Kern Wildenthal, M.D., Ph.D., served as President of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas from 1986-2008, and was appointed as president of Southwestern Medical Foundation effective September 2008.

He was the dean of the medical school at UT Southwestern for six years before assuming the presidency of UT Southwestern, and prior to that he had served as graduate school dean for four years. He also is Professor of Internal Medicine and Physiology at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Wildenthal received his medical education at UT Southwestern and New York University Medical Center and his research training at UT Southwestern, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the University of Cambridge in England, where he earned a PhD in cell physiology in 1970. 

He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and numerous other societies.

He has chaired the American Section of the International Society for Heart Research; the Science Policy Committee of the Association of Academic Heart Centers; the Basic Science Council and the Science Advisory Committee of the American Heart Association; and the Program Project Research Review Committee of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Dr. Wildenthal has been a visiting professor and conference organizer in 22 countries, and has authored over 120 scientific papers in basic research and clinical cardiology as well as numerous articles on health and education policy issues. He is an Honorary Fellow of Hughes Hall at the University of Cambridge and a member of the board of directors of the Lasker Foundation.  

Dr. Wildenthal serves on a number of national advisory boards for research and health policy, and locally he has been a member of numerous civic, arts, and philanthropic boards, including the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Symphony Association, Dallas Opera, Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Citizens Council, Dallas Assembly, Science Place, and the Hoblitzelle Foundation.

He has received the Virginia Chandler Dykes Award for Public Service from Texas Woman’s University, the TACA Silver Cup Award for Volunteer Leadership in the Arts, in 2006, and the Spirit of Generations Award of Dallas' Senior Source, in 2010.  He has been awarded honorary Doctor of Science degrees by Austin College and Southern Methodist University, and in 2008 he was elected to the Texas Business Hall of Fame.


Medical School University of Texas Southwestern Med Ctr Dallas (1964)
Graduate School Cambridge University - England (1970)

Research Interest

  • Cardiac metabolism

Honors & Awards

  • Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Chairman, Association of Academic Health Centers, Council on Science Policy
  • Chairman, American Heart Association, Basic Science Council
  • Chairman, International Society for Heart Research, American Section
  • Guggenheim Fellowship

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Physiological Society
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • Association of American Physicians
  • International Society for Heart Research
  • Royal Society of Medicine