Charles D. Fraser, Jr., MD


Charles D. Fraser, Jr., MD, is Chief of Congenital Heart Surgery and Cardiac Surgeon In-Charge at Texas Children’s Hospital, the nation’s largest pediatric hospital. His academic appointments include Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics (tenured), Baylor College of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at Rice University. Dr. Fraser holds the Donovan Chair in Congenital Heart Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital and has joint clinical appointments at the Texas Heart Institute and The University of Texas at Houston. Dr. Fraser also serves as Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Surgery Program at the Texas Heart Institute.

As chief of the Division of Congenital Heart Surgery at Baylor and Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Heart Center, Dr. Fraser works to refine the surgical treatment of small babies, children and adults with congenital cardiac disease. Dr. Fraser’s focus is on the surgical care of these patients with particular emphasis on complex neonatal repairs of serious cardiac malformations. Dr. Fraser has developed dedicated pediatric heart and lung transplant and mechanical circulatory support teams to offer every available therapy in the care of critically ill children.

Dr. Fraser received a bachelor’s degree with honors in mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin in 1980 and was a member of the Southwest Conference Champion varsity tennis team in 1977. He received his medical degree in 1984 from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where he was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. His postgraduate residency education was at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where he specialized in general, cardiothoracic and thoracic transplant surgery.

Dr. Fraser completed fellowships in pediatric cardiac surgery at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, cardiac transplant research at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and cardiovascular surgery at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas. After joining the faculty at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, he was recruited to Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in 1995 to establish a new, focused congenital heart surgery unit. Since that time, he and his team have performed over 10,000 congenital cardiac repairs and related surgeries in children and adults.

Dr. Fraser maintains an active research program with specific interests in congenital heart surgical outcomes, transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, brain protection, and bioengineering. In 2002, his team developed the first pediatric lung transplant program in the Southwest, which has subsequently grown to be the nation’s largest. He implanted the world’s first DeBakey Child™ Cardiac assist device in March of 2004. He currently serves as the National Principal Investigator of a pivotal multi-center pediatric ventricular assist device trial to assess the safety and benefit of the Berlin Heart Pediatric EXCOR® device.

Dr. Fraser has contributed over 150 journal articles, chapters and textbooks to the medical literature and made more than 140 presentations to professional audiences. His awards include the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999, The American Heart Association Medical Honoree in 2002, the Michael E. DeBakey Distinguished Service Award from Baylor College of Medicine in 2004, Best Doctors in America for 2005-2006, the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston in 2007 and the Distinguished Surgeon Award from the Association of perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) of Greater Houston in 2008.

Dr. Fraser and his wife, Helen, have been blessed by 26 years of marriage and have four children: Laura, Charlie, Gracie and Will.