Tara Karamlou, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Surgery
Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery 

Contact Information

Academic Office
Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery
513 Parnassus Avenue, Room S-549
San Francisco, CA 94143-0117
(415) 502-6662 - Phone
(415) 476-9678 - Fax
Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery
(415) 476-3501 - Appointments
(415) 476-9678 - Clinic Fax


  • University of Washington, B.S. with Honor in Biology, Magna Cum Laude, 1994
  • Baylor College of Medicine, MD with High Honor, 1999


  • Oregon Health and Science University, General Surgery 2008
  • University of Michigan, Cardiothoracic Surgery, 2009
  • Oregon Health and Science University, Cardiothoracic Surgery, 2010
  • Seattle Children's Hospital, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, 2011


  • Hospital for Sick Children (CHSS Data Center), Research Fellow, 2006
  • Nina Braunwald Research Fellowship, Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, 2002 – 2004 
  • John W. Kirklin/Ashburn Congenital Heart Surgeons Society Fellow, 2004 – 2006.
  • Seattle Children's Hospital, Congenital Cardiac Surgery Fellow, 2012

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Congenital Cardiac Surgery

Program Affiliations

  • UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital
  • UCSF Pediatric Heart Center

Clinical Expertise

  • Arterial Switch
  • Atrial Septal Defect
  • Atrioventricular Heart Block
  • Congenital Mitral Disease
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Marfan Syndrome
  • Mechanical Cardiac Assist
  • Neonatal Cardiac Surgery
  • Norwood Procedure
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus
  • Pediatric Heart Failure
  • Single Ventricle Palliation
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Transposition of Great Arteries
  • Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD)
  • Ventricular Septal Defect

Research Interests

  • Adult congenital heart disease
  • Health policy
  • Outcomes research
  • Quality initiatives


Tara Karamlou, M.D is a pediatric cardiac surgeon and Assistant Professor of Surgery
at UCSF. She is board-certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery in Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery as well as Congenital Cardiac Surgery.

Dr. Karamlou received her M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine with High Honor. She completed General Surgery residency at Oregon Health Science University and cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Michigan. She has extensive research experience in the field of clinical outcomes and is finalizing her Masters' Degree in Biostatistics at the University of Toronto.

During her general surgery residency, Dr. Karamlou received the prestigious Nina Braunwald fellowship from the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education. She was also awarded the John Kirklin Fellowship with the Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. She has received numerous awards from national societies, including the Hawley Seiler Resident Award both in 2004 and 2007 and the J. Maxwell Chamberlain Award from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Dr. Karamlou completed her pediatric cardiac surgery fellowship at Seattle Children's Hospital and was on faculty at Seattle Children's Hospital prior to her recruitment to UCSF in 2012. Since joining the faculty, Dr. Karamlou helped to conceive and implement a home monitoring program to improve outcomes for patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which is now in its 2nd year.

Dr. Karamlou also has developed a Standardized Clinical Care Algorithm for adults with congenital heart disease, which will improve the efficiency and quality of care for ACHD patients having surgery at UCSF. She has also operationalized a didactic educational program for the cardiothoracic residents and fellows, and mentors several students and fellows in the department of surgery, cardiology, and pediatrics.

Dr. Karamlou has received multiple grants for her work in development of miniaturized circuitry for pediatric extracorporeal circuits and evaluation of long-term functional health status in single ventricle lesions. She has published over 75 peer-reviewed publications in the field of pediatric cardiac surgery and has authored 10 book chapters.

Dr. Karamlou's research and clinical interests are directed at quality improvement and health policy directives in pediatric cardiac surgery, single ventricle lesions, as well as adult congenital heart disease. She has been focused on the volume-outcomes relationships in congenital cardiac surgery and the use of large datasets to answer clinical questions. She is a member of several committees directing research endeavors within the Society of Thoracic Surgeons' Congenital Heart Surgery Database, and directs three national research studies for the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Research Overview

Dr. Karamlou is an active member of the research community, both locally and nationally. She regularly attends Work Weekends in Toronto, CA, at the Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society Data Center, where she and her colleagues formulate and implement multi-institutional prospective studies investigating outcomes in children with complex congenital heart disease. She recently was the PI in a funded prospective trial in children with PAIVS, and presented the data at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Dr. Karamlou participates in the STS National Database, both as a member of the Access and Publications Committee and as a member of the Linked Registry Proposals and Longitudinal Taskforce. She currently has three active protocols under way with the STS National Congenital Database. One particular proposal is a prospective multi-institutional study investigating outcomes of transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement versus surgical replacement. This study involves the STS Congenital and Adult Cardiac Databases.



Most recent publications from a total of 78
  1. Karamlou T. Utility of the technical performance score for the Norwood operation … every score should know its limitations. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Nov; 148(5):2214-5. View in PubMed
  2. Poynter JA, Bondarenko I, Austin EH, DeCampli WM, Jacobs JP, Ziemer G, Kirshbom PM, Tchervenkov CI, Karamlou T, Blackstone EH, Walters HL, Gaynor JW, Mery CM, Pearl JM, Brothers JA, Caldarone CA, Williams WG, Jacobs ML, Mavroudis C. Repair of anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery in 113 patients: a congenital heart surgeons' society report. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2014 Oct; 5(4):507-14. View in PubMed
  3. Jacobs JP, O'Brien SM, Pasquali SK, Kim S, Gaynor JW, Tchervenkov CI, Karamlou T, Welke KF, Lacour-Gayet F, Mavroudis C, Mayer JE, Jonas RA, Edwards FH, Grover FL, Shahian DM, Jacobs ML. The importance of patient-specific preoperative factors: an analysis of the society of thoracic surgeons congenital heart surgery database. Ann Thorac Surg. 2014 Nov; 98(5):1653-9. View in PubMed
  4. Karamlou T, Jacobs ML, Pasquali S, He X, Hill K, O'Brien S, McMullan DM, Jacobs JP. Surgeon and Center Volume Influence on Outcomes After Arterial Switch Operation: Analysis of the STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database. Ann Thorac Surg. 2014 Sep; 98(3):904-11. View in PubMed
  5. Karamlou T, Sexson K, Parrish A, Welke KF, McMullan DM, Permut L, Cohen G. One size does not fit all: the influence of age at surgery on outcomes following Norwood operation. J Cardiothorac Surg. 2014; 9(1):100. View in PubMed
  6. Jacobs JP, Pasquali SK, Austin E, Gaynor JW, Backer C, Hirsch-Romano JC, Williams WG, Caldarone CA, McCrindle BW, Graham KE, Dokholyan RS, Shook GJ, Poteat J, Baxi MV, Karamlou T, Blackstone EH, Mavroudis C, Mayer JE, Jonas RA, Jacobs ML. Linking the congenital heart surgery databases of the society of thoracic surgeons and the congenital heart surgeons' society: part 2--lessons learned and implications. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2014 Apr 1; 5(2):272-82. View in PubMed
  7. Jacobs JP, Pasquali SK, Austin E, Gaynor JW, Backer C, Hirsch-Romano JC, Williams WG, Caldarone CA, McCrindle BW, Graham KE, Dokholyan RS, Shook GJ, Poteat J, Baxi MV, Karamlou T, Blackstone EH, Mavroudis C, Mayer JE, Jonas RA, Jacobs ML. Linking the congenital heart surgery databases of the society of thoracic surgeons and the congenital heart surgeons' society: part 1--rationale and methodology. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2014 Apr 1; 5(2):256-71. View in PubMed
  8. Symons JM, McMahon MW, Karamlou T, Parrish AR, McMullan DM. Continuous renal replacement therapy with an automated monitor is superior to a free-flow system during extracorporeal life support*. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2013 Nov; 14(9):e404-8. View in PubMed
  9. Karamlou T, Welke KF, McMullan DM, Cohen GA, Gelow J, Tibayan FA, Mudd JM, Slater MS, Song HK. Combined heart-kidney transplant improves post-transplant survival compared with isolated heart transplant in recipients with reduced glomerular filtration rate: Analysis of 593 combined heart-kidney transplants from the United Network Organ Sharing Database. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Jan; 147(1):456-461.e1. View in PubMed
  10. Karamlou T. Optimal timing for arterial switch in neonates with transposition of the great arteries: an elusive target. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014 Feb 11; 63(5):488-9. View in PubMed
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