Richard Jonas, M.D., is emeritus chief of Cardiac Surgery and a senior investigator in the Center for Neuroscience Research. He led the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery for 16 years and built a reputation of excellence. He is a world-renowned pediatric cardiac surgeon who specialized in optimizing the developmental and cognitive outcomes of patients after surgery for congenital heart disease throughout his career. He pioneered corrective surgery, personally performing more than 350 complex congenital reconstructive procedures annually.
Dr. Jonas 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 helped in the development of a number of international cardiac surgical programs around the world and is a coveted international speaker. He is the recipient of the 2019 Newburger-Bellinger Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Award, which was established in 2013 by the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative (CNOC) to honor Jane Newburger and David Bellinger, pioneers in research designed to understand and improve neurodevelopmental outcomes for children with heart disease. 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.