Daniel J. Licht, MD, is a pediatric neurologist and Director of the Wolfson Laboratory for Clinical and Biomedical Optics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Department of Pediatrics Distinguished Endowed Chair.
Daniel J. Licht, MD, is an attending pediatric neurologist and Director of the Wolfson Laboratory for Clinical and Biomedical Optics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Dr. Licht specializes in coma and prognosis, intensive care neurology, neurological complications of congenital heart disease and pediatric stroke.
Dr. Licht fell in love with pediatric neurology during the first month of his residency at CHOP when he was assigned to the neurology floor. His focus with the children in his care is to preserve their quality of life following critical illness.
“While we have done an extraordinarily good job at improving survival after critical illness, we have not done a great job at improving the quality of survival,” says Dr. Licht. “The brain is where quality of life resides; our ability to enjoy a good meal, laugh at a joke or take solace in the loving gaze of our mother is all in the brain. We need better tools to help doctors protect the brain while saving a child from critical illness.”
Dr. Licht has a special interest in caring for children with severe congenital heart defects that have affected their brain development. In his role, Dr. Licht has seen how ever-evolving technology, along with the high degree of collaboration among specialties and services have enhanced the care children receive at CHOP.
Along with his work at CHOP, Dr. Licht is the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Department of Pediatrics Distinguished Endowed Chair and Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published numerous papers and book chapters.
In addition to his clinical role, Dr. Licht is a researcher whose current focus involves building and testing optical devices to measure brain oxygen metabolism, brain blood flow and pressure inside the skull.
“These non-invasive devices will change how we care for the critically ill newborn,” he says.
Education and Training
MD - New Jersey Medical School - UMDNJ, Newark, NJ
Pediatrics - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Pediatrics - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Child Neurology - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Epilepsy - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Child Neurology – American Board of Psychiatry and NeurologyPediatrics – American Board of Pediatrics
Titles and Academic Titles
Director, Wolfson Laboratory for Clinical and Biomedical Optics
Neurologist, NeuroCardiac Care Program
Distinguished Endowed Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Functional Neuroimaging Hemodynamic Imaging Brain Injury in Newborns with CHD Diffuse Optical Imaging
Lawrence KM, McGovern PE, Mejaddam A, Rossidis AC, Baumgarten H, Kim A, Grinspan JB, Licht DJ, Didier RA, Vossough A, Radaelli E, Rychik J, Song L, Peranteau WH, Davey MG, Flake AW, Gaynor JW. Chronic intrauterine hypoxia alters neurodevelopment in fetal sheep. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019;157(5):1982–1991.
Porcari GS, Beslow LA, Ichord RN, Licht DJ, Kleinman JT, Jordan LC. Neurologic Outcome Predictors in Pediatric Intracerebral Hemorrhage: A Prospective Study. Stroke. 2018 Jul;49(7):1755-1758. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.021845. Epub 2018 Jun 12.
Lynch JM, Ko T, Busch DR, Newland JJ, Winters ME, Mensah-Brown K, Boorady TW, Xiao R, Nicolson SC, Montenegro LM, Gaynor JW, Spray TL, Yodh AG, Naim MY, Licht DJ. Preoperative cerebral hemodynamics from birth to surgery in neonates with critical congenital heart disease. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2018 May 3. pii: S0022-5223(18)31237-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2018.04.098. [Epub ahead of print]
Rychik J, Goff D, McKay E, Mott A, Tian Z, Licht DJ, Gaynor JW. Characterization of the Placenta in the Newborn with Congenital Heart Disease: Distinctions Based on Type of Cardiac Malformation. Pediatr Cardiol. 2018 May 4. doi: 10.1007/s00246-018-1876-x. [Epub ahead of print]
Marino BS, Tabbutt S, MacLaren G, Hazinski MF, Adatia I, Atkins DL, Checchia PA, DeCaen A, Fink EL, Hoffman GM, Jefferies JL, Kleinman M, Krawczeski CD, Licht DJ, Macrae D, Ravishankar C, Samson RA, Thiagarajan RR, Toms R, Tweddell J, Laussen PC; American Heart Association Congenital Cardiac Defects Committee of the Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young; Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia; and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in Infants and Children With Cardiac Disease: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2018 May 29;137(22):e691-e782. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000524. Epub 2018 Apr 23. Review.
Gaynor JW, Nicolson SC, Spray DM, Burnham NB, Chittams JL, Sammarco T, Walsh KW, Spray TL, Licht DJ. Remote Ischemic Preconditioning Does Not Prevent White Matter Injury in Neonates. Ann Thorac Surg. 2018 Jul;106(1):151-155. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.02.060. Epub 2018 Mar 28.
Lin N, Flibotte J, Licht DJ. Neuromonitoring in the neonatal ECMO patient. Semin Perinatol. 2018 Mar;42(2):111-121. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2017.12.007. Epub 2018 Feb 2. Review.
Gray IN, Cristancho AG, Licht DJ, Liu GT. Ocular Dipping in a Patient With Hemiplegic Migraine. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. 2018 Jan 31;55:e4-e6. doi: 10.3928/01913913-20171129-01.
Mavroudis CD, Karlsson M, Ko T, Hefti M, Gentile JI, Morgan RW, Plyler R, Mensah-Brown KG, Boorady TW, Melchior RW, Rosenthal TM, Shade BC, Schiavo KL, Nicolson SC, Spray TL, Sutton RM, Berg RA, Licht DJ, Gaynor JW, Kilbaugh TJ. Cerebral mitochondrial dysfunction associated with deep hypothermic circulatory arrest in neonatal swine. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2018 Jul 1;54(1):162-168. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezx467.
Grasty MA, Ittenbach RF, Knightly C, Solot CB, Gerdes M, Bernbaum JC, Wernovsky G, Spray TL, Nicolson SC, Clancy RR, Licht DJ, Zackai E, Gaynor JW, Burnham NB. Hearing Loss after Cardiac Surgery in Infancy: An Unintended Consequence of Life-Saving Care. J Pediatr. 2018 Jan;192:144-151.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.09.049.
Licht DJ. "The more things change…": The challenges ahead. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2017 Sep;154(3):1026-1027. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2017.04.066. Epub 2017 May 18.
Baker WB, Parthasarathy AB, Gannon KP, Kavuri VC, Busch DR, Abramson K, He L, Mesquita RC, Mullen MT, Detre JA, Greenberg JH, Licht DJ, Balu R, Kofke WA, Yodh AG. Noninvasive optical monitoring of critical closing pressure and arteriole compliance in human subjects. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2017 Aug;37(8):2691-2705. doi: 10.1177/0271678X17709166. Epub 2017 May 25.
Uohara MY, Beslow LA, Billinghurst L, Jones BM, Kessler SK, Licht DJ, Ichord RN. Incidence of Recurrence in Posterior Circulation Childhood Arterial Ischemic Stroke. JAMA Neurol. 2017 Mar 1;74(3):316-323. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.5166.
Lin JJ, Banwell BL, Berg RA, Dlugos DJ, Ichord RN, Kilbaugh TJ, Kirsch RE, Kirschen MP, Licht DJ, Massey SL, Naim MY, Rintoul NE, Topjian AA, Abend NS. Electrographic Seizures in Children and Neonates Undergoing Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2017 Mar;18(3):249-257. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000001067.
Billinghurst LL, Beslow LA, Abend NS, Uohara M, Jastrzab L, Licht DJ, Ichord RN. Incidence and predictors of epilepsy after pediatric arterial ischemic stroke. Neurology. 2017 Feb 14;88(7):630-637. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003603. Epub 2017 Jan 13.
Fogel MA, Li C, Elci OU, Pawlowski T, Schwab PJ, Wilson F, Nicolson SC, Montenegro LM, Diaz L, Spray TL, Gaynor JW, Fuller S, Mascio C, Keller MS, Harris MA, Whitehead KK, Bethel J, Vossough A, Licht DJ. Neurological Injury and Cerebral Blood Flow in Single Ventricles Throughout Staged Surgical Reconstruction. Circulation. 2017 Feb 14;135(7):671-682. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.021724. Epub 2016 Dec 28.
Ouyang M, Liu P, Jeon T, Chalak L, Heyne R, Rollins NK, Licht DJ, Detre JA, Roberts TPL, Lu H, Huang H. Heterogeneous increases of regional cerebral blood flow during preterm brain development: Preliminary assessment with pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeled perfusion MRI. Neuroimage. 2017 Feb 15;147:233-242. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.12.034. Epub 2016 Dec 14.
Busch DR, Rusin CG, Miller-Hance W, Kibler K, Baker WB, Heinle JS, Fraser CD, Yodh AG, Licht DJ, Brady KM. Continuous cerebral hemodynamic measurement during deep hypothermic circulatory arrest. Biomed Opt Express. 2016 Aug 15;7(9):3461-3470. eCollection 2016 Sep 1.
Wernovsky G, Licht DJ. Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Children With Congenital Heart Disease-What Can We Impact? Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Aug;17(8 Suppl 1):S232-42. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000800. Review.
Kirschen MP, Dori Y, Itkin M, Licht DJ, Ichord R, Vossough A. Cerebral Lipiodol Embolism after Lymphatic Embolization for Plastic Bronchitis. J Pediatr. 2016 Sep;176:200-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.05.036. Epub 2016 Jun 11.
Hawks C, Jordan LC, Gindville M, Ichord RN, Licht DJ, Beslow LA. Educational Placement After Pediatric Intracerebral Hemorrhage. Pediatr Neurol. 2016 Aug;61:46-50. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2016.05.004. Epub 2016 May 10.
Lynch JM, Licht DJ. First things first: The importance of the preoperative period for neurocognitive outcomes in hypoplastic left heart syndrome. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2016 May;151(5):1367-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2016.03.001. Epub 2016 Mar 12.
Licht DJ. Brain hypoxia before surgery; a tale of two cells: Astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2016 Jan;151(1):273-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2015.09.026. Epub 2015 Sep 16.
Busch DR, Lynch JM, Winters ME, McCarthy AL, Newland JJ, Ko T, Cornaglia MA, Radcliffe J, McDonough JM, Samuel J, Matthews E, Xiao R, Yodh AG, Marcus CL, Licht DJ, Tapia IE. Cerebral Blood Flow Response to Hypercapnia in Children with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome. Sleep. 2016 Jan 1;39(1):209-16. doi: 10.5665/sleep.5350.
Jalali A, Jones GF, Licht DJ, Nataraj C. Application of Mathematical Modeling for Simulation and Analysis of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) in Pre- and Postsurgery Conditions. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:987293. doi: 10.1155/2015/987293. Epub 2015 Oct 25.
Smith DM, Vossough A, Vorona GA, Beslow LA, Ichord RN, Licht DJ. Pediatric cavernous sinus thrombosis: A case series and review of the literature. Neurology. 2015 Sep 1;85(9):763-9. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001886. Epub 2015 Jul 31. Review.
Fogel MA, Li C, Wilson F, Pawlowski T, Nicolson SC, Montenegro LM, Diaz Berenstein L, Spray TL, Gaynor JW, Fuller S, Keller MS, Harris MA, Whitehead KK, Clancy R, Elci O, Bethel J, Vossough A, Licht DJ. Relationship of cerebral blood flow to aortic-to-pulmonary collateral/shunt flow in single ventricles. Heart. 2015 Aug;101(16):1325-31. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2014-307311. Epub 2015 Jun 5.
Wu J, Awate SP, Licht DJ, Clouchoux C, du Plessis AJ, Avants BB, Vossough A, Gee JC, Limperopoulos C. Assessment of MRI-Based Automated Fetal Cerebral Cortical Folding Measures in Prediction of Gestational Age in the Third Trimester. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015 Jul;36(7):1369-74. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A4357. Epub 2015 Jun 4.
McCarthy AL, Winters ME, Busch DR, Gonzalez-Giraldo E, Ko TS, Lynch JM, Schwab PJ, Xiao R, Buckley EM, Vossough A, Licht DJ. Scoring system for periventricular leukomalacia in infants with congenital heart disease. Pediatr Res. 2015 Sep;78(3):304-9. doi: 10.1038/pr.2015.99. Epub 2015 May 21.
Licht DJ. The path forward is to look backward in time: fetal physiology: the new frontier in managing infants with congenital heart defects. Circulation. 2015 Apr 14;131(15):1307-9. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.016024. Epub 2015 Mar 11.
Peart JM, Licht DJ, Prange EO, Treat JR. Intractable nodulocystic acne in a patient with trisomy 13. Pediatr Dermatol. 2015 May-Jun;32(3):381-2. doi: 10.1111/pde.12511. Epub 2015 Jan 30.
Naim MY, Gaynor JW, Chen J, Nicolson SC, Fuller S, Spray TL, Dlugos DJ, Clancy RR, Costa LV, Licht DJ, Xiao R, Meldrum H, Abend NS. Subclinical seizures identified by postoperative electroencephalographic monitoring are common after neonatal cardiac surgery. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2015;150(1):169-178.
Sinclair AJ, Fox CK, Ichord RN, Almond CS, Bernard TJ, Beslow LA, Chan AK, Cheung M, deVeber G, Dowling MM, Friedman N, Giglia TM, Guilliams KP, Humpl T, Licht DJ, Mackay MT, Jordan LC. Stroke in children with cardiac disease: report from the International Pediatric Stroke Study Group Symposium. Pediatr Neurol. 2015;52(1):5-15.
Lynch Jennifer M, Buckley Erin M, Schwab Peter J, McCarthy Ann L, Winters Madeline E, Busch David R, Xiao Rui, Goff Donna A, Nicolson Susan C, Montenegro Lisa M, Fuller Stephanie, Gaynor J William, Spray Thomas L, Yodh Arjun G, Naim Maryam Y, Licht Daniel J: Time to surgery and preoperative cerebral hemodynamics predict postoperative white matter injury in neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Jun 27. pii: S0022-5223(14)00833-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.05.081. [Epub ahead of print]
Beslow LA, Ichord RN, Gindville MC, Kleinman JT, Engelmann K, Bastian RA, Licht DJ, Smith SE, Hillis AE, Jordan LC. Pediatric Intracerebral Hemorrhage Score: A Simple Grading Scale for Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Children. Stroke. 2014 Jan;45(1):66-70. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.003448. Epub 2013 Nov 26.
Bruno CJ, Beslow LA, Witmer CM, Vossough A, Jordan LC, Zelonis S, Licht DJ, Ichord RN, Smith SE. Haemorrhagic stroke in term and late preterm neonates. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2014 Jan;99(1):F48-53
Shaikh H, Pukenas BA, McIntosh A, Licht D, Hurst RW. Combined use of Solitaire FR and Penumbra devices for endovascular treatment of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in a child. BMJ Case Rep. 2014 Feb 19;2014.
Bruno Christie J, Beslow Lauren A, Witmer Char M, Vossough Arastoo, Jordan Lori C, Zelonis Sarah, Licht Daniel J, Ichord Rebecca N, Smith Sabrina E: Haemorrhagic stroke in term and late preterm neonates. Archives of disease in childhood. Fetal and neonatal edition 99(1): F48-53, 2013.
Jain Varsha, Buckley Erin M, Licht Daniel J, Lynch Jennifer M, Schwab Peter J, Naim Maryam Y, Lavin Natasha A, Nicolson Susan C, Montenegro Lisa M, Yodh Arjun G, Wehrli Felix W: Cerebral oxygen metabolism in neonates with congenital heart disease quantified by MRI and optics. Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 34(3): 380-8, 2013.
Lin KY, Kerur B, Witmer CM, Beslow LA, Licht DJ, Ichord RN, Kaufman BD. Thrombotic events in critically ill children with myocarditis. Cardiol Young. 2013 Sep 9:1-8.
Jalali A, Licht DJ, Nataraj C. Discovering hidden relationships in physiological signals for prediction of Periventricular Leukomalacia. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2013 Jul;2013:7080-7083.
Jalali A, Buckley E, Lynch J, Schwab P, Licht DJ, Nataraj C. Prediction of Periventricular Leukomalacia Occurrence in Neonates After Heart Surgery. IEEE J Biomed Health Inform. 2013 Oct 9.
Beslow LA, Ichord RN, Gindville MC, Kleinman JT, Bastian RA, Smith SE, Licht DJ, Hillis AE, Jordan LC. Frequency of Hematoma Expansion After Spontaneous Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Children. JAMA Neurol. 2013 [Epub ahead of print]
Licht DJ. What is a Migraine Variant? Are they treated differently? Chapter 21 In: Ryan NR and Licht DJ (eds) Curbside Consultation in Pediatric Neurology: 49 Clinical Questions.
Lin, K., Beslow L.A., Licht D.J. Cardiac Neurocritical Care. Chapter 23 In: Abend N.S., Helfaer M. (eds.) Pediatric Neurocritical Care. New York, New York: Demos Medical Publishing (in press).
Kessler SK, Licht DJ, Abend NS. Approach to Acute Encephalopathy and Coma: Chapter 1 In: Abend N.S., Helfaer M. (eds.) Pediatric Neurocritical Care. New York, New York: Demos Medical Publishing (in press).
Naim MY, Licht DJ; Neurologic Complications: Stroke. Chapter 173, Pediatric and Congenital Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery and Intensive Care. da Cruz EM, Ivy DD, Hraska V, Jagger J Editors 2014. ISBN: 978-1-4471-4618-6
Glanzman MM, Licht DJ, Wernovsky G; Neurodevelopment in Children with Complex Congenital Heart Disease. Chapter 11. Pediatric Practice: Cardiology Gleason MM, Rychik J and Shaddy RE Editors 2011.
Harper MB, Campen CJ, Kranick SM, Licht DJ, Gorman M, Pomeroy SL. Chapter 16 Neuroinfectious Disease. Pediatric Practice: Neurology Carney P and Geyer J Editors, 2009
Campen CJ, Kranick SM, Licht DJ Chapter 17 Viral Encephalitis Pediatric Practice: Infectious Disease Shah SS Editor, 2009
Abend NS, Kilaru SV, Helfaer MA, Licht DJ. Evaluation of the Comatose Child. In: Rogers’ Textbook of Pediatric Intensive Care 4th Edition, 2009
Abend NS, Kilaru SV, Helfaer MA, Licht DJ. Evaluation of the Comatose Child. In: Rogers’ Handbook of Pediatric Intensive Care 4th Edition, 2009
Licht DJ. Concussion. In: Schwartz W, editor Pediatric 5-Minute Consult 4th Edition, Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia 2007
Posters and Presentations
Nov. 18th, 2013 “Time to Surgery and Pre-Operative Cerebral Oxygenation Predict Post-Operative Ischemic Injury in HLHS” AHA Scientific Sessions 2013, Dallas TX
“Cerebral CO2 Reactivity is Decreased in Children with Bidirectional Glenn Physiology” AHA Scientific Sessions 2013, Dallas TX
April 30th, 2012 “Cerebral Oxygen Metabolism Following Neonatal Cardiac Surgery: The Effect of Surgical Support Time” American Academy for Thoracic Surgery 93rd annual meeting, San Francisco
October 15th, 2010 “Development of a Semiquantitative Fetal Brain Maturation Score on MRI”, 39th Annual Child Neurology Society, Providence RI
Awards and Honors
2022, Philadelphia Magazine's Top Doctors in Child Neurology
2019, Luigi Mastroianni Jr. Clinical Innovator Award from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Editorial and Academic Positions
Editorial Board Member
Frontiers Obstetric and Pediatric Pharmacology
Recent Patents on Medical Imaging, Bentham Science Publishers
Ad Hoc Reviewer of Manuscripts
Pediatric Emergency Care
Academic and institutional committees
2008-present, Faculty member of Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness (CPCE)
2008-present, Therapeutic Standards Committee, Children’s Hospital Philadelphia
2007-present, Cardiovascular Institute (CVI), University of Pennsylvania
2007-present, Institute of Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT), University of Pennsylvania
2005-present, Admission Committee for Child Neurology, Children’s Hospital Philadelphia
2004-present, Joseph Stokes Jr. Research Institute, Children’s Hospital Philadelphia
2002-present, NeuroCardiac Research Program (NCRP), Children’s Hospital Philadelphia
Patient Experience Ratings
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