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David Joel Hackam, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. David Joel Hackam, M.D., Ph.D.

Surgeon-in-Chief, Johns Hopkins Children's Center

Professor of Surgery


Expertise: Crohn's Disease, Diaphragmatic Hernia, General Surgery, Necrotizing Enterocolitis, Neonatal Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Short Bowel Syndrome, Tracheoesophageal Fistula more

Research Interests: Traumatic intestinal injury; Tracheoesophageal fistula; Diaphragmatic hernia; Phagocytosis in neonatal inflammation; Intestinal epithelial cells under conditions of inflammation; Short bowel syndrome; Crohn's disease; Necrotizing enterocolitis more

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)
Appointment Phone: 410-955-5210

1800 Orleans St.
The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center Building, Suite 7310
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-955-5210

York – WellSpan
Appointment Phone: 717-812-4390

300 Pine Grove Commons
Suite 300
York, PA 17403 map


Dr. David Hackam is surgeon-in-chief of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and the Robert Garrett professor of pediatric surgery. A leading authority on necrotizing enterocolitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases in newborns, Dr. Hackam has advanced our understanding of how these severe and sometimes fatal disorders work. He is currently devising new ways to treat them, including an innovative artificial intestine for newborns made from a biodegradable scaffold and the infant’s own gut cells. He is also exploring compounds naturally found in breast milk that may help premature infants fight necrotizing enterocolitis.

Dr. Hackam studied applied math and genetics as an undergraduate at the University of Western Ontario, where he also earned his medical degree. He combined his lifelong devotion to pediatrics with a passion for surgery to study pediatric surgery, interrupting his surgical training to gain a doctorate in cell biology from the University of Toronto in 1998. After completing his internship and residency at Toronto General Hospital, he became a fellow in pediatric surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in 2000. Dr. Hackam joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine faculty as an assistant professor in 2002. In 2004, he became co-director of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Center. He was named the Watson Family Professor of Surgery and professor of cell biology and physiology in 2010, and rose to associate dean for medical student research in 2011. He joined Johns Hopkins as surgeon-in-chief in 2014.

Dr. Hackam’s biomedical research interests revolve around the role of gene expression in intestinal inflammation in newborns, and its potential role in brain and lung injury and juvenile diabetes. His surgical research includes surgical outcomes for congenital diaphragmatic hernia, trachea-esophageal fistula and traumatic intestinal injury.

Dr. Hackam is the president of the Society of University Surgeons. His many awards and honors include a 2011 Hartwell Biomedical Research Collaboration Award to develop the artificial intestine. more


  • Surgeon-in-Chief, Johns Hopkins Children's Center
  • Professor of Surgery
  • Professor of Cell Biology



  • MD, University of Western Ontario (1992)


  • Toronto General Hospital / General Surgery (2000)


  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh-UPMC / Pediatric Surgery (2002)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery / General Surgery (2001)
  • American Board of Surgery / Pediatric Surgery (2004)

Research & Publications


David Hackam’s laboratory focuses on necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a devastating disease of premature infants and the leading cause of death and disability from gastrointestinal disease in newborns.

Lab Website: The Hackam Lab

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Neal MD, Sodhi CP, Jia H, Dyer M, Egan C, Yazji I, Good M, Afrazi A, Marino R, Slagle D, Ma C, Branca MF, Prindle T, Grant Z, Ozolek J, Hackam DJ. Toll like receptor 4 is expressed on intestinal stem cells and regulates their proliferation and apoptosis via the p53-upregulated modulator of apoptosis. J Biol Chem. 2012 Sep 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Misty Good, Richard Siggers, Chhinder P. Sodhi, Amin Afrazi, Feras Alkhudari, Charlotte E. Egan, Matthew D. Neal, Ibrahim Yazji, Hongpeng Jia, Joyce Lin, Maria F. Branca, Congrong Ma, Thomas Prindle, Zachary Grant, Sapana Shah, Dennis Slagle II, Jose Paredes, John Ozolek, George Gittes, David J. Hackam. Amniotic Fluid Inhibits Toll Like Receptor 4 Signaling in the Fetal and Neonatal Intestinal Epithelium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). In Press 2012.

Yi H, Patel AK, Sodhi CP, Hackam DJ, Hackam AS. Novel Role for the Innate Immune Receptor Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4) in the Regulation of the Wnt Signaling Pathway and Photoreceptor Apoptosis. PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e365560. Epub 2012 May 17.

Activities & Honors


  • Roberta Simmons Chair Honoree
  • Watson Award Nominee, Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society (Nominated by University of Pittsburgh medical students)
  • Who's Who in Medical Sciences Education
  • Exceptional Patient Satisfaction Award, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Excellence in Education Awards Nominee (Nominated by 1st & 2nd year medical students)
  • Outstanding Surgeon Award, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Outstanding Surgeon Award Nominee, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • First Prize - Oral Presentation, Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
  • William S. Fenwick Research Award, University of Toronto
  • First Prize - Oral Presentation, University of Toronto Annual Assembly of General Surgeons
  • Canadian Research Gold Medal for Specialty Residents in Surgery, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • Davis and Geck Award (Basic science contribution by clinical researcher), Canadian Association of General Surgeons
  • Andrew Sass-Kortsak Research Award (Nominated by all students/fellows), Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute
  • Basic Science Research Award (Abstract), Eastern Student Research Forum
  • Institute of Medical Science Research Award (Abstract), University of Toronto
  • Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons Resident Award, First Place - Oral Presentation at Annual Meeting
  • American Society for Cell Biology Predoctoral Research Award, Basic Science Competition - Abstract
  • First Prize - Basic Science Poster, Institute of Medical Science Scientific Day
  • Gallie-Batemen Research Award, University of Toronto
  • Resident Research Award for Novel Research Design and Experimentation, University of Toronto
  • University of Toronto Annual Assembly of General Surgeons, First Prize - Oral Presentation
  • Surgical Infection Society Resident Award, First Prize - Oral Presentation
  • Predoctoral Research Award, American Society of Cell Biology
  • Medical Research Council of Canada Research Fellowship
  • Resident Research Fellowship, Ethicon Society of University Surgeons
  • Hospital for Sick Children Research Fellowship
  • Province of Ontario Graduate Scholarship (Declined)
  • Laidlaw Prize - Honorable Mention, Institute of Medical Science
  • Gallie-Bateman Research Award, University of Toronto
  • Honorable Mention for Basic Science, Eastern Student Research Forum
  • Surgical Alumni Scholarship, University of Toronto
  • Research Fellowship, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Graduation Class of 1992, University of Western Ontario
  • Dean's Honor Roll, Academic Excellence in Medical School
  • Award of Academic Excellence, University of Western Ontario
  • Dean's Honor Roll, University of Western Ontario
  • Watson Chair Honoree, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Department of Surgery
  • American Surgical Association, Elected member
  • Hartwell Biomedical Research Collaboration Award, 2011


  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American College of Surgeons
    Candidate Member
  • American Gastroenterological Association
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • American Society for Cell Biology
  • American Surgical Association
  • Association for Academic Surgery
    Active Member, Nominating Committee
  • Canadian Medical Association
  • Ontario Medical Association
  • Shock Society
  • Society of University Surgeons
  • Surgical Infection Society
    Ad Hoc By-Laws Committee, Editorial Board

Professional Activities

  • President, Society of University Surgeons

Videos & Media

2017 NEC Symposium Highlight Reel

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Esteemed Surgeon-Scientist Named Pediatric Surgeon-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins

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