Patel Named Kimbrough Chair for Pediatric Dentistry

Kamlesh Patel, MD, MSc, has been named the Joseph B. Kimbrough Chair for Pediatric Dentistry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“I am honored to be given the Kimbrough Chair and continue my dedication to cleft and craniofacial care,” says Patel, a professor of surgery in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Patel, who serves as director of craniofacial surgery at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, specializes in treatment for patients with cleft lip and palate, craniosynostosis, and facial trauma.

“Dr. Patel is an accomplished academic plastic surgeon committed to innovation, discovery and evaluation of clinical outcomes to provide advanced clinical services to pediatric craniofacial patients,” says John A. Olson Jr., MD, PhD, the William K. Bixby Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at the School of Medicine. “His work has and will continue to have a major influence in craniofacial care for young patients.”

Patel’s research focus is on developing novel cranial imaging techniques and conducting outcomes research to improve our understanding and management of craniofacial conditions. He has published 120 peer-reviewed papers, with 71 first or senior author publications and 13 papers in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery — the highest impact journal in the specialty. In 2017, Patel earned a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation from Washington University to further his clinical research abilities and build research relationships. Patel also serves as director of clinical operations within the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

“Dr. Patel has made a significant impact on his specialty — both at Washington University and across the country,” says Justin Sacks, MD, MBA, the Sydney M. Jr. and Robert H. Shoenberg Chair and chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. “He has influenced national and international treatment for patients with craniosynostosis, leading to most centers now offering minimally invasive repair, which allows for faster recovery, less scarring, reduced cost, and decreased need for secondary procedures. His work has improved outcomes and decreased the burden of care for patients with cleft lip and palate. Here at Washington University, Dr. Patel is changing craniofacial standard of care through a novel pediatric cranial bone imaging technique. I look forward to seeing his continued advances in this critical area of plastic surgery.”

Patel earned his medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson before completing an integrated general and plastic surgery residency at University of California, Davis in Sacramento. He then completed his pediatric craniofacial fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In 2011, Patel joined the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as faculty in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Since joining the Department of Surgery faculty in 2011, Patel has taken on leadership roles in the medical school and at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, advanced research in craniofacial surgery, and contributed to the education of medical students and surgical trainees.

This chair was made possible by a bequest from Joseph B. Kimbrough, DDS, 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 the School of Medicine before he completed his degree. After graduation, Kimbrough served on the dental school faculty and maintained a successful private practice.

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

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

The Joseph B. Kimbrough Chair for Pediatric Dentistry continues Kimbrough’s legacy by recognizing pediatric plastic surgeons whose dedication and expertise help patients with craniofacial conditions. Patel’s accomplishments in pediatric plastic surgery have improved management and outcomes for pediatric craniofacial care.