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Dr. Jennifer Lawton Appointed Chief of Cardiac Surgery

Jennifer Lawton Headshot

I am pleased to announce that Jennifer Lawton, M.D., has been appointed as professor and chief of the Johns Hopkins Division of Cardiac Surgery. She assumes these positions on Dec. 1, taking up the mantle from Duke Cameron, M.D.

Currently, Dr. Lawton is the director of the Cardiac Surgery Research Laboratory and will assume leadership roles as the program director for the cardiothoracic fellowship training program in 2017. She specializes in adult cardiac surgery, including coronary artery bypass, aortic and mitral valves, and aortic aneurysms and dissection. She uses innovative techniques, such as minimally invasive valve and off-pump coronary artery surgery, a variation of coronary artery bypass graft surgery without the use of the heart-lung machine, which has been shown to have better results for women postoperatively.

Widely published, she has many clinical research interests, including women and heart disease, and gender differences in cardiac surgery. She has spent much of her career raising awareness of heart disease as the leading cause of death for adult women in the United States through her advocacy as a leading authority with the American Heart Association.

As a funded surgeon-scientist, she studies protection of the heart muscle by examining the responses of isolated heart cells (myocytes) in response to stress and the role of a cardioprotective ion channel in the heart.

In addition to being an outstanding surgeon and researcher, Dr. Lawton is an exceptional leader. Her leadership roles have included chair of the Basic Science Surgery Study Section of the American Heart Association, vice chair of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Thoracic Residency Review Committee, president of Women in Thoracic Surgery, multiple national editorial board positions and leadership posts in national cardiothoracic surgical societies.

Dr. Lawton earned her medical degree from Hahnemann University. She completed her surgical residency at the Medical College of Virginia and a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins, Dr. Lawton was at Washington University for 15 years.

I would like to thank Dr. Cameron, a longtime Johns Hopkins surgeon, for his immeasurable contributions to the Division of Cardiac Surgery and Johns Hopkins Medicine. As we transition to new leadership, we feel Dr. Lawton’s extensive background and innovative leadership will serve her well in her new role. 

Best Regards,