Aortic Aneurysms, Aortic Dissections, Aortic Root Replacement, Aortic Surgery, Aortic Valve Repair, Aortic Valve Sparing Root Replacement, Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiac Surgery, Cardiopulmonary Transplant, Coronary Bypass Surgery, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mitral Valve Repair, Valvular Heart Surgery, Ventricular Assist Device
The Inflammatory Response to Extracorporeal Circuits; Hypothermic circulatory arrest; Device Development
Dr. Kenton Zehr is a cardiovascular surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital and associate professor of surgery. He specializes in aortic root and aortic aneurysm surgery, repair techniques for the aortic and mitral valves, and mechanical assistance for the failing heart and lungs. Dr. Zehr has a strong interest in the development of mechanical devices to assist the heart and lungs, and holds several device patents.
After graduating the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in 1989, Dr. Zehr completed a 9-year general surgery/cardiothoracic surgery residency and fellowship in at the John Hopkins Hospital in 1998. During his residency, he spent two years in the Cardiac Surgery Research Laboratories under Dr. William A. Baumgartner. He also completed a fellowship in aortic surgery and thoracic organ transplantation with Sir Magdi H. Yacoub at Harefield Hospital, London, UK.
Dr. Zehr joined the faculty at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., concentrating on clinical surgery. He then spent two years as the Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Associate Director of the Heart, Lung, and Esophageal Institute at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Professor of Surgery before becoming chief of cardiothoracic surgery, director of the Center for Aortic Disease at Scott and White Clinic and professor of surgery at Texas A & M University, Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine from 2009 to 2013. At Scott & White Clinic, he spearheaded several programs—The Center for Aortic Disease, The Thoracic Organ Transplant Program [heart and lung transplantation], The Ventricular Assist Device Program [temporary and long-term support], The Adult Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Program [ECMO], and the TAVR program. Dr. Zehr returned to the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions as Associate Professor of Surgery in 2014.
Dr. Zehr has had a long-standing interest in international education. He has conducted operative workshops in Russia, India, and Iran. He has been a contributor in the development and growth of the Perm Heart Institute, Perm, Russia and was named Honorary Professor. The program has grown from 50 cases to over 3000 open-heart procedures per year in its first decade. He took a year from his USA practice to operate in Perm full-time in 2008 and served as director of education.
Over his career Dr. Zehr has developed clinical interests in aortic root and aortic aneurysm surgery, repair techniques for the aortic and mitral valves, and mechanical assistance for the failing heart and lungs. He has been recognized for his teaching abilities and was awarded the Anthony L. Imbembo Surgical Residents Teaching Award from the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Faculty Teaching Award from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Dr. Zehr has served as an advisor to several mechanical assist device companies. He has been a peer reviewer for Circulation, the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Annals of Thoracic Surgery, American Journal of Cardiology, European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and the Journal of Heart Valve Disease, and served 5 years on the editorial board of the journal Chest. He is an active member of professional societies including the American Association of Thoracic Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Society for Heart Valve Disease. He is author of over 110 publications and 11 book chapters covering nearly the entire gamut of acquired adult cardiac surgical diseases.