Rafael J. Ramirez, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Headshot of Rafael J. Ramirez
  • Assistant Professor of Surgery

Research Interests

Atrial fibrillation; Sick sinus syndrome; Heart block; Premature ventricular contraction cardiomyopathy; Cardiac electrophysiology; Gene therapy ...read more


Rafael Ramirez is an assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. His research is focused on cardiac arrhythmia mechanisms, treatments and cures.  

Dr. Ramirez completed his bachelor’s degree in physiology and mathematics at McGill University, his master’s degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Montréal and his doctorate at the University of Toronto. He was a postdoctoral scholar in the Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, then completed a postdoctoral research fellowship and was a lead laboratory research specialist at the University of Michigan Center for Arrhythmia Research. Dr. Ramirez was an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Virginia Commonwealth University before joining the Department of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

...read more


  • Assistant Professor of Surgery

Departments / Divisions

  • Surgery - Pediatric Cardiac Surgery



  • B.Sc.; McGill University (Canada) (1996)
  • M.Sc.; Universite de Montreal (Canada) (1999)
  • Ph.D.; University of Toronto (Canada) (2007)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Ramirez investigates mechanisms and treatments of irregular heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias) such as atrial fibrillation, premature ventricular contraction-induced cardiomyopathy, atrioventricular heart block and sick sinus syndrome. His research program uses a diverse array of leading-edge laboratory techniques, including genetic engineering and gene transfer, single-cell genomics, large and small animal disease models, optical mapping of voltage and calcium dynamics, Langendorff perfused heart studies, biochemistry, histology, patch-clamp electrophysiology and computational modeling of physiological processes.

Activities & Honors


  • Pauley Heart Center Pilot Project Grant, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Jos Willems Young Investigator Award, International Society for Computerized
  • Peterborough K.M. Hunter Graduate Studentship, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada Doctoral Research Award
  • Dr. John Hepburn Award in Cardiovascular Research, University of Toronto Medical Alumni Association


  • American Heart Association
  • American Physiological Society
  • Biophysical Society
  • Cardiac Electrophysiological Society
  • Heart Rhythm Society
  • International Society for Computerized Electrocardiology
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

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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