A photo of Alan Kenny.

Alan P. Kenny, MD, PhD


  • Attending Neonatologist, Division of Neonatology
  • Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

About

Biography

My research areas include developmental biology, esophageal arresia, tracheoesophageal fistula and airway malacia. This work involves molecular developmental pathophysiology of abnormal tracheoesophageal development.

I’m also interested in innovative molecular treatments for abnormal or injured lung alveolization. My team and I look for the molecular machinery that regulates the first stages of respiratory and digestive organ development. In particular, we study the foregut progenitor cells in the ventral endoderm, which are the early building blocks of the liver, lungs and pancreas.

The questions my team and I are attempting to answer are:

  1. How are the typical foregut organ progenitor cells specified?
  2. How are signaling pathways coordinated together so that different organs can be produced from the common foregut progenitor?
  3. What endoderm genetic systems get activated due to the induction from the mesoderm that controls precise foregut organ development?

I began my research interests after working with pregnant patients in neonatology fetal care. I was first inspired to be a healthcare provider and physician when I saw that this career could alter patient outcomes by enhancing early clinical trajectories.

The awards that I have been recognized for include:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) K08 Award
  • Procter Scholar
  • Society for Pediatric Research (SPR) Fellow Basic Science Award

My research has been published in notable journals, such as Developmental Cell, Cell Reports and Developmental Dynamics.

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Publications

Identification and validation of candidate risk genes in endocytic vesicular trafficking associated with esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistulas. Zhong, G; Ahimaz, P; Edwards, NA; Hagen, JJ; Faure, C; Lu, Q; Kingma, P; Middlesworth, W; Khlevner, J; El Fiky, M; et al. 2022; 3.

Endosome-Mediated Epithelial Remodeling Downstream of Hedgehog-Gli Is Required for Tracheoesophageal Separation. Nasr, T; Mancini, P; Rankin, SA; Edwards, NA; Agricola, ZN; Kenny, AP; Kinney, JL; Daniels, K; Vardanyan, J; Han, L; et al. Developmental Cell. 2019; 51:665-674.e6.

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