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The Johns Hopkins Cardiothoracic Residency Program is dedicated to improving surgical outcomes through innovative research. Our program consists of cardiovascular and thoracic research programs in progress at our state-of-the-art training laboratories. Learn more about our fellows' research awards.

Cardiothoracic Research Programs

We have several world-renowned and thoracic surgery research programs that promote innovation in clinical care and education. These programs include:

  • Our residents are currently investigating the novel application of nanoparticle-conjugated therapies to treat neurocognitive dysfunction following hypothermic circulatory arrest. We have discovered the ability of intravenously administered dendrimer nanoparticles to traverse the blood-brain barrier and localize to areas of injury within the brain.

  • Dr. Jennifer Lawton's lab focuses on the mechanism of action and location of action of the cardioprotective adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium channel and its exploitation for use in cardiac surgery. Multiple models are used to demonstrate these experiments.

  • Dr. Chun (Dan) W. Choi's study focuses on autoregulation of cerebral blood flow in porcine ECMO models to understand the impact of cardiac arrest patients who are resuscitated with ECMO. Autoregulation in small animals have been shown to be a strong prognostic indicator of function neurologic outcomes. Currently, there is a lack of knowledge in understanding neuroautoregulation under non-pulsatile conditions as rendered by ECMO support and its impact on autoregulation itself and clinical outcomes. This research focus will improve survival outcomes for patients who experience cardiac arrest.

  • Our researchers are continuing to make advancements in early-detection of lung cancer and improving the prognosis for patients. The Brock laboratory collaborates multiple departments for lung cancer research. Some programs include:

    • Biomarkers: This program evaluates molecular predictors of early detection of lung cancer and disease recurrence. The focus is to combine molecular predictors with “omics” and big data to exploit patterns and changes in radiological images and pathological specimens that have profound impact on clinical outcome but are invisible to the naked eye of a clinician.
    • Epigenetic Therapy: Researchers are evaluating the use of epigenetic therapy as an adjuvant treatment to decrease the likelihood of cancer recurrence after surgery.
    • Biobank Collection: The Brock Lab maintains a large prospective bank of early lung cancer specimens with blood sputa and clinical follow-up.
    • Lung Cancer and Disaster Medicine: This joint grant program with the Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology investigate the impact of stress on lung cancer tumorigenesis.
  • We continue to make improvements in the effectiveness and safety of lung transplantation for patients. Some of our clinical research topics include the following but isn't limited to:

    • Risk Factors That Increase the Chance of Developing Primary Graft Dysfunction After Lung Transplantation
    • Improving Frailty With a Rigorous Ambulation Intervention in Lung Transplant Patients
    • Examining the Effect of Nutritional Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle Mass in Patients Awaiting Lung Transplant

    View full list of clinical trials from our research



Training Laboratories

Our program conducts research at the Cardiac Surgery Research Laboratory, located in the Children's Medical and Surgical Center of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. The labs are equipped to perform cardio-pulmonary bypass procedures with continuous intensive care monitoring and data collection.

The Cardiac Surgery Skills Laboratory (CSSL)

This laboratory provides surgical skill training in a low-stress environment through the use of Chamberlain models and porcine hearts. Surgical skills that are taught include:

  • Cardiac anatomy and anomalies
  • Aortic and venous cannulation
  • Coronary anastomosis
  • Aortic valve replacement
  • Mitral valve repair/replacement

Minimally Invasive Surgery Training and Innovation Center (MISTIC)

The MISTIC facility features two laboratory training areas with a total of nine operating tables, a state-of-the-art conference room with seating for 35, locker rooms and office space. Robotic surgery may be performed in either suite. Faculty and trainers standing at the conference room's podium can view and discuss operations conducted in the next room.

Telemedicine capabilities will allow lectures to be broadcast anywhere in the world and permit physicians to direct operations in distant locations.


Resident Research Awards

View awards granted to our research fellows:

The Hugh R. Sharp, Jr. Endowed Research Fellowship in Cardiac Surgery

Established by the Sharp Foundation to recognize an investigator in cardiac surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

  • Eric Etchill, M.D.
  • Kathleen Clement, M.D.
  • David Caparrelli, M.D.
  • Brian Bethea, M.D.
  • Christopher Barreiro, M.D.
  • Lois U. Nwakanma, M.D.
  • J. Geoffrey Allen, M.D.
  • Timothy George, M.D
  • Joshua Grimm, M.D.
  • Todd Crawford, M.D.
  • Xun Zhou, M.D.

The Irene Piccinini Investigator in Cardiac Surgery

Established by the Anthony Piccinini family to annually recognize an outstanding research trainee in cardiac surgery at Johns Hopkins.

  • Katherine Giuliano, M.D.
  • Cecillia Lui, M.D.
  • Eric Peck, M.D.
  • Jay Shake, M.D.
  • Stephen Cattaneo, M.D.
  • Torin Fitton, M.D.
  • Jason Williams, M.D.
  • Eric Weiss, M.D.
  • George J. Arnaoutakis, M.D.
  • Claude Beaty, M.D.
  • J. Trent Magruder, M.D.
  • Charles Fraser, M.D.

The Joyce Koons Family Research Fellow

Established by Joyce Koons and family in 2005 to support research in the Division of Cardiac Surgery in perpetuity.

  • Alejandro Suarez Pierre, M.D.

The Martin and Vera Kohn Fellow in Cardiac Surgery

Established through gifts from Mrs. Kohn and her estate, in gratitude for the lifelong care Mr.Kohn received at Johns Hopkins.

  • Karen Velez, M.D.
  • Xun Zhou, M.D.

Download the Johns Hopkins Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Booklet

Download the PDF to learn more information about the program and faculty.


Apply to the Program

We accept applications through the National Resident Matching Program. Contact us at to learn more information about our program and the application process.

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