Kane named Kimbrough Chair for Pediatric Dentistry

Alex A. Kane, M.D., has been named the Dr. Joseph B. Kimbrough Chair for Pediatric Dentistry in the Washington University Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery for Use in the Cleft Palate/Craniofacial Deformities Institute for teaching and healing.

Kane is associate professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and director of the Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Institute at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and Larry J. Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, made the announcement.

“Dr. Kimbrough’s generous bequest allows us to continue to help patients with craniofacial conditions,” Wrighton says. “Dr. Kane’s extraordinary work with young patients will help to carry on the name of Dr. Kimbrough and his legacy in the St. Louis area.”

“Dr. Kane’s compassion for children is evident through his painstaking work to repair devastating facial birth defects or injuries,” Shapiro says. “He is an excellent choice to hold this professorship named for Dr. Kimbrough.”

“It is a great honor to receive the Kimbrough chair,” Kane says. “It is privilege enough to be able to help care for children with craniofacial conditions. To be given recognition of this type is both gratifying and humbling. This represents a testimonial to the dedicated team of professionals with whom I work and the strength of the institutions at Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which in combination foster a wonderful environment for the care of the families we treat.”

Kane joined the faculty of the School of Medicine in 2000. As director of the Division of Pediatric Plastic Surgery and of the Craniofacial Imaging Laboratory at the School of Medicine, he works with a multidisciplinary group of specialists from otolaryngology, neurosurgery, audiology, speech/language pathology, psychology, dentistry and orthodontics. He is also director of residency education in Pediatric Plastic Surgery at the School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He practices at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis. He has taken volunteer surgical and teaching missions to Cambodia, Vietnam, India and the Philippines.

Kane’s research is in using imaging to better understand craniofacial abnormalities and to study outcomes of their surgical repair. He studies craniofacial structure and function, using several different imaging technologies and analytical techniques.

Kane earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School. He completed residencies in general surgery and plastic surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He completed a fellowship in cleft lip, palate and craniofacial surgery at Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, and a fellowship in craniofacial imaging at the National Institutes of Health.

Kane has served as principal investigator on grants funded by the National Institutes of Health, the McDonnell Center for Higher Brain Function and from the Washington University Office of Technology Management and holds a U.S. Patent. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Humanism in Medicine award from the American Association of Medical Colleges, the Paul M. Weeks Resident Teaching Award from the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Intramural Research Training Award from the National Institutes of Health. He has written nearly 50 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in three books.

He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, the Plastic Surgery Research Council, American Association of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Association of Pediatrics and the American College of Surgeons.

The chair was made possible by a bequest from Joseph B. Kimbrough, D.D.S., a native of Clinton, Mo., and an 1894 graduate of the Washington University College of Dental Medicine. Kimbrough enrolled in the Missouri Dental College in 1890; the College was acquired by Washington University before he completed his degree.

After graduation, Kimbrough served on the Washington University dental school faculty and maintained a successful private practice. He was a member of the St. Louis Dental Society as well as state and national dental associations.

Kimbrough retired from active practice after 62 years and died in 1963 at age 93. During his lifetime he made numerous gifts to Washington University alumni funds and his estate provided two endowed professorships to the School of Medicine.

The Washington University School of Dental Medicine graduated its 125th and final class in 1991.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked third in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.