Kenneth W Liechty

Kenneth W Liechty

Division Chief, Pediatric Surgery
Member of the Graduate Faculty
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Professor, Pediatrics
Professor, Surgery
Vice Chair, Research
Primary Department
Department Affiliations
(520) 626-5555

Work Summary

Ken Liechty, MD, is the division chief of pediatric surgery in the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson’s Department of Surgery, as well as director of fetal medicine at Banner – University Medicine and surgeon-in-chief of Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Liechty received undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Utah. He went on to receive certifications in general surgery from the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) and fetal and pediatric surgery from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He stayed on as faculty at CHOP and UPENN for five years as a fetal and pediatric surgeon and basic science researcher. For the last eight years, Dr. Liechty was co-director of the Children’s Hospital Colorado Fetal Care Center and director of Pediatric Surgery Basic and Translational Research.

Research Interest

Dr. Liechty is internationally recognized for his clinical care in fetal medicine and his research in wound healing and regeneration. His laboratory, which has been continuously funded for the last 18 years, is the source of many patents and two companies. He has trained numerous medical students, residents and fellows who have gone on to academic surgical positions. Dr. Kenneth Liechty’s research has been focused primarily in the field of wound healing, the response to injury, and regenerative medicine, with an emphasis on elucidating the mechanisms involved in the regenerative response to injury in the fetus, the role of inflammation and oxidative stress in tissue repair, and the correction of abnormal healing in the adult. Dr. Liechty’s research team has pioneered the role of dysregulated microRNAs in the diabetic wound healing impairment, and the mechanisms of the correction of this wound healing impairment with stem cell and gene therapy. The Liechty research team is developing novel treatment paradigms using small molecule therapeutics including the microRNA conjugated nanoparticles, as well as stem cells and gene therapy strategies to promote healing and tissue regeneration in multiple tissues by modulating the inflammatory response, angiogenesis, the composition of the extracellular matrix, macrophage polarization, and progenitor cell content. Dr. Liechty’s research team has also developed and published the first report of mammalian cardiac regeneration in a large animal model following in utero myocardial infarction and has contributed significantly to the understanding of regenerative healing in the heart, skin and tendon, and the correction of impaired healing in diabetics. The goal of Dr Liechty’s research approach in regenerative medicine is to restore normal tissue architecture and function and to prevent the complications of impaired healing or scar formation after injury.