Kern Wildenthal

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Kern Wildenthal
Alma mater

UT Southwestern, MD

University of Cambridge, PhD
Known for

Former President, UT Southwestern

President, Children's Medical Center Foundation

Kern Wildenthal is president of the Children's Medical Center Foundation in Dallas, Texas.[1] He also holds honorary appointments as President Emeritus and Professor of Medicine Emeritus at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he served as president from 1986-2008.[2]

Education and early career[edit]

Wildenthal was born in San Marcos, Texas. He completed his undergraduate studies at Sul Ross State University and received a B.A. in English Literature.[3] He received his medical degree from UT Southwestern in 1964.[4] Wildenthal then spent a short time interning at Bellevue Hospital Center in NYC before completing an internal medicine residency and postdoctoral fellowship in cardiology at UT Southwestern.[4] In 1970, Wildenthal received a Ph.D. in cell physiology from the University of Cambridge in England.[3]

Post-doctorate, Wildenthal returned to UT Southwestern as an assistant professor of internal medicine and physiology.[5] In 1971, he was promoted to associate professor with tenure[4] and, two years later, he was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation for his research on cardiac function.[3] In 1975, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent a year doing further research at Cambridge.[5] Upon return, Wildenthal was promoted to Dean of the Graduate School at UT Southwestern.[5] During that time, he received international attention for discovering a novel way to treat paroxysmal atrial tachycardia in patients with runaway heartbeats.[3]

In 1980, Wildenthal was promoted to Dean of the Medical School at UT Southwestern. He was 38 years old at the time and became the youngest Dean of any American Medical School.[5] Six years later, he was promoted to President of UT Southwestern.[4]

UT Southwestern[edit]

Wildenthal was the President of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from 1986 until his retirement from that position in 2008.[6] Between 1986 and 2008, UT Southwestern emerged to become one of the leading academic medical centers in the world.[6] Total institutional operating funding at UT Southwestern grew from $184,000,000 in 1986 to $1,453,000,000 in 2008, and research expenditures increased from $56 million in 1986 to $398 million. Seven new research buildings, six outpatient clinical facilities, and two hospitals were added to the campus. A staff that included 4 Nobel Prize winning faculty members and 17 National Academy of the Sciences members was recruited during that time.[7] During Wildenthal's tenure, UT Southwestern raised some of the largest donations in the history of academic medicine, including more than 200 endowed chairs[8] and three gifts of greater than $100 million. UT Southwestern endowment grew from $40 million to over $1.3 billion during his presidency.

Children's Medical Center Foundation[edit]

On May 28, 2013, Wildenthal was appointed president of the Children's Medical Center Foundation and executive vice president of Children's Medical Center in Dallas.[9]

Community involvement and current activities[edit]

Wildenthal remains active in the Dallas community. He and his wife have collectively held key roles in the Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Business Committee for the Arts, Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Citizens Council, Dallas Assembly, Vickery Meadow Learning Center, Friends of WRR, Science Place, and Dallas Center for the Performing Arts.[10]

Wildenthal’s current business activities include a position as the Senior Consultant for Southwestern Medical Foundation,[11] after serving from 2008-2012 as its CEO. He also consults for several foundations, research institutes, and biotech companies, including the Gladstone Research Institute in San Francisco and ScienceSeed in Dallas. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Kronos Worldwide, Inc,[12] as well as on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations, including the Hoblitzelle Foundation, Moncrief Cancer Institute, and Southwest Medical Foundation. Wildenthal is an Honorary Fellow of Hughes Hall[13] at the University of Cambridge, and serves on the board of Cambridge in America.[6]

In 2006, Wildenthal and his wife, Marnie, received the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award, presented by Texas Woman's University, for their lifelong commitment to improving the quality of life in the Dallas community.[14] Wildenthal was also recognized by the Texas Senate 81st Legislature with Resolution No. 565 commending him for his longtime commitment to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.[15]


  1. ^ "DR. KERN WILDENTHAL APPOINTED TO LEAD CHILDREN’S MEDICAL CENTER FOUNDATION". Children's Medical Center Blog. Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Wildenthal named UT Southwestern President Emeritus". UT Matters Blog. University of Texas System. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Kern Wildenthal, MD, Ph.D". Texas Business Hall of Fame. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Kern Wildenthal, M.D. President UT Southwestern". UT Southwestern Medical Center. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Austin College to Award Three Honorary Doctorates". Austin College. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Dr. Kern Wildenthal to retire after 22 years as UT Southwestern president". UT Southwestern Medical Center. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Honorary Degrees Kern Wildenthal". Southern Methodist University. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  8. ^ Wolfe, Jane. "Personal Business; Reaching the Hearts of Texans". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Kern Wildenthal". Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Marnie and Kern Wildenthal - 2006 Leadership Award Winners". Texas Woman's University. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Southwestern Medical Foundation Officers and Staff". Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "KRONOS WORLDWIDE, INC. APPOINTS DR. KERN WILDENTHAL AS A NEW DIRECTOR". Reuters. Retrieved 19 February 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  13. ^ "Dr. Kern Wildenthal - Honorary Fellow". Hughes Hall. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  15. ^ Wildenthal, Kern. "SENATE RESOLUTION COMMENDS DR. KERN WILDENTHAL". Blog. Kern Wildenthal. Retrieved 27 March 2014.