James Kemp, M.D.  jskemp@wustl.edu

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Professor of Pediatrics, Allergy and Pulmonary Medicine
Allergy 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-principal investigator on the NHLBI-funded Physiologic Biomarkers Predicting Ventilatory Instability and Hypoxemia in Premature Infants. Dr. Kemp's role is to develop novel physiologic biomarkers for abnormal maturation of ventilatory control.


  • BS, cum laude , Creighton University1972
  • MD, 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

Honors and Awards

  • Edward Livingston Trudeau Scholar, American Lung Association1994
  • “Best Doctors in America”2002 - 2018

Recent Publications view all (66)

Publication Co-Authors

  1. Pulmonary function tests in extremely low gestational age infants at one year of age. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2022;57(2):435-447. PMID:34779149 
  2. Infant pulmonary function tests in extremely low gestational age infants at one year of age 2021. 
  3. Prematurity, the diagnosis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and maturation of ventilatory control. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2021;56(11):3533-3545. PMID:34042316 
  4. First Time Wheezing in a 2-Year-Old. Pediatrics. 2021;148(1). PMID:34158315 
  5. Infant pulmonary function tests in extremely low gestational age infants 2020. 
  6. Targeting the pregnane X receptor using microbial metabolite mimicry. EMBO Mol Med. 2020;12(4):e11621. PMCID:PMC7136958  PMID:32153125 
  7. Life on the edge: Compensatory growth and feeding rates at environmental extremes mediates potential ecosystem engineering by an invasive bivalve. Sci Total Environ. 2020;706:135741. PMID:31791790 
  8. Postmenstrual age at discharge in premature infants with and without ventilatory pattern instability. J Perinatol. 2020;40(1):157-162. PMID:31611617 
  9. Postmenstrual age at discharge in premature infants with and without ventilatory pattern instability 2019. PMID:31611617  
  10. Pre-Vent: the prematurity-related ventilatory control study. Pediatr Res. 2019;85(6):769-776. PMCID:PMC6503843  PMID:30733614 
  11. Quantifying ventilatory control stability from spontaneous sigh responses during sleep: a comparison of two approaches. Physiol Meas. 2018;39(11):114005. PMID:30465721 
  12. Quantifying ventilatory control stability from spontaneous sigh responses during sleep: a comparison of two approaches 2018. PMID:30465721  
  13. Tidal Breathing Measurements at Discharge and Clinical Outcomes in Extremely Low Gestational Age Neonates 2018. PMCID:PMC6322016  PMID:30088802  
  14. Assessing ventilatory instability using the response to spontaneous sighs during sleep in preterm infants. Sleep. 2018;41(11). PMCID:PMC6231524  PMID:30137560 
  15. Tidal Breathing Measurements at Discharge and Clinical Outcomes in Extremely Low Gestational Age Neonates. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2018;15(11):1311-1319. PMCID:PMC6322016  PMID:30088802 
  16. Assessing ventilatory instability using the response to spontaneous sighs during sleep in preterm infants 2018. PMCID:PMC6231524   PMID:30137560  
  17. Quality of Life With PAP Therapy for Obese Children. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(3):307-308. PMCID:PMC5837831  PMID:29458709 
  18. 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 
  19. 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 
  20. Behavioral Hyperventilation and Central Sleep Apnea in Two Children. J Clin Sleep Med. 2015;11(4):487-9. PMCID:PMC4365463  PMID:26106657 
  21. 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 
  22. Limitations of the SUID Case Registry classification system E-letter. 2014. 
  23. Cerebral tissue oxygenation index and SIDS. Pediatrics. 2014;134(3):598-9. PMID:25157009 
  24. 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 
  25. 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 
  26. Estimating asphyxial threat when investigating a sudden and unexpected infant death. In Revision Academic Forensic Pathology Journal. 2014. 
  27. 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 
  28. SIDS and sudden infant death during sleep. Pediatric Update. 2013;34. 
  29. 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 
  30. 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 
  31. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize. (Invited editorial on bedsharing and breast feeding) J Pediatr . 2009;155:462-3. 
  32. Vocal cord dysfunction in children. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2007;8(2):155-63. doi:10.1016/j.prrv.2007.05.004  PMID:17574160 
  33. Asymmetric heads and failure to climb stairs. J Pediatr. 2006;149(5):594-5. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2006.06.043  PMID:17095324 
  34. 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. 
  35. 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 
  36. Fifty years ago in The Journal of Pediatrics : Sudden death in infants J Pediatr . 2004;145:321-2. 
  37. 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 
  38. 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 
  39. Fifty years ago in The Journal of Pediatrics: Functional disorders of the larynx in early infancy J Pediatr . 2003;142:401. 
  40. Omigosh, not home sleep studies! J Pediatr. 2003;142(4):364-5. doi:10.1067/mpd.2003.183  PMID:12712050 
  41. Racial disparity and modifiable risk factors among infants dying suddenly and unexpectedly. Pediatrics. 2003;111(2):E127-31. PMID:12563085 
  42. 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 
  43. 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 
  44. 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 
  45. 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 
  46. Potential to prevent rebreathing of commercial products marketed to reduce sudden infant death syndrome risk Pediatrics. 2000;105:774-9. 
  47. 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 
  48. Bedsharing promotes breastfeeding and AAP Task Force on Infant Positioning and SIDS. Pediatrics. 1998;102(3 Pt 1):662-4. PMID:9738199 
  49. 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 
  50. 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 
  51. How does prone sleeping increase prevalence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? Pediatr Pulmonol . 1997;suppl:123-124. 
  52. Sudden infant death syndrome: the role of bedding revisited. J Pediatr. 1996;129(6):946-7. PMID:8969748 
  53. 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 
  54. Obstructive sleep apnea and sickle cell disease. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 1996;18(2):104-5. PMID:8846119 
  55. 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 
  56. A new technique for transbronchial biopsy in infants and small children. Pediatr Pulmonol. 1995;20(4):253-7. PMID:8606855 
  57. 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 
  58. 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 
  59. The risk of sudden infant death. N Engl J Med. 1994;330(1):63; author reply 64. PMID:8259149 
  60. 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 
  61. A sleep position-dependent mechanism for infant death on sheepskins. Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(6):642-6. PMID:8506832 
  62. 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 
  63. Sudden death in infants sleeping on polystyrene-filled cushions. N Engl J Med. 1991;324(26):1858-64. doi:10.1056/NEJM199106273242605  PMID:2041551 
  64. LEOPARD syndrome: death because of chronic respiratory insufficiency. Am J Med Genet. 1990;37(3):340-1. doi:10.1002/ajmg.1320370309  PMID:2260561 
  65. Oxyhemoglobin saturation and chest wall stability of infants supported by high-flow nasal cannula, submitted March 15, 2015 Pediatr Pulmomol. PMID:28013296 
  66. Post-menstrual age at discharge premature infants with and without ventilatory pattern instability. Submitted, March, 2018. J Pediatr. 
Last updated: 10/21/2022
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