Robert W. McKenna, MD (2004)
Dr. Robert “Rob” W. McKenna was born on October 30, 1940 in Wilmot, South Dakota, a town with a population of 700 people. His parents, Mac and Irma McKenna, both pharmacists, owned and operated the town drug store for 45 years. Dr. McKenna had two brothers and two sisters.
During Dr. McKenna’s first year in medical school in Minneapolis, he met his future wife, Jane Rainbow, who was a student nurse at the time. They were married on November 21, 1964 and had four children, Pat, Meg, Tim, and Molly.
Medical Education & Practice
Dr. McKenna received his BS degree in biology and chemistry from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1962. That same year he entered medical school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and graduated with his MD degree in 1966. He did a rotating internship at the University of California in San Diego.
Dr. McKenna joined the U.S. Air Force after completing his internship, and served as general medical officer at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam. Because dependents were allowed on the base, Dr. McKenna spent most of his time doing family medicine.
Toward the end of his two-year tour in the Air Force, Dr. McKenna decided to specialize in pathology. He and his family moved back to Minnesota, and he began a four-year residency in anatomical and clinical pathology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
After completing his residency in 1973, Dr. McKenna spent a year as chief resident and fellow in hematology and hematopathology. The following year, Dr. Ellis Benson, chair of the Department of Pathology at the University of Minnesota, invited Dr. McKenna to join the faculty at the medical school. He was promoted to full professor in 1983, and was on faculty at the medical school for a total of twelve years.
In 1985, Dr. McKenna was invited by Dr. Vernie Stembridge to interview for the directorship of the Pathology Department at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas. Dr. McKenna was so impressed with Parkland Hospital and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School that he accepted the job, and in November 1985, he and his family moved to Dallas.
Since joining the faculty at UT Southwestern, Dr. McKenna has served as director of the Pathology Department at Parkland Hospital, as executive vice chair of the Pathology Department, and as director of the Division of Hematopathology and Immunology. He has also served as the medical director for the School of Medical Laboratory Science.
Dr. McKenna served as president of the Twin Cities Society of Pathologists in 1985, president of the Society of Hematopathology from 1992 until 1994, and president of the American Society of Clinical Pathology in 1996. He continues to work with the ASCP in several capacities. Additionally, Dr. McKenna is a member of the Collage of American Pathologists, the Texas Medical Association, and the Dallas County Medical Society.
Dr. McKenna has won numerous honors and awards. Among them are the Commission on Continuing Education Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists in 1989, the Vernie A. Stembridge Resident Education Distinguished Teaching Award from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1994, the Ward Burdick Distinguished Service to Clinical Pathology Award from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists in 2000, and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota Medical School at is commencement in 2000. Dr. McKenna has also been listed in each edition of Naifehs and Smith’s Best Doctors in America since its inauguration in 1992.
Texas Society of Pathologists
Dr. McKenna served as president of the TSP in 2004, and in 2006 he received the George T. Caldwell, MD Award for his contributions to pathology. Among his other activities with the TSP, Dr. McKenna has served on the Board of Directors since 1999 and was an alternate member for the House of Delegates from 1994 until 2000.
Dr. McKenna has authored more than 90 research articles, 27 book chapters, and 21 review articles and has authored or edited 4 books. He has served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Clinical Pathology. He currently is on the editorial boards of Modern Pathology and Medscape – Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He has been a reviewer for more than 20 other medical journals.
Risdall, R. J., McKenna, R. W., Nesbit, M. E., Krivit, W., Balfour, H. H., Simmons, R. L., & Brunning, R. D. (1979). Virus‐associated hemophagocytic syndrome A benign histiocytic proliferation distinct from malignant histiocytosis. Cancer, 44(3), 993-1002.
Ansari, M. Q., Dawson, D. B., Nador, R., Rutherford, C., Schneider, N. R., Latimer, M. J., ... & McKenna, R. W. (1996). Primary body cavity-based AIDS-related lymphomas. American journal of clinical pathology, 105(2), 221-229.
Shivapurkar, N., Harada, K., Reddy, J., Scheuermann, R. H., Xu, Y., McKenna, R. W., ... & Gazdar, A. F. (2002). Presence of simian virus 40 DNA sequences in human lymphomas. The Lancet, 359(9309), 851-852.