A photo of Thomas Korfhagen.

Attending Physician, Perinatal Institute, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Board Certified

My Biography & Research


I work as a pediatrician for newborn babies discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Cincinnati Children's and other regional hospitals. I also provide care to newborns in regional hospitals covered by the Perinatal Institute.

As an attending doctor for the Perinatal Institute and the Division of Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology, I care for babies with complex needs in person and through telemedicine visits. I like people to know my name and encourage them to call me Tom.

I recognize the potential of every baby to grow and progress developmentally. I support parents and help them realize the incredible possibilities in every baby, regardless of any medical concerns.

My work with families is inspired by Jeffrey A. Whitsett, MD, co-director of the Perinatal Institute. I was part of the team, led by Dr. Whitsett, on research to develop a pulmonary surfactant for newborns with neonatal respiratory distress. Thanks to these studies, surfactant is now the standard of care for babies with severe neonatal respiratory distress.

Our research also looks at lung injury problems and understanding how pathological changes, such as alveolar simplification and fibrosis, occur. Knowing what happens in these processes is key to learning more about bronchopulmonary dysplasia, the most common chronic lung disease affecting preterm babies.

Other ongoing research centers on identifying molecular targets that can be changed to improve the health of babies with bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

When I’m not working, I spend time with my grandkids. I enjoy seeing them grow and learn, and I support the activities that they enjoy. There is nothing better than happy, smiling children.

Clinical Interests

Newborn Care Associates; NICU Follow up Clinic

Research Interests

Lung protection from injury

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Divisions

Neonatology, Perinatal, Newborn Intensive Care NICU

Research Divisions

Neonatology, Pulmonary Biology

My Locations

My Education

BA: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 1972.

PhD: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 1977.

MD: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 1981.

Residency: Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 1981-1984.

Fellowship: Genetics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 1984-1987 (Peter Dignan, Director); Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.

Certifications: National Board of Medical Examiners, 7/1982; American Board of Pediatrics, 5/1986; American Board of Medical Genetics, 6/1987.

My Publications

Wilms' tumor 1 drives fibroproliferation and myofibroblast transformation in severe fibrotic lung disease. Sontake, V; Kasam, RK; Sinner, D; Korfhagen, TR; Reddy, GB; White, ES; Jegga, AG; Madala, SK. JCI insight. 2018; 3.

Endothelial immune activation programmes cell-fate decisions and angiogenesis by inducing angiogenesis regulator DLL4 through TLR4-ERK-FOXC2 signalling. Xia, S; Menden, HL; Korfhagen, TR; Kume, T; Sampath, V. The Journal of Physiology. 2018; 596:1397-1417.