Neonatal Heart Surgeon and Researcher Joins Lurie Children’s Heart Center Leadership

November 01, 2023

Cardiothoracic surgical innovator David Winlaw, MBBS, MD, FRACS, was appointed Division Head of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery and Surgical Co-Executive Director of the Heart Center at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago on Nov. 1. He is also Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He will hold the Willis J. Potts, MD Founders’ Board Professorship in Surgery. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Winlaw to Lurie Children’s nationally ranked Heart Center,” said Thomas Inge, MD, Lurie Children’s Surgeon-in-Chief.  “His professional track record demonstrates that he is not only an exceptional clinician and surgeon, but also a dedicated educator, mentor and thought leader in the field with an extensive publication record.” 

“I look forward to being a part of the world-class team at Lurie Children’s Heart Center,” said Winlaw. “Lurie Children’s is a renowned institution with unique translational science opportunities and a strong spirit of collaborative care.” 

Dr. Winlaw joins Lurie Children’s from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati where he was Associate Director in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Heart Institute and a Professor of Surgery. Prior to his Cincinnati appointment, Dr. Winlaw served as the Head of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Program at Children’s Hospital of Westmead in Sydney, Australia, from 2008 to 2020, where he introduced surgery for hypoplastic left heart syndrome and new approaches to several other complex neonatal heart conditions.  

Dr. Winlaw is renowned for his research in the field of congenital heart disease. At the University of Sydney, he established a DNA Bank to facilitate genetic research in collaboration with developmental biologists at The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. This team made several high-profile discoveries, including the identification of new disease-causing genes that alter how a heart is constructed in utero and the application of new sequencing technology to discover causal genes in families where several members are affected by congenital heart disease. 

A prolific author, Dr. Winlaw has over 220 publications in peer-reviewed journals focusing on clinical outcomes and insights into the underlying causes of complex congenital heart conditions. He has supervised many successful Ph.D. projects and mentored numerous researchers and clinicians. He has been funded by multiple organizations to identify causes and outcomes of congenital heart conditions. He serves as an associate editor of the World Journal of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery and on editorial boards for The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and Progress in Pediatric Cardiology. 

The Heart Center at Lurie Children’s is nationally ranked for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery  by  U.S. News & World Report. The Center brings a spectrum of cardiac specialists together to care for patients, prenatally through adulthood, with the most complex heart conditions. As the only pediatric heart transplant program in Illinois, Lurie Children’s is widely known for providing lifesaving treatment to infants, children and young adults with severe heart disease.