James D. Thomas, MD, FACC, FASE, FESC, is Professor and Director of the Center for Heart Valve Disease at Northwestern University in Chicago. Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Dr. Thomas attended Harvard College (graduating summa cum laude in Applied Mathematics) and Harvard Medical School before training at Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Vermont. He has over 650 peer reviewed publications with an h-index of 137 and is past-president of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), currently co-chairing a committee to standardize strain echocardiography. 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, and integration of engineering principles into clinical decision-making. When not reading echoes, Dr. Thomas enjoys cooking, skiing, scuba diving, and the occasional bungee jump.