James Thomas

James Thomas

Northwestern University


James D. Thomas, MD, FACC, FASE, FESC
Cardiology, Imaging & Valvular Heart Disease


  • College: Harvard College (1977)
  • Medical Education: Harvard Medical School (1981)
  • Residency: Massachusetts General Hospital (1984)
  • Fellowship: University of Vermont (1986) and Massachusetts General Hospital (1988)

James D. Thomas, MD, is a cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine with a clinical focus in valvular heart disease and echocardiography and extensive research into applying physical principles and advanced technology in cardiovascular imaging. He now serves as Director for the Center for Heart Valve Disease and Academic Affairs in the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and co-directs the Center for Artificial Intelligence in Cardiovascular Disease while serving as Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  

Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Dr. Thomas attended Harvard College (graduating summa cum laude in Applied Mathematics) and Harvard Medical School before clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Vermont.

Dr. Thomas has over 650 peer reviewed publications with an h-index of 149.  He is past-president of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) and co-chairs a committee to standardize the measurement of myocardial strain by echocardiography. He previously served on the Cardiovascular Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and as co-chairman for the 2007 American College of Cardiology (ACC) Annual Scientific Sessions. Dr. Thomas also serves as lead scientist for ultrasound with NASA, focusing on the effects of space on cardiovascular function. Other research interests include cardiac mechanics, application of new echocardiography technology, artificial intelligence and integration of engineering principles into clinical decision-making.

Since arriving at Northwestern, Dr. Thomas has been instrumental in bringing early device trials to BCVI and providing intraprocedural echo guidance for cath lab interventions.  He has also formed a two-year fellowship in advanced cardiovascular imaging and another one offering a master’s degree in artificial intelligence in collaboration with engineers and scientists on the Evanston campus.

When not reading echoes, Dr. Thomas enjoys cooking, skiing, scuba diving, and the occasional bungee jump.