David E. Leaf, MD, MMSc

Principal Investigator


Dr. Leaf grew up in Westchester, NY, and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He trained at New York University (NYU) for medical school, where he graduated with honors; at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center for Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine; and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital for Fellowship in Nephrology. During his Fellowship, Dr. Leaf trained in Dr. Sushrut Waikar’s laboratory, and obtained a Master of Medical Science (MMSc) degree in Clinical Investigation from Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Leaf conducts patient-oriented research in acute kidney injury (AKI) and critical illness. He uses epidemiologic, translational, genetic, and interventional approaches to address clinically important questions in patients with AKI. Current areas of investigation include dysregulated mineral and iron homeostasis/metabolism as novel pathways and potential therapeutic targets in AKI, as well as investigation of the nephrotoxicity of cancer therapies.

Dr. Leaf is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of Clinical and Translational Research in Acute Kidney Injury in the Division of Renal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received a Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant from the American Society of Nephrology, and is the principal investigator on several NIH research grants, including three R01 awards. He is an Associate Editor at Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, and also serves on the Editorial Board of Kidney International. He also previously served for 5 years as a member of the Mass General Brigham Institutional Review Board. His publications have appeared in leading medical journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, BMJ, Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA Internal Medicine, and Nature Medicine. His research has been featured in national media including The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, NPR, and Scientific American.

Dr. Leaf is passionate about academic nephrology, and has received research and teaching awards from NYU, Columbia, and Harvard. He enjoys spending time with his wife (Rebecca), his two children (Emma and Teddy), and his cat (Winston), as well as traveling, skiing, swimming, and playing chess.