Kern Wildenthal, M.D., Ph.D., was the second President of UT Southwestern Medical Center, serving in that position from 1986–2008, and is now President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus. He joined the UT Southwestern faculty as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Physiology in 1970 and became an Associate Professor in 1971 and full Professor in 1975. From 1976 to 1980, he served as Dean of the Graduate School, and from 1980 to 1986 he was Dean of the Medical School.

Following his retirement as President of UT Southwestern, he served as CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation from 2008 to 2012. In 2013 Dr. Wildenthal was appointed President of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation and Executive Vice President of Children’s Medical Center.

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 Ph.D. 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
UT Southwestern Medical Center (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