A photo of Jonathan Plasencia.

Jonathan D. Plasencia, PhD

  • Instructor, UC Department of Surgery



I am a biomedical engineer interested in bringing engineering and advanced statistical tools and concepts to multidisciplinary projects to provide novel solutions and advance pediatric medicine through research. I have always had a passion for being creative through building and art (painting and drawing). I enjoy advanced mathematics and the natural world sciences.

These interests reflect my research projects centered on pediatric cardiology, including pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, advanced heart failure, cardiovascular medical devices, pediatric radiology, medical image processing, medical signal processing, virtual surgical planning, virtual reality, 3D printing and 3D printing anatomical computer modeling.

Obtaining my PhD in biomedical engineering focused on signal and image processing allowed me to merge my skills and interests. Today, medical images are my canvas and math is my medium as a research and development (R&D) image processing engineer. My objective is the development of novel computational tools to guide pre-operative surgical planning and improve patient outcomes. My focus projects are (1) developing desktop and virtual reality software applications to help surgeons optimize surgical outcomes and (2) a heart transplant project looking at safely expanding donor heart pools using heart volume assessments.

My PhD thesis was centered on developing a novel tool to safely expand patient donor pools by improving donor-recipient size matching with volumetric fit assessments. This work is being expanded to other groups nationwide. I am a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Awardee. I have been employed as a researcher for over three years. I began my work at Cincinnati Children’s in 2021.

BS: Biomedical Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 2011.

MS: Biomedical Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 2016.

PHD: Biomedical Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 2018.

Services and Specialties

Cardiothoracic Surgery


Clinical research areas: Pediatric cardiothoracic surgery; pediatric cardiology; advance heart failure; pediatric radiology

Engineering research areas: Virtual surgical planning; medical signal processing; medical image processing; anatomical shape analysis; virtual reality

Research Areas

Cardiothoracic Surgery