Karen Hendricks-Muñoz, M.D., M.P.H.

William Tate Graham Professor of Pediatrics
Chair of the Division of Neonatal Medicine
Inaugural Vice Chair of Faculty Development & Diversity,
Equity and Inclusion
Department of Pediatrics


Dr. Karen D. Hendricks-Muñoz is the William Tate Graham Professor and Chair in Neonatal Medicine at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. She is an internationally known leader Neonatal Medicine, and Clinician scientist. 

Dr. Hendricks-Muñoz is a master clinician and a committed advocate for clinical safety and quality and professional medical education. She joined VCU in February 2012, as the inaugural William Tate Graham Chair in Neonatal Medicine after spending more than two decades in leadership roles at NYU School of Medicine including Chief of Neonatology.

She has been credited for established exacting standards for clinical care to improve public health, infant follow-up care including, provider and parent education, hearing loss and immunizations. She established the Infant follow-up Program at NYU and now at VCU to assure access to needed health care for high risk infants.

She is nationally recognized for her advocacy of maternal-infant skin-to-skin contact, called "Kangaroo mother care" and obtained NIH funding to study the implications of infant stress reduction on early childhood microbiome development. She investigates this maternal and other environmental exposures, such as NICU care practices and pollution on the development of healthy infant microbiome as these may lead to long term beneficial adult outcomes. As a research scientist she has multiple appointments, committee memberships, reviews and advisory activities at the NIH and other national and regional levels. She is a member of the Center of Biologic Complexity at VCU, and is often invited as a visiting professor to present her research.

Dr. Hendricks-Muñoz is a well-known natural educational leader, teacher and mentor with a passion for improving and providing care to underserved populations. She established the NYU JCE and now JACKS summer scholars program at CHoR at VCU dedicated to improving access for undergraduates and medical students pediatric pipeline and directs the CHoR neonatology fellowship raining program, having directed the fellowship training for over 25 years at NYU. She has recruited outstanding trainees who have gone on to having major leadership roles at the NIH, in the field of neonatology, and in pediatric medicine. She is recognized for her achievements as an inductee of the prestigious American Pediatric Society, the highest honor in Pediatrics. She has served as the NYU co-Chair of the Dean's Council for Institutional Diversity and Diversity Liaison on the Dean's Committee of Women for many years and brings this expertise as Deputy Director of the VCU Center on Health Disparities.

Dr. Hendricks-Muñoz received her bachelor’s degree in Biology at Thomas More College at Fordham University, NYC and a medical degree as well as master’s in public health at Yale University School of Medicine and Public Health respectively. She completed her residency at Yale and a neonatal-perinatal fellowship at the University of Rochester.