faculty photo

Daniel J. Licht, MD

Emeritus Professor CE of Neurology
Professor, Children's National Hospital
Department: Neurology

Contact information
Children's National Hospital
111 Michigan Ave NW
Washington, 20010
BA (Biochemistry)
New York University, 1984.
MD (Medicine)
New Jersey Medical School - UMDNJ, 1997.
Post-Graduate Training
House officer, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 1997-1999.
Neurology fellow, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 1999-2002.
Epilepsy and Critical Care Fellowship, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2002-2004.
The American Board of Pediatrics, 2002.
The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 2003.
ABPN recertification, 2013.
ABPN recertification, 2023.
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Description of Research Expertise

I am a child neurologist with expertise in the care of the critically ill infants and children. My clinical practice informs my research endeavors as I try to understand how the delivery of care affects cerebral blood flow and brain metabolic use of oxygen. My research uses non-invasive imaging techniques, including MRI and Optics, which, when combined, offer both high anatomic resolution and time sensitivity.

As a consequence of my research in infants with severe congenital heart defects, I have begun exploring fetal research. I have developed an MRI technique to qualitatively assess fetal brain development as a tool to monitor fetal brain health. This is now being used to monitor a drug trial for a neuroprotective agent for fetuses identified with severe congenital heart defects. I am currently leading research to non-invasively image placental anatomy and function.

Description of Clinical Expertise

My clinical expertise is in the neurological care for children who are critically ill infants and children. I am the neurology liaison to the cardiac intensive care unit and am a consult attending for the Neonatal, Pediatric and Cardiac intensive care units. My special interests are the neurologic complications in the care of congenital cardiac disease and I am also an expert in pediatric stroke and founding member of the pediatric stroke team at CHOP.

My interests in congenital malformations including congenital heart defects and congenital diaphragmatic hernia, have recently led me to the relatively new field of Fetal Neurology. I am currently the only neurologist to perform Fetal Neurology consults to optimize the care for infants with congenital malformations.

Selected Publications

Aronowitz DI, Geoffrion TR, Piel S, Benson EJ, Morton SR, Starr J, Melchior RW, Gaudio HA, Degani RE, Widmann NJ, Weeks MK, Ko TS, Licht DJ, Hefti M, Gaynor JW, Kilbaugh TJ, Mavroudis CD.: Early Impairment of Cerebral Bioenergetics After Cardiopulmonary Bypass in Neonatal Swine. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg Apr 2024.

Andersen KN, Yao S, White BR, Jacobwitz M, Breimann J, Jahnavi J, Schmidt A, Baker WB, Ko TS, Gaynor JW, Vossough A, Xiao R, Licht DJ, Shih EK.: Cerebral microhemorrhages in children with congenital heart disease: Prevalence, risk factors, and impact on neurodevelopmental outcomes. medRxiv Dec 2023.

Reitz JG, Zurakowski D, Kuhn VA, Murnick J, Donofrio MT, d'Udekem Y, Licht D, Kosiorek A, Limperopoulos C, Axt-Fliedner R, Yerebakan C, Carpenter JL.: Brain injury and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children undergoing surgery for congenital heart disease. JTCVS Open 17: 229-247, Dec 2023.

Benson EJ, Aronowitz DI, Forti RM, Lafontant A, Ranieri NR, Starr JP, Melchior RW, Lewis A, Jahnavi J, Breimann J, Yun B, Laurent GH, Lynch JM, White BR, Gaynor JW, Licht DJ, Yodh AG, Kilbaugh TJ, Mavroudis CD, Baker WB, Ko TS.: Diffuse Optical Monitoring of Cerebral Hemodynamics and Oxygen Metabolism during and after Cardiopulmonary Bypass: Hematocrit Correction and Neurological Vulnerability. Metabolites 13: 1153, Nov 2023.

Hsia J, Abend NS, Gaynor JW, Chen JM, Fuller S, Maeda K, Mavroudis CD, Nuri M, Leonard J, Ampah SB, Licht DJ, Massey SL, Naim MY.: Incidence of postoperative seizures in neonates following cardiac surgery with regional cerebral perfusion and deep hypothermic circulatory arrest. JTCVS Open 16: 771-783, Oct 2023.

Fogel MA, Donnelly E, Crandell I, Hanlon A, Whitehead KK, Harris M, Partington S, Biko D, Flynn T, Nicolson S, Gaynor JW, Licht D, Vossough A.: Cerebral Blood Flow, Brain Injury, and Aortic-Pulmonary Collateral Flow After the Fontan Operation. Am J Cardiol 208: 164-170, Oct 2023.

Johng S, Licht DJ, Hedrick HL, Rintoul N, Linn RL, Gebb JS, Xiao R, Massey SL.: Prenatal Brain Maturation is Delayed in Neonates with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. J Pediatr 264: 113738, Sep 2023.

Laurent GH, Ko TS, Mensah-Brown KG, Mavroudis CD, Jacobwitz M, Ranieri N, Nicolson SC, Gaynor JW, Baker WB, Licht DJ, Massey SL, Lynch JM.: Electroencephalography as a tool to predict cerebral oxygen metabolism during deep-hypothermic circulatory arrest in neonates with critical congenital heart disease. JTCVS Open 16: 801-809, Aug 2023.

Jacobwitz M, Irving SY, Moriarty H, Yost J, Vossough A, Licht DJ, Lynch JM.: Predictors of the inability to achieve full oral feeding in postoperative infants with CHD. Cardiol Young Aug 2023.

Shaw K, Mavroudis CD, Ko TS, Jahnavi J, Jacobwitz M, Ranieri N, Forti RM, Melchior RW, Baker WB, Yodh AG, Licht DJ, Nicolson SC, Lynch JM.: The use of novel diffuse optical spectroscopies for improved neuromonitoring during neonatal cardiac surgery requiring antegrade cerebral perfusion. Front Pediatr 11: 1125985, Jun 2023.

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Last updated: 05/22/2024
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