Richard Jonas, MD Division Chief, Cardiac Surgery



Dr. Jonas is chief of Cardiovascular Surgery and co-director of the Children's National Heart Institute. He is a world-renowned pediatric cardiac surgeon specializing in optimizing the developmental and cognitive outcomes of patients after surgery for congenital heart disease. He is a pioneer of corrective surgery, personally performing more than 350 complex congenital reconstructive procedures annually and holds the Cohen-Funger Distinguished Professorship in Cardiovascular Research.

Dr. Jonas has trained a large number of cardiothoracic surgery residents and fellows during his career and maintains active NIH-supported laboratory and clinical research programs. Dr. Jonas also has helped in the development of a number of international cardiac surgical programs around the world and is a coveted international speaker and guest surgeon. He is the author of the leading pediatric cardiovascular surgery textbook in the field, Comprehensive Surgical Management of Congenital Heart Disease. He is also a co-author of two other textbooks in pediatric cardiac surgery.

Safe cardiopulmonary bypass is critical to the success of a cardiac surgical program. Dr. Jonas maintains active laboratory and clinical research programs. He has spent his career studying ways to improve the safety of cardiopulmonary bypass, particularly as it relates to neurological development. His development of a clinical research program in cardiopulmonary bypass techniques has revolutionized the field of pediatric cardiac surgery. Using safer strategies for bypass has resulted in improved outcomes, quicker intensive care unit recovery, shorter lengths-of-stay, fewer neurological injuries, and better long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. Dr. Jonas continues to study advanced bypass techniques within the Children’s National Heart Institute in a dedicated research laboratory. He also has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Education & Training

Education & Training

  • Residency Program, Cardiothoracic Surgery, 1982
    Green Lane Hospital
  • Fellowship Program, Cardiothoracic Surgery, 1982
    Brigham & Women's Hospital
  • Residency Program, General Surgery, 1979
    Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Residency Program, General Surgery, 1978
    Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Internship Program, 1976
    Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • MD, 1974
    University of Adelaide
Patient Stories

Patient Stories: Richard Jonas

Chip Teaser Image

Chip's Story

When Chip was born just three days after Christmas, his family was excited to welcome their new son into the world. But things immediately took a turn for the worse.

boy with shovel on beach

Ryan B.'s Story

"Ryan's life had been saved by an amazing team of doctors and nurses."


Turner's Story

"These people weren't just coming to work, they had a passion for making our son healthy."

Ryan M

Ryan's Story

Ryan was born with a rare condition -- his heart developed outside his body. Find out how Children's doctors worked together to help Ryan thrive.

Ryan Morales and Kurt Newman

Ryan Morales' Story

Father and son Ryan and Alex Morales know what it’s like to spend days—even weeks in the hospital. The two have been patients at Children’s National Health System for more than 10 years. Their stories are connected by Children’s National physicians who have been treating them since 2005 and continue to see them improve and grow in more ways than one.

Patient story

Julyan's Story

"When we go to doctor visits, the staff always remembers Juju. They make you feel at home, talk to you about everything, and listen. Children's National is a great hospital. "



Research & Publications

Research & Publications

Effects of hematocrit on cerebral microcirculation and tissue oxygenation during deep hypothermic bypass

(2001) Circulation

Improving results of the modified Fontan operation in patients with heterotaxy syndrome

(2002) American Thoracic Surgery

Neurodevelopmental status at eight years in children with Dtransposition of the great arteries The Boston Circulatory Arrest Trial

(2003) Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery

Prediction of safe duration of hypothermic circulatory arrest by near infrared spectroscopy

(2001) Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery

Randomized trial of hematorit 25 vs 35 during hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass in infant heart surgery

(2008) Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery

Surgical aortic valvuloplasty in children and adolescents with aortic regurgitation acute and intermediate effects on aortic valve function and left ventricular dimensions

(2008) Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery

The influence of hemodilution on outcome after hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass Results of a randomized trial in infants

(2003) Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery

View publications on PubMed

Invest in future cures for some of life's most devastating diseases

See other ways to give

Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you.

Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you.Make it happen