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David R. Emlet, PhD

Research Assistant Professor, Center for Critical Care Nephrology, CRISMA Center

David R. Emlet, PhD, is a Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Critical Care Nephrology, CRISMA, in the Department of Critical Care Medicine. Dave is a molecular/cell biologist with expertise in signal transduction research. He has established an in vitro model systems research program in the Center to investigate the mechanisms of acute kidney injury (AKI) at the molecular and cellular level. These systems serve as stand-alone tools for discovery as well as support and compliment the established animal models in the Center. His current area of focus is on elucidating the roles and functions of the early AKI biomarkers IGFBP7 and TIMP2 in human kidney epithelial cells of proximal and distal tubule origin.


Education & Training

Degree Year Field
Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA B.S. 1990 Biology
Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Commissioned Officer 1990 Aviation
Army Aviation School, Fort Rucker, AL Army Aviator 1992 Rotary-wing Aviation
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA Ph.D. 2002 Molecular Pharmacology and Structural Biology
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA Postdoctoral 2003

Signal Transduction


Academic Honors

  • National Research Service Award (NRSA T32) grants for graduate study from the NIH (various 1997-2000)
  • Cap CURE Award for prostate cancer research, co-investigator (1998)
  • Dana Internship, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA (1988-1989)

Military Honors

  • Achievement Awards: Bronze Star Medal (1), Meritorious Service Medal (2), Army Commendation Medal (3), Army Achievement Medal (2), PA Governor's Unit Citation (1)
  • Service Awards: Iraq Campaign Medal (1), Overseas Service Medal (1), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (1), National Defense Service Medal (2), Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (3), Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with M device and Bronze Hour Glass Device), Pennsylvania Service Ribbon (1), and Pennsylvania 20 Year Service Ribbon (with Silver Star)
  • Honor Graduate, Initial Entry Rotary Wing Aviator Course, Class 91-12, Fort Rucker, AL (1992)
  • Honor and Academic Graduate, Army Aciation Officer Basic Course, Class 91-04, Fort Rucker, AL (1991)
  • Honor Graduate, John Dickinson Saber Award, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Blue Mountain Battalion, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA (1990)


My expertise is in cellular and molecular biology, with an emphasis on signal transduction.  I have over 15 years of PhD experience, and have contributed significantly to a number of successful projects and grant applications.  In 2014, I was recruited as a Research Associate by Dr. John Kellum into the Center for Critical Care Nephrology to develop an in vitro model systems program to research acute kidney injury, and I was promoted to Research Assistant Professor in February 2017.  I established an in vitro studies research program from the ground up, and have established and maintained a University approved collaboration with the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) for the receipt and processing of human kidneys for research.  Since July 2014 I have received and processed 39 human kidney samples (68 whole human kidneys) for current research and collaboration, as well as for archiving for future in vitro, proteomic, and genomic studies.  I have conceived and lead or performed all of the molecular and cellular based studies that have resulted in our first publication in 2016.  Additionally, by establishing and maintaining this human kidney tissue/cell resource, I have established no less than six separate collaborations for research that cross a gamut of kidney related diseases.