Thomas N Hansen, MD

"Before becoming a hospital CEO more than a decade ago, I spent about three-quarters of my time in the laboratory trying to find ways to save the lives of premature babies with lung disease. Today, I spend one day a week at Seattle Children's Research Institute developing low-cost ways to help infants around the world deal with respiratory problems that accompany premature birth. Why my continued interest in medical research? I think its the key to eliminating all childhood diseases. I know that sounds grandiose, but I truly believe that research breakthroughs in our lifetimes will allow us to see the end of childhood diseases like cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and sickle cell anemia just like our parents or grandparents saw an end to the polio epidemics of their generation."
  • Biography

    Thomas N. Hansen, MD, is a Principal Investigator with the Norcliffe Foundation Center for Integrative Brain Research at Seattle Childrens Research Institute. The Seattle Childrens Hospital Board of Trustees honored him with the "Tom Hansen Investigator in Pediatric Innovation Endowment" with initial funding of $5 million. The endowment is intended to promote innovative thinking and entrepreneurship that supports Childrens mission to prevent, treat and eliminate pediatric disease. Dr. Hansen is the initial holder of the endowment. He and his team of researchers will continue to focus on bringing the Seattle-PAP (positive airway pressure) device a far less costly alternative for babies born prematurely in low-resource countries to market.

    Dr. Hansen joined Seattle Childrens in October of 2005 as CEO and a pediatric neonatologist. While serving as CEO over the past 10 years, Dr. Hansen maintained his passion for research as a principal investigator in the Norcliffe Foundation Center for Integrative Brain Research at Seattle Children's Research Institute.

    He is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor in the University of Washington Department of Bioengineering. Dr. Hansen received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, with postdoctoral fellowships in neonatal-perinatal medicine at Baylor and in pediatric pulmonary disease at the University of California, San Francisco.

    Under Dr. Hansen's leadership, Seattle Childrens consistently placed among the nations best childrens hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and was ranked in the top five in National Institutes of Health funding for pediatric research. During his tenure he worked closely with board members, physicians, staff and the community to significantly expand the hospitals clinical and research capabilities to support a growing need for the specialized services that Seattle Children's provides to the region. He led the organization with a bold vision of becoming the best pediatric hospital in the nation.

    Formerly Dr. Hansen served as CEO of Nationwide Children's Hospital while retaining his title of Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics with The Ohio State University. During his 10 years in Columbus, Nationwide became one of the nations five largest, free-standing children's hospitals and one of the ten largest pediatric research centers.

  • Related Resources

    • Neonatal Respiratory Support Technologies Team

      The Neonatal Respiratory Support Technologies (NeoRest) team, based in Seattle Children's Research Institute's Norcliffe Foundation Center for Integrative Brain Research, is working to reduce infant mortality and morbidity by developing affordable, easy-to-use and easy-to-maintain respiratory support solutions.

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