Jason Umans
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Jason Umans

Scientific Director, Biomarker, Biochemistry, and Biorepository Core

Jason G. Umans, MD, PhD, is scientific director of the Biomarker, Biochemistry, and Biorepository Core and of the Field Studies Division and Phoenix Field Office at MedStar Health Research Institute. He directs the Translational Workforce and Mentored Career Development (KL2) programs in the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) and is co-director of the pre- and post-doctoral (TL1) training programs. In addition, he is an associate professor of Medicine and of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University.

As an experienced clinical and translational investigator, Dr. Umans is committed to multidisciplinary team science. At the Research Institute, his core laboratory has primary responsibility for sample acquisition, processing, transport, storage, and assay procedures for several large NIH-supported observational studies and clinical trials. These responsibilities include overseeing the design of complex multisite sample collection, processing, and transport protocols; training and supervising field and laboratory staff; coordinating activities with multidisciplinary, geographically dispersed study teams; and providing rigorous quality control. Dr. Umans has expertise in developing, validating, and adapting new assays using multiple laboratory techniques and instrument platforms.

His research has been continuously-supported by NIH and non-profit sponsors for over 30 years. His commitment to training and nurturing the next generation of researchers includes his creation of the MedStar Research Scholars Program, his GHUCCTS training activities, his service as Director of Graduate Studies for the MS program in Clinical and Translational Research at Georgetown, his leadership of GHUCCTS programs for mentor training, along with leadership roles in the national CTSA training program and his own mentorship of postdoctoral and junior faculty colleagues from multiple disciplines. His NIH-supported research is currently focused primarily on genetic, lifestyle, and environmental mechanisms contributing to cardiovascular disease and health disparities in Native populations.

Dr. Umans has been board-certified in internal medicine, nephrology, clinical pharmacology, and as a clinical hypertension specialist. He is internationally recognized as an expert in medical disorders during pregnancy, particularly hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease.

He has published more than 270 peer-reviewed articles, on topics including vascular biology, pharmacokinetic modeling, drug assay development, obstetric and fetal pharmacology, neuropharmacology, vascular and renal physiology, hemodynamic regulation, inflammatory mechanisms, diabetes, kidney, and cardiovascular disease and health disparities. He also has written book chapters and review articles, and has spoken widely on clinical pharmacology, hypertension, diabetes, and renal disease in pregnancy, and on cardiovascular disease, pharmacotherapy, and health disparities.

Dr. Umans received his PhD in Pharmacology and Biomathematics as well as his MD from Cornell University. He completed a residency in medicine and a fellowship in nephrology at the University of Chicago.

Research Interests

Dr. Umans' research interests include:

  • Medical disorders in pregnancy, including hypertension, diabetes, and kidney diseases.
  • Obstetric and cardiovascular pharmacology
  • Hypertension, kidney, and cardiovascular diseases
  • Basic, translational, and clinical pharmacology
  • Health disparities and health equity
  • Vascular biology
  • Environmental toxicology
  • Biomarker development and validation

Selected Research

Cardiovascular Disease in American Indians: The Strong Heart Study

Dr. Umans is a principal investigator in the Strong Heart Study, a longitudinal study of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors in American Indians. This study serves as a resource for ancillary studies and collaborating investigators.

Additional studies focused on American Indian and Alaska Native Health

Dr. Umans is co-investigator on seven additional grants, supported by the NHLBI, NIEHS, NIDDK NIA, and NIMHD, all focused on aspects of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke or fatty liver disease affecting American Indians or Alaska Natives. 

Remote outcomes of pregnancies affected by diabetes

Dr. Umans is co-investigator in an NIDDK-supported study of the transgenerational effect of maternal diabetes on cardiometabolic health of offspring.

View Dr. Umans' publications on PubMed.

Research Areas

  • Cardiovascular
    Core Services
    Critical Care/Emergency Medicine
    Maternal-Fetal/Women’s Health
    Other Medical
    Health Equity
    Population Health