Damien J. LaPar, MD, MSc, is an associate professor of Cardiovascular Surgery at McGovern Medical School, the associate chief of Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Surgery, and the director of Neonatal Cardiac Surgery at the Children’s Heart Institute at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Dr. LaPar trained in congenital heart surgery at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital. A triple board-certified pediatric cardiac surgeon with specialized certification by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery for the practice of pediatric and congenital cardiac surgery, Dr. LaPar has specific expertise in the surgical repair of the most complex neonatal and infant congenital heart defects with complete single-stage repairs, as well as in the full range of congenital heart disease that affects all children, adolescents and adults.

His dedication to academic pediatric and congenital heart surgery is deeply rooted in his desire to advance the treatment of congenital heart disease and to make a difference in the lives of children and their families through compassionate patient care, innovative research and scholarship, and professional leadership. He is committed to his patients’ needs and helping them and their families overcome what may be their biggest and most challenging times in life in an approachable, down-to-earth, and honest environment.

Dr. LaPar is an internationally recognized basic/translational science investigator as well as clinical science researcher, serving as the director of research and academic affairs for the Children’s Heart Institute. His funded congenital heart disease research lab focuses on the investigation of vascular smooth muscle signaling in congenital arteriopathy, as well as the development of innovative myocardial reconditioning and restorative therapies. His focused research includes extensive multi-institutional clinical research collaboratives and clinical trials.

Dr. LaPar previously practiced in New York City at Columbia University and the combined New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Weill Cornell Komansky Children’s Hospital’s congenital heart surgery program, where he served as director of pediatric cardiac surgery at Weill Cornell and co-director of Outcomes and Quality at the Congenital Heart Center.


Medical School
University of Colorado School of Medicine, 2007
Graduate School
University of Virginia School of Medicine, 2011
University of Virginia School of Medicine, 2014
University of Virginia School of Medicine, 2014
Harvard Medical School, 2017

Awards & Alcolades

  • Super Doctors Rising Star in Cardiac Surgery
  • Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA)
  • University of Virginia William Dion Outstanding Intern Award
  • University of Virginia Academic Achievement Award
  • University of Virginia Outstanding Chief Resident Award
  • Curtis G. Tribble Award for Excellence in Resident Teaching
  • Andy Ford Award for Excellence in Pediatric Cardiovascular Research
  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery C. Walton Lillehei Research Award
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons Richard E. Clark Memorial Paper Award
  • Southern Thoracic Surgical Association (STSA) Hawley Seiler Award for Best Research
  • Thoracic Surgery Directors Association (TSDA) Benson R. Wilcox Award for Best Research
  • Leonard Steinfeld Pediatric Cardiology Research Symposium Award
  • Thoracic Surgery Foundation Robert L. Replogle Traveling Fellowship Award
  • Babies Heart Fund Research and Career Development Award
  • Columbia University Department of Surgery Faculty Research Award
  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery Foundation Norman Shumway Research Scholarship