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

Headshot of David Joel Hackam
  • Surgeon-in-Chief, Johns Hopkins Children's Center
  • Professor of Surgery
Male

Expertise

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

Research Interests

Necrotizing Enterocolitis; Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Short Bowel Syndrome; Artificial Intestine; Gut-Brain Disorders; Autism; Neurocognitive Impairment ...read more

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Insurance Information

Main Phone

410-955-5210

Outside of Maryland

410-464-6641
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International Patients

+1-410-502-7683
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Locations

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

Johns Hopkins Health Care and Surgery Center

6420 Rockledge Drive
Johns Hopkins Children's Center Specialists, Suite 2300
Bethesda, MD 20817 map
Phone: 443-997-5437

Background

David J. Hackam, M.D., Ph.D., is the Garrett Family Professor of Pediatric Surgery at The Johns Hopkins University, and Pediatric Surgeon-in-Chief and co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

Dr. Hackam’s clinical practice focuses on complex neonatal surgery. As pediatric surgeon in chief and co-director of the Childrens Center, Dr. Hackam oversees all perioperative clinical operations that involve children, with a strong emphasis on quality and safety, programmatic growth, and system alignment.

Dr. Hackam's research is focused on unraveling the mechanisms of necrotizing enterocolitis, which is the leading cause of death in premature infants from gastrointestinal disease. His work has identified a series of novel pathways that, in response to the abnormal microflora that characterizes the premature intestine, leads to intestinal mucosal barrier breakdown, bacterial translocation, mesenteric vasoconstriction, and NEC. In seeking to translate these findings to clinical studies, we have developed a family of molecules that can prevent NEC development, and which have in part been licensed for clinical development. In additional work, Hackam has developed a prototype artificial intestine, derived from patient-specific intestine stem cells,  which we have implanted into pre-clinical models, for the treatment of short bowel syndrome, a devastating complication of NEC. Finally, using single-cell RNA-seq and cell tracking technology, Hackam has worked towards understanding and treating NEC-associated brain injury, a major complication of NEC, and has engineered nanoparticle-packaged molecules that can cross the blood-brain barrier, and reverse the processes that lead to this disease. These studies are funded by three ro1s, a T32, a MIRA (a maximizing investigators’ research award) and 3 industry grants from companies with an interest in NEC treatment and prevention. 

Dr. Hackam seeks to work with industry partners, as well as nurses, doctors, and families of patients around the country, in order to develop novel regimens to safely and effectively deliver appropriate nutrition to the most vulnerable infants, who are at risk for the development of intestinal disease.

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Titles

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

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes

Education

Degrees

  • MD; University of Western Ontario Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (1992)

Residencies

  • General Surgery; Toronto General Hospital (2000)

Fellowships

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

Board Certifications

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

Research & Publications

Lab

The Hackam lab performs translational research into the mechanisms of necrotizing enterocolitis, which is the leading cause of death in premature infants from gastrointestinal disease. Our work has identified a series of novel pathways that, in response to the abnormal microflora that characterizes the premature intestine, leads to intestinal mucosal barrier breakdown, bacterial translocation, mesenteric vasoconstriction, and NEC. In seeking to translate these findings to clinical studies, we have developed a family of molecules that can prevent NEC development, and which have in part been licensed for clinical development. In additional work, we have developed a prototype artificial intestine, derived from patient-specific intestine stem cells,  which we have implanted into mice and piglets, for the treatment of short bowel syndrome, a devastating complication of NEC. Finally, using single-cell RNA-seq and cell tracking technology, we have worked towards understanding and treating NEC-associated brain injury, a major complication of NEC, and have engineered nanoparticle-packaged molecules that can cross the blood-brain barrier, and reverse the processes that lead to this disease. These studies are funded by three ro1s, a T32, a MIRA (a maximizing investigators’ research award), and 3 industry grants from companies with an interest in NEC treatment and prevention. 

Lab Website: The Hackam Lab

Technology Expertise Keywords

Artificial Intestine; Tissue Scaffolds; Artificial Intelligence; Drug Discovery; Organ Culture; Transplantation Models; Pre-Clinical Models of Surgical Disease

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Lu P, Yamaguchi Y, Fulton WB, Wang S, Zhou Q, Jia H, Kovler ML, Salazar AG, Sampah M, Prindle T Jr, Wipf P, Sodhi CP, Hackam DJ. Maternal aryl hydrocarbon receptor activation protects newborns against necrotizing enterocolitis. Nat Commun. 2021 Feb 15;12(1):1042. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21356-4. PMID: 33589625 Free PMC article

Zhou Q, Niño DF, Yamaguchi Y, Wang S, Fulton WB, Jia H, Lu P, Prindle T Jr, Pamies D, Morris M, Chen LL, Sodhi CP, Hackam DJ. Necrotizing enterocolitis induces T lymphocyte-mediated injury in the developing mammalian brain. Sci Transl Med. 2021 Jan 6;13(575):eaay6621. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aay6621. PMID: 33408187

Kovler ML, Sodhi CP, Hackam DJ. Precision-based modeling approaches for necrotizing enterocolitis. Dis Model Mech. 2020 Jun 24;13(6):dmm044388. doi: 10.1242/dmm.044388. PMID: 32764156 Free PMC article. Review

Banfield E, Fulton W, Burd I, Kovler ML, Sodhi CP, Hackam DJ. The role of in utero endotoxin exposure in the development of inflammatory bowel disease in mice. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2020 Oct;84(4):e13302. doi: 10.1111/aji.13302. Epub 2020 Aug 4

Kovler ML, Hackam DJ. Generating an Artificial Intestine for the Treatment of Short Bowel Syndrome. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2019 Dec;48(4):585-605. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2019.08.011. Epub 2019 Oct 4

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Activities & Honors

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

Memberships

  • 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
    Treasurer
  • Surgical Infection Society
    Ad Hoc By-Laws Committee, Editorial Board

Professional Activities

  • Past President, Society of University Surgeons

Videos & Media

Play Video:

2017 NEC Symposium Highlight Reel

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Esteemed Surgeon-Scientist Named Pediatric Surgeon-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins (August 18, 2014)

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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