board Certification

  • American Board of Internal Medicine (Internal Medicine)
  • American Board of Internal Medicine (Sub: Nephrology)

Academic Office Information

  • 801-581-6709
  • School of Medicine
    Division of Nephrology & Hypertension
    30 N 1900 E, Room: 4R312
    Salt Lake City, UT 84132

Academic Bio

Donald E. Kohan, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Utah. As a nephrologist, his clinical interests include general nephrology and hypertension.

Dr. Kohan received his MD from the University of Miami. He received training in medicine and nephrology from Washington University. In the past, Dr. Kohan served as Chief of Medicine at the Salt Lake Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Chief of Nephrology at the University of Utah. He is a member of a number of nephology societies.

Research Statement

A major focus is examining the role of collecting duct-derived endothelin in regulating systemic blood pressure and renal sodium and water excretion. We pioneered cell-specific gene targeting in the kidney using the Cre-loxP system and have used this technique to knockout components of the endothelin system selectively in principal cells of the collecting duct. Collecting duct endothelin-1 knockout mice are hypertensive and have impaired ability to excrete a sodium or water load. Knockout of collecting duct endothelin receptors revealed an important autocrine system for control of blood pressure and sodium excretion in health and in hypertension. We are now investigating how the renal endothelin system is regulated, using whole animal transgenic, cell culture and molecular biologic techniques.

We investigate the role of specific adenylyl cyclase isoforms in mediating the renal actions of vasopressin. These studies involve cell-specific knockout of adenylyl cyclases followed by whole animal and cell and molecular biologic characterization of the phenotype.

Our laboratory also studies the role of the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system in the control of system blood pressure and urinary Na excretion. These studies include development of mouse models over- and under-expressing components of the renin-angiotensin in specific renal cell types.

Finally, we are examining how cilia and polycystins regulate blood pressure and renal function in health and disease. These findings are related to alterations in nitric oxide, endothelin and purinergic signaling.

Education History

Type School Degree
Fellowship Washington University
Residency Barnes Hospital
Internal Medicine
Internship Barnes Hospital
Professional Medical University of Miami - School of Medicine
Doctoral Training Mayo Graduate School of Medicine
Graduate Training Bowman Gray Medical School
Undergraduate University of Delaware

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Ramkumar N, Kohan DE (2019). The (pro)renin receptor: an emerging player in hypertension and metabolic syndrome. Kidney Int, 95(5), 1041-1052.
  2. Wang F, Xu C, Luo R, Peng K, Ramkumar N, Xie S, Lu X, Zhao L, Zuo CJ, Kohan DE, Yang T (2019). Site-1 protease-derived soluble (pro)renin receptor targets vasopressin receptor 2 to enhance urine concentrating capability. JCI Insight, 4(7).
  3. Lakshmipathi J, Wheatley W, Kumar A, Mercenne G, Rodan AR, Kohan DE (2019). Identification of NFAT5 as a transcriptional regulator of the EDN1 gene in collecting duct. AJP Renal Physiol, 316(3), F481-F487.
  4. Quadri SS, Culver S, Ramkumar N, Kohan DE, Siragy HM (2018). (Pro)Renin receptor mediates obesity-induced antinatriuresis and elevated blood pressure via upregulation of the renal epithelial sodium channel. PLoS ONE, 13(8), e0202419.
  5. Gao Y, Stuart D, Takahishi T, Kohan DE (2018). Nephron-Specific Disruption of Nitric Oxide Synthase 3 Causes Hypertension and Impaired Salt Excretion. J Am Heart Assoc, 7(14).
  6. Ramkumar N, Stuart D, Abraham N, Kohan DE (2018). Nephron prorenin receptor deficiency alters renal medullary endothelin-1 and endothelin receptor expression. Physiol Res, 67(Supplementum 1), S127-S136.
  7. Kohan DE (2017). An Unexpected Lesson in Global Nephrology. Nephron, 138(3), 229-230.
  8. Kittikulsuth W, Friedman PA, van Hoek A, Gao Y, Kohan DE (2017). Identification of adenylyl cyclase isoforms mediating parathyroid hormone- and calcitonin-stimulated cyclic AMP accumulation in distal tubule cells. BMC Nephrol, 18(1), 292.
  9. Webb DJ, Coll B, Heerspink HJL, Andress D, Pritchett Y, Brennan JJ, Houser M, Correa-Rotter R, Kohan D, Makino H, Perkovic V, Remuzzi G, Tobe SW, Toto R, Busch R, Pergola P, Parving HH, de Zeeuw D (2017). Longitudinal Assessment of the Effect of Atrasentan on Thoracic Bioimpedance in Diabetic Nephropathy: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Drugs R D, 17(3), 441-448.
  10. Wheatley W, Kohan DE (2017). Role for reactive oxygen species in flow-stimulated inner medullary collecting duct endothelin-1 production. AJP Renal Physiol, 313(2), F514-F521.
  11. Poulsen SB, Kristensen TB, Brooks HL, Kohan DE, Rieg T, Fenton RA (2017). Role of adenylyl cyclase 6 in the development of lithium-induced nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. JCI Insight, 2(7), e91042.
  12. Ramkumar N, Stuart D, Yang T, Kohan DE (2016). Aldosterone does not alter endothelin B receptor signaling in the inner medullary collecting duct. Physiol Rep, 5(5).
  13. Ramkumar N, Gao Y, Kohan DE (2017). Characterization of flow-regulated cortical collecting duct endothelin-1 production. Physiol Rep, 5(4).
  14. Ramkumar N, Kohan DE (2016). The nephron (pro)renin receptor: function and significance. AJP Renal Physiol, 311(6), F1145-F1148.
  15. Gao Y, Stuart D, Pollock JS, Takahishi T, Kohan DE (2016). Collecting duct-specific knockout of nitric oxide synthase 3 impairs water excretion in a sex-dependent manner. AJP Renal Physiol, 311(5), F1074-F1083.
  16. Song K, Stuart D, Abraham N, Wang F, Wang S, Yang T, Sigmund CD, Kohan DE, Ramkumar N (2016). Collecting Duct Renin Does Not Mediate DOCA-Salt Hypertension or Renal Injury. PLoS ONE, 11(7), e0159872.
  17. Ramkumar N, Stuart D, Mironova E, Bugay V, Wang S, Abraham N, Ichihara A, Stockand JD, Kohan DE (2016). Renal tubular epithelial cell prorenin receptor regulates blood pressure and sodium transport. AJP Renal Physiol, 311(1), F186-94.
  18. Kohan DE, Fioretto P, Johnsson K, Parikh S, Ptaszynska A, Ying L (2016). The effect of dapagliflozin on renal function in patients with type 2 diabetes. JN: Journal of Nephrology, 29(3), 391-400.
  19. Chen D, Stegbauer J, Sparks MA, Kohan D, Griffiths R, Herrera M, Gurley SB, Coffman TM (2016). Impact of Angiotensin Type 1A Receptors in Principal Cells of the Collecting Duct on Blood Pressure and Hypertension. Hypertension, 67(6), 1291-7.
  20. Schievink B, de Zeeuw D, Smink PA, Andress D, Brennan JJ, Coll B, Correa-Rotter R, Hou FF, Kohan D, Kitzman DW, Makino H, Parving HH, Perkovic V, Remuzzi G, Tobe S, Toto R, Hoekman J, Lambers Heerspink HJ (2015). Prediction of the effect of atrasentan on renal and heart failure outcomes based on short-term changes in multiple risk markers. Eur J Prev Cardiol, 23(7), 758-68.
  21. Ramkumar N, Stuart D, Calquin M, Wang S, Niimura F, Matsusaka T, Kohan DE (2016). Possible role for nephron-derived angiotensinogen in angiotensin-II dependent hypertension. Physiol Rep, 4(1).


  1. Kohan DE (2018). Urinary Plasmin(ogen): New Predictor of Hypertension? Kidney Int Rep, 3(6), 1242-1244.