James Kemp, M.D.  jskemp@wustl.edu

Professor of Pediatrics, Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine
Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine

phone: (314) 454-2694

Clinical Interests

Dr. Kemp is a Professor of Pediatrics and a member of the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine. He has been a practicing academic pulmonologist in St. Louis since 1988. Dr. Kemp attended undergraduate and medical school at Creighton University. He completed his pediatric training at St. Louis University and Baylor College of Medicine, where he was also a fellow in Pulmonary Medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kemp has been board-certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Pulmonology and in Sleep Medicine. In addition to being a general pulmonologist, Dr. Kemp is co-director of the Sleep Laboratory at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Medical Director of the Sleep Disorders Clinic. Before returning to Houston for subspecialty training in 1985, Dr. Kemp was a pediatrician for 6 years in rural South Dakota, in Pine Ridge and Mitchell. Dr. Kemp’s early research, in conjunction with Dr. Bradley Thach, focused on mechanisms of sudden infant death related to sleep position. Currently, in addition to several clinical research projects on sleep and control of ventilation in children, his research includes participation as a co-investigator on the NHLBI-funded Prematurity and Respiratory Outcomes Project. Dr. Kemp's role is to develop novel phenotypic descriptions of chronic lung disease that can be linked to novel pathogenetic mechanisms.


  • B.S., cum laude , Creighton University1972
  • M.D., Creighton University1976


  • Intern, Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital1976 - 1977
  • Resident, Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital1977 - 1978
  • Resident, Baylor College of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals1978 - 1979
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital1985 - 1988

Licensure and Board Certification

  • American Board of Pediatrics, #25549. 1981
  • Board Certified in Sleep Medicine. ABP ID# 41198 Diplomate #30 in Sleep Medicine through 2017
  • Board-Certified in Pediatric Pulmonology, #316, 1992. Renewal of Certification, 6/29/2000, 10/2010
  • Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts, #R7H69


  • Edward Livingston Trudeau Scholar, American Lung Association1994
  • “Best Doctors in America”2002 - 2015

Recent Publications view all (47)

Publication Co-Authors

  1. Coste F, Ferkol T, Hamvas A, Cleveland C, Linneman L, Hoffman J, Kemp J. Ventilatory control and supplemental oxygen in premature infants with apparent chronic lung disease. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2015;100(3):F233-7. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2014-307272  PMID:25716677  
  2. Pryhuber GS, Maitre NL, Ballard RA, Cifelli D, Davis SD, Ellenberg JH, Greenberg JM, Kemp J, Mariani TJ, Panitch H, Ren C, Shaw P, Taussig LM, Hamvas A, Prematurity and Respiratory Outcomes Program Investigators. Prematurity and respiratory outcomes program (PROP): study protocol of a prospective multicenter study of respiratory outcomes of preterm infants in the United States. BMC Pediatr. 2015;15(1):37. doi:10.1186/s12887-015-0346-3  PMCID:PMC4407843  PMID:25886363  
  3. Johnston TP, Tam-Williams J, Schmandt M, Patel AC, Cleveland C, Coste F, Kemp JS. Behavioral Hyperventilation and Central Sleep Apnea in Two Children. J Clin Sleep Med. 2015;11(4):487-9. PMCID:PMC4365463  PMID:26106657  
  4. Coverstone AM, Bird M, Sicard M, Tao Y, Grange DK, Cleveland C, Molter D, Kemp JS. Overnight pulse oximetry for evaluation of sleep apnea among children with trisomy 21. J Clin Sleep Med. 2014;10(12):1309-15. doi:10.5664/jcsm.4286  PMCID:PMC4237524  PMID:25325597  
  5. Shapiro-Mendoza CK, Hauck FR, Kemp J. Limitations of the SUID Case Registry classification system E-letter. 2014. 
  6. Shapiro-Mendoza CK, Camperlengo L, Ludvigsen R, Cottengim C, Anderson RN, Andrew T, Covington T, Hauck FR, Kemp J, MacDorman M. Classification system for the Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Case Registry and its application. Pediatrics. 2014;134(1):e210-9. doi:10.1542/peds.2014-0180  PMCID:PMC4311566  PMID:24913798  
  7. Ulm LN, Hamvas A, Ferkol TW, Rodriguez OM, Cleveland CM, Linneman LA, Hoffmann JA, Sicard-Su MJ, Kemp JS. Sources of methodological variability in phase angles from respiratory inductance plethysmography in preterm infants. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2014;11(5):753-60. doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201310-363OC  PMID:24716708  
  8. Kemp JS, Thach BT, Psara R, Graham MA. Estimating asphyxial threat when investigating a sudden and unexpected infant death. In Revision Academic Forensic Pathology Journal. 2014. 
  9. Chuen-im P, Marwan S, Carter J, Kemp J, Rivera-Spoljaric K. Heterozygous 24-polyalanine repeats in the PHOX2B gene with different manifestations across three generations. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2014;49(2):E13-6. doi:10.1002/ppul.22731  PMID:23460419  
  10. Kemp JS, Thach BT, Tillman MA. SIDS and sudden infant death during sleep. Pediatric Update. 2013;34. 
  11. Mullin JE, Cooper BP, Kirkham FJ, Rosen CL, Strunk RC, DeBaun MR, Redline S, Kemp JS. Stability of polysomnography for one year and longer in children with sickle cell disease. J Clin Sleep Med. 2012;8(5):535-9. doi:10.5664/jcsm.2150  PMCID:PMC3459199  PMID:23066365  
  12. Mullin JE, Cooper B, Seicean S, Strunk R, Rosen C, Redline S, Kemp J, DeBaun MR. Variability of pulse oximetry measurement over 1 year in children with sickle cell disease depends on initial oxygen saturation measurement. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010;54(7):1017-9. doi:10.1002/pbc.22420  PMCID:PMC2946164  PMID:20135701  
  13. Kemp JS. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize. (Invited editorial on bedsharing and breast feeding) J Pediatr . 2009;155:462-3. 
  14. Noyes BE, Kemp JS. Vocal cord dysfunction in children. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2007;8(2):155-63. doi:10.1016/j.prrv.2007.05.004  PMID:17574160  
  15. Kemp JS. Asymmetric heads and failure to climb stairs. J Pediatr. 2006;149(5):594-5. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2006.06.043  PMID:17095324  
  16. Jamshidi PB, Peter JR, Kemp JS. A randomized, controlled trial of the effect of humidified air in mild to moderate croup: evaluation using croup scores and respiratory inductance plethysmography Cochran Review . 2006;49(4):79a. 
  17. American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The changing concept of sudden infant death syndrome: diagnostic coding shifts, controversies regarding the sleeping environment, and new variables to consider in reducing risk. Pediatrics. 2005;116(5):1245-55. doi:10.1542/peds.2005-1499  PMID:16216901  
  18. Kemp JS. Fifty years ago in The Journal of Pediatrics : Sudden death in infants J Pediatr . 2004;145:321-2. 
  19. Vemulapalli C, Grady K, Kemp JS. Use of safe cribs and bedroom size among African American infants with a high rate of bed sharing. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158(3):286-9. doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.3.286  PMID:14993090  
  20. Scheers NJ, Rutherford GW, Kemp JS. Where should infants sleep? A comparison of risk for suffocation of infants sleeping in cribs, adult beds, and other sleeping locations. Pediatrics. 2003;112(4):883-9. PMID:14523181  
  21. Albers GM, Kemp JS. Fifty years ago in The Journal of Pediatrics: Functional disorders of the larynx in early infancy J Pediatr . 2003;142:401. 
  22. Kemp JS. Omigosh, not home sleep studies! J Pediatr. 2003;142(4):364-5. doi:10.1067/mpd.2003.183  PMID:12712050  
  23. Unger B, Kemp JS, Wilkins D, Psara R, Ledbetter T, Graham M, Case M, Thach BT. Racial disparity and modifiable risk factors among infants dying suddenly and unexpectedly. Pediatrics. 2003;111(2):E127-31. PMID:12563085  
  24. Lenke LG, White DK, Kemp JS, Bridwell KH, Blanke KM, Engsberg JR. Evaluation of ventilatory efficiency during exercise in patients with idiopathic scoliosis undergoing spinal fusion. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2002;27(18):2041-5. PMID:12634566  
  25. Flick L, Vemulapalli C, Stulac BB, Kemp JS. The influence of grandmothers and other senior caregivers on sleep position used by African American infants. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(11):1231-7. PMID:11695932  
  26. Flick L, White DK, Vemulapalli C, Stulac BB, Kemp JS. Sleep position and the use of soft bedding during bed sharing among African American infants at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome. J Pediatr. 2001;138(3):338-43. doi:10.1067/mpd.2001.111428  PMID:11241039  
  27. Kemp JS, Unger B, Wilkins D, Psara RM, Ledbetter TL, Graham MA, Case M, Thach BT. Unsafe sleep practices and an analysis of bedsharing among infants dying suddenly and unexpectedly: results of a four-year, population-based, death-scene investigation study of sudden infant death syndrome and related deaths. Pediatrics. 2000;106(3):E41. PMID:10969125  
  28. Carolan PL, Wheeler WB, Ross JD, Kemp JS. Potential to prevent rebreathing of commercial products marketed to reduce sudden infant death syndrome risk Pediatrics. 2000;105:774-9. 
  29. Cohen AH, Mallory GB Jr, Ross K, White DK, Mendeloff E, Huddleston CB, Kemp JS. Growth of lungs after transplantation in infants and in children younger than 3 years of age. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999;159(6):1747-51. doi:10.1164/ajrccm.159.6.9806157  PMID:10351913  
  30. Hauck FR, Kemp JS. Bedsharing promotes breastfeeding and AAP Task Force on Infant Positioning and SIDS. Pediatrics. 1998;102(3 Pt 1):662-4. PMID:9738199  
  31. Scheers NJ, Dayton CM, Kemp JS. Sudden infant death with external airways covered: case-comparison study of 206 deaths in the United States. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998;152(6):540-7. PMID:9641706  
  32. Kemp JS, Livne M, White DK, Arfken CL. Softness and potential to cause rebreathing: Differences in bedding used by infants at high and low risk for sudden infant death syndrome. J Pediatr. 1998;132(2):234-9. PMID:9506633  
  33. 11. Thach BT, Kemp JS, Lijowska A. How does prone sleeping increase prevalence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? Pediatr Pulmonol . 1997;suppl:123-124. 
  34. Kemp JS. Rebreathing of exhaled gases: importance as a mechanism for the causal association between prone sleep and sudden infant death syndrome. Sleep. 1996;19(10 Suppl):S263-6. PMID:9085527  
  35. Kemp JS. Sudden infant death syndrome: the role of bedding revisited. J Pediatr. 1996;129(6):946-7. PMID:8969748  
  36. Kemp JS. Obstructive sleep apnea and sickle cell disease. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 1996;18(2):104-5. PMID:8846119  
  37. Sprague D, Richardson MS, Baish JW, Kemp JS. A new system to record reliable pulse oximetry data from the Nellcor N-200 and its applications in studies of variability in infant oxygenation. J Clin Monit. 1996;12(1):17-25. PMID:8732812  
  38. Mullins D, Livne M, Mallory GB Jr, Kemp JS. A new technique for transbronchial biopsy in infants and small children. Pediatr Pulmonol. 1995;20(4):253-7. PMID:8606855  
  39. Kemp JS, Thach BT. Quantifying the potential of infant bedding to limit CO2 dispersal and factors affecting rebreathing in bedding. J Appl Physiol. 1995;78(2):740-5. PMID:7759448  
  40. Kemp JS, Nelson VE, Thach BT. Physical properties of bedding that may increase risk of sudden infant death syndrome in prone-sleeping infants. Pediatr Res. 1994;36(1 Pt 1):7-11. doi:10.1203/00006450-199407001-00002  PMID:7936840  
  41. Kemp JS, Thach BT. The risk of sudden infant death. N Engl J Med. 1994;330(1):63; author reply 64. PMID:8259149  
  42. Kemp JS, Kowalski RM, Burch PM, Graham MA, Thach BT. Unintentional suffocation by rebreathing: a death scene and physiologic investigation of a possible cause of sudden infant death. J Pediatr. 1993;122(6):874-80. PMID:8501562  
  43. Kemp JS, Thach BT. A sleep position-dependent mechanism for infant death on sheepskins. Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(6):642-6. PMID:8506832  
  44. Rogers BB, Browning I, Rosenblatt H, McClain K, Kemp J, Glasser LL, Gresik MV, Sumaya C, Wagner ML, Pollack MS. A familial lymphoproliferative disorder presenting with primary pulmonary manifestations. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992;145(1):203-8. doi:10.1164/ajrccm/145.1.203  PMID:1309966  
  45. Kemp JS, Thach BT. Sudden death in infants sleeping on polystyrene-filled cushions. N Engl J Med. 1991;324(26):1858-64. doi:10.1056/NEJM199106273242605  PMID:2041551  
  46. Peter JR, Kemp JS. LEOPARD syndrome: death because of chronic respiratory insufficiency. Am J Med Genet. 1990;37(3):340-1. doi:10.1002/ajmg.1320370309  PMID:2260561  
  47. Brennan, C., Ulm, L., Julian, S., Hamvas, A., Ferkol, T., Cleveland, C., Linneman, L., Hoffman, J., Kemp, J. Oxyhemoglobin saturation and chest wall stability of infants supported by high-flow nasal cannula, submitted March 15, 2015 Pediatr Pulmomol. 
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