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Kenton Zehr

Kenton James Zehr, M.D.

Detroit Medical Center
Heart Hospital
311 Mack Avenue, Suite 64100
Detroit, MI  48201
United States
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Surgeon - Cardiothoracic


Eastern Mennonite College, Harrisonburg, VA (B.A. Biology 1983)
Pennsylvania State University, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA (M.D. 1989)
Johns Hopkins Hospital General Surgery Residency (1989-1991, 1993-1995)
Johns Hopkins Hospital Cardiothoracic Surgery Research and Clinical Fellow (1991-1993, 1995-1998)
Harefield Hospital Senior Registrar for Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub (1996)
Mayo Clinic Consultant in Cardiovascular Surgery (7/1998-2/2006)
Associate Professor of Surgery, Mayo Medical School (4/2004-2/2006)
Professor of Surgery and Chief of Cardiac Surgery at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (3/2006-3/2008)
Senior Staff Surgeon and Educational Director, Perm Heart Institute, Perm Russia (4/2008-12/2008)
Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Scott and White Clinic (1/2009-5/2013)
Professor of Surgery, Texas A & M, Health Science Center, College of Medicine (1/2009-5/2013)
Associate Professor of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Medical School (1/2014-3/2019)
Executive Director Detroit Medical Center Heart Hospital (4/2019-present)
Clinical Professor of Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine (4/2019-present)

Other Interests

establishing cardiac surgery in underdeveloped areas
international education
mitral valve repair
geography and cultural anthropology
mechanical assistance for the failing heart and lungs/VAD and ECMO
Leningrad school impressionism
aortic root surgery and valve-preserving aortic root reconstruction
aortic valve repair
percutaneous and transapical mitral valve repair research


Early in my career, I concentrated on study of the human inflammatory response  triggered by blood/synthetic surface interactions.  This developed into research into ameliorating inflammatory responses of hyperacute rejection and the neurological, pulmonary, and cardiac sequelae of ischemia reperfusion injury.  Over the last decade, I have been primarily interested in device development related to cardiac surgery.

Additional Educational Information

My overall lifetime professional educational objective is to advance cardiac surgery internationally. I am involved in many international societies and have worked for many years in the area of international education for cardiac surgery. My day to day activities center on providing the most advanced quality cardiac surgery care for our patients. This includes providing all arterial coronary bypass grafting for young patients, valve repair instead of replacement when appropriate, heart and lung transplantation, mechanical assist for the failing heart and lungs (VADs, short and long term, and ECMO), surgery for atrial fibrillation, and advanced surgery for aortic disease (dissections and aneurysms).