Lewis Hartley Romer, M.D.

Headshot of Lewis Hartley Romer
  • Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Languages: English, Hebrew, Yiddish


Acute Lung Injury (ALI), Anesthesiology, Critical Care, Pediatric Burns, Pediatric Trauma, Pulmonary Hypertension, Traumatic Brain Injury ...read more

Research Interests

Cytoskeletal biology; Endothelial cell adhesion; Responses of vascular systems to disease and injury; Postoperative management following pediatric cardiac surgery; Advocacy and Communication in the PICU; Vascular Biology and Regenerative Medicine ...read more

Request an Appointment

Insurance Information

Main Phone

Outside of Maryland & Washington D.C.

Request Appointment

International Patients

Request Appointment


The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 410-955-6412
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287
Fax: 410-614-2911
The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance) - Google Maps


Lew Romer has been an attending physician in the PICU since 2000. He is also a Co-Leader of the Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension Program. As a senior faculty member in the PICU, Dr. Romer ensures that patients receive timely and outstanding quality of care. He oversees a patient’s entire care team, which includes fellows, junior faculty, residents, nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and Child Life specialists. He also forms treatment plans collaboratively with colleagues and other consultants in the treatment of pediatric patients with pulmonary hypertension.

Dr. Romer has a research program that focuses on the study of endothelial cells – the cells that line all blood vessels. Endothelial cells are finely tuned to regulate the delivery of nutrients to cells, to serve as a barrier between the bloodstream and the tissues that make up all organ systems, and to ensure the unimpeded supply of blood flow. His laboratory team investigates endothelial cell adhesion and signaling during health and disease and works on tissue engineering blood vessels for both regenerative medicine and diagnostic drug-testing applications. Understanding how to optimize blood vessel function is a ubiquitous theme in the care of patients with critical illness. His work will increase our knowledge of how to improve blood vessel function, both through medications that regulate vessel caliber and by engineering new blood vessels that can increase blood supply to organs at-risk. He is also involved in research efforts to examine specific pharmacotherapies for pulmonary hypertension in children.

Dr. Romer sees himself as both a micro- and macro-environmentalist. On the micro-scale, he studies the matrix environment in which cells live and how it changes the behavior and effectiveness of cells that form blood vessels. This microenvironment changes as a result of disease and disease therapy. He hopes to restore this microenvironment to normality or even to a state of super-normal potential for regeneration. On the macro scale, he is interested in creating a supportive educational environment for all caregivers in the PICU who must deal with extremely stressful situations. He believes that if we can create optimal educational tools and environmental cues for trainees and practitioners, we can better equip them to deal with the extremely challenging events that occur in the PICU. This will enable clinicians to focus better and provide better care.

In his job, Dr. Romer enjoys taking care of children and their families and coordinating the team effort that it requires. He also enjoys teaching, scientific and translational research, and helping to foster the professional development of colleagues. When he is away from work, he enjoys Jewish studies, community service, thinking about the challenges that as yet have no answers, drawing, painting, bicycling, and making music.

Dr. Romer attended Dartmouth College for undergraduate studies and then Dartmouth Medical School. He earned his MD in 1981 and went on to receive pediatric training at the University of Utah Primary Children’s Hospital. After a three-year stint in private practice as a general pediatrician/ NICU director/ PICU co-director/ and children’s air and ground transport service director in Northern Lower Michigan, he did a fellowship in pediatric critical care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (1987-1989) and a research fellowship in integrin-mediated adhesion and signaling at the Wistar Institute (1989-1990).  His early years as a journeyman faculty investigator were spent in the lab of Professor Keith Burridge at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, while Dr. Romer served as the Division Chief and Fellowship Director for Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.

...read more


  • Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor of Cell Biology
  • Professor of Pediatrics

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth (1981)


  • Pediatrics; The University of Utah (1984)


  • Pediatric Critical Care Medicine; The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (1989)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pediatrics (Pediatric Critical Care Medicine) (1992)
  • American Board of Pediatrics (Pediatrics) (1985)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Romer is a vascular biologist. His research focuses on responses of vascular systems to disease and injury. He has been working with a team of scientists to discover new therapies for treating cardiovascular disease that could be used in conjunction with statins and exercise.


Lab Website: Lew Romer

Selected Publications

Pahapale, G.P., Tao, J., Nikolic, M., Gao, S., Scarcelli, G., Sun, S., Romer, L.H.*, Gracias, D.H.* Directing Multicellular Organization by Varying the Aspect Ratio of Soft Hydrogel Microwells. Advanced Science, Accepted, March 2022

Jin, Q., Bhatta, A., Pagaduan, J.P., Chen, X., West-Foyle, H., Liu, J., Hou, A., Berkowitz, D., Kuo, S.C., Askin. F.B., Nguyen, T.D., Gracias, D.H.*, Romer, L.H.* Biomimetic human small muscular pulmonary arteries. Science Advances, Mar 25;6(13):eaaz2598, 2020. PMID: 32232160  PMCID: PMC7096158  DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz2598

Pandey, D., Nomura, Y., 2 , Rossberg, M.C., Hori, D., Bhatta, A., Keceli, G., Leucker, T., Santhanam, L., Shimoda, L., Berkowitz, D., Romer, L. Hypoxia Triggers SENP1 (Sentrin-Specific Protease 1) Modulation of KLF15 (Kruppel-Like Factor 15) and Transcriptional Regulation of Arg2 (Arginase 2) in Pulmonary Endothelium, Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. Apr;38(4):913-926, 2018. PMID: 29472234 PMCID: PMC6738933  DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.117.310660

Unegbu C, Noje C, Coulson JD, Segal JB, Romer L. Pulmonary Hypertension Therapy and a Systematic Review of Efficacy and Safety of PDE-5 Inhibitors. Pediatrics. Mar;139(3):e20161450, 2017. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-1450.  PMID: 28235796

Lemmon, C.A. and Romer, L.H. A predictive model of cell traction forces based on cell geometry. Biophysical Journal. Nov 3;99(9):L78-80, 2010. PMID: 21044567 PMCID: PMC2966001 DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.09.024

Activities & Honors


  • America’s Best Doctors, 2007
  • Senior International Fellowship, NIH Fogarty International Center, 1999 - 2002
  • Michael Visiting Professorship, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, 1999
  • Physician's Recognition Award, American Medical Association, 1998 - 2001
  • Jefferson-Pilot Fellowship Award, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 1995
  • Davis Award, American Lung Association, NC Chapter, 1994
  • University of North Carolina nominee for competition for Pew Scholars Program, 1992
  • Junior Faculty Development Award, University of North Carolina, 1991
  • Ciba Award for Community Service, Dartmouth Medical School, 1981
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Dartmouth Medical School, 1981
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Dartmouth College, 1977
  • Summa Cum Laude, Dartmouth College, 1977
  • Senior Fellowship for research and thesis work in medieval studies, Dartmouth College, 1976 - 1977
  • Rufus Choate Scholar, Dartmouth College, 1974 - 1977
  • Selection of work by the Faculty of 1000 (F1000) November 11, 2010, top 2% of publications in biology, for Biophys J 2010 Nov 3
  • Selection of work among the most influential research contributions from the Department of ACCM at JHU-SOM in 2015 – publication on the SAAA website


  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Society of Cell Biology
  • Association of University Anesthesiologists
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • American Heart Association (Atherosclerosis and Basic Science Councils)

Professional Activities

  • Grant reviewer, American Heart Association, 2005
  • Grant reviewer, National Science Foundation, 2000
  • Grant reviewer, The Wellcome Trust, 1999
  • Grant reviewer, Jeffress Memorial Trust and the Virginia Academy of Science, 1998
  • Parental Authority Committee, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2003
  • Pediatric Burn Center Committee, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2004
  • Pediatric Nutrition Advisory Committee, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2003
  • Pediatric Trauma Committee, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2004
  • Subspecialty Board, Critical Care Medicine renewal, American Board of Pediatrics
  • JHU Representative, Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension Network (PPHNet)
  • Co-Chair, Clinical Trials Committee, Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension Network (PPHNet)
  • Guidelines Committee, Surviving Sepsis Campaign of the Society for Critical Care Medicine and the European Society
  • STEEM (Signaling from Tissue-Engineered Extracellular Matrices) Gordon Conference Faculty
  • former Editorial Board Member, Biophysical Journal
  • Ad hoc reviewer, Journal of Cell Biology
  • Ad hoc reviewer, Journal of Cell Science
  • Ad hoc reviewer, Experimental Cell Research
  • Ad hoc reviewer, Biophysical Journal
  • Ad hoc reviewer, Acta Biomaterialia
  • Ad hoc reviewer, Circulation Research
  • Ad hoc reviewer, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
  • Ad hoc reviewer, Pediatric Blood and Cancer
  • Graduate and Postgraduate Biomedical Education Mentoring
Is this you? Edit Profile
back to top button