Longtime faculty member Kenkel named new Chairman of Plastic Surgery

By Remekca Owens

Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel has been named Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Kenkel, Professor of Plastic Surgery, has served as Interim Chair since July 2014 and previously served as Vice-Chair of the Department.

Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel
Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel

“Dr. Kenkel was identified after a rigorous national search, and was chosen for this position based on his outstanding accomplishments as a physician, educator, and leader,” said Dr. Gregory Fitz, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost, and Dean of UT Southwestern Medical School. “He is very well-suited to lead the next phase of growth and development in the Department, which ranks among the best in the country.”    

An internationally renowned aesthetic surgeon, Dr. Kenkel is a leading authority in surgery after weight loss, safety in body contouring procedures, as well as use of lasers and light-based devices in cosmetic surgery. In addition to his new role as Departmental Chairman that took effect in September, he will remain Director of the UT Southwestern Clinical Center for Cosmetic Laser Treatment, and Chair of the Surgical Services Executive Committee. Dr. Kenkel joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 1996, shortly after completing his residency at UT Southwestern.

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said Dr. Kenkel. “I’ve seen our Department grow in an amazing manner during the 19 years I’ve been here, expanding from a small clinical presence into a well-established academic Department that covers the spectrum of plastic surgery.”  

Dr. Kenkel is Past President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), and serves as Associate Editor for the Aesthetic Surgery Journal and Editor of Selected Readings in Plastic Surgery. His leadership has been integral in the Department’s consecutive recognition as the top residency program for plastic surgeons in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Dr. Kenkel said he looks forward to enhancing every aspect of the Department of Plastic Surgery in his new leadership role.

“We see so many areas of potential growth for our Department and faculty, including the continued success of our nationally recognized training program, as well as our roles at the VA, Parkland Hospital, Children’s Medical Center, William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, and the Wound Care Clinic,” Dr. Kenkel said. “From a research standpoint, we look forward to exploring ways to develop our role in the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine.”

A Boston College graduate, Dr. Kenkel earned his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine. After completing his general surgery residency at Georgetown, he obtained his plastic surgery training at UT Southwestern, finishing in 1996.

He is the newly named holder of the Betty and Warren Woodward Chair in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.


Dr. Fitz holds the Nadine and Tom Craddick Distinguished Chair in Medical Science, and the Atticus James Gill, M.D. Chair in Medical Science.

Dr. Kenkel holds the Rod J. Rohrich, M.D., Distinguished Professorship in Wound Healing and Plastic Surgery.