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Pathology & Immunology

Houston, Texas

Pathology and Immunology
Pathology & Immunology
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Debra L. Kearney, M.D.Associate Professor


  • M.D., Northwestern Medical School, 1976 - 1980
  • B.A. Northwestern University, 1972 - 1976


  • Certificate in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, 1980 - 1984


  • Pediatric Pathology

Board Certification

  • Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, 1984
  • Pediatric Pathology, 1999

Area of Interest

  • Pediatric Cardiovascular Pathology with emphasis on congenital heart disease
  • Transplant pathology
  • Cardiomyopathies
  • HIV associated heart disease

Current Position

  • Associate Professor of Pathology
  • Director of Autopsy Service, Texas Children's Hospital

Professional Positions Held

  • Awards Chair
  • Society for Cardiovascular Pathology 2007- present
  • Councilor, Executive Council, Society for Cardiovascular Pathology, 1999-2001

Other Positions

  • Texas Children's Hospital representative to Houston/Harris County Child Fatality Review Team
  • Editorial Board; Cardiovascular Pathology Section editor, Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • Membership committee, Society for Pediatric Pathology
  • Cardiac Pathology Consultant. Harris County Medical Examiners Office

Honors and Awards

  • Alpha Omega Alpha
  • Outstanding Young Women of America, 1984
  • Poster selected for special recognition/Rett syndrome award: Kearney, DL, Armstrong, DL, Glaze, DG, The conduction system in Rett syndrome. Presented at the annual meeting of the International Rett Syndrome Association, Gothenburg Sweden, August 1996
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Pediatric Cardiology 2000
  • Listed among Best Doctors in America 2001-2002
  • Listed among 100 Best Women Doctors in Houston (Inside Houston Magazine 2002)
  • Listed among Best Doctors in America 2003-2004
  • Listed among Best Doctors in America 2005-2006
  • Listed among Best Doctors in America 2007 - 2008

Professional Organization Memberships

  • Society for Cardiovascular Pathology
  • Society for Pediatric Pathology
  • American Medical Association
  • Houston Society of Clinical Pathologists
  • Texas Medical Association
  • Harris County Medical Society
  • United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology

Representative Publications

  • Carr M, Kearney DL, Eidem BW. Congenital aneurysm of the muscular interventricular septum. J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2008 Feb 27 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Breinholt JP, Vallejo JG, Gates CM, Clunie SK, Kearney DL, Dreyer WJ, Towbin JA, Bowles NE. Myocardial pro-inflammatory cytokine expression and cellular rejection in pediatric heart transplant recipients. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2008 March; 27(3): 317-24
  • Purevjav E, Nelson DP, Varela JJ, Jimenez S, Kearney DL, Sanchez XV, DeFreitas G, Carabello B, Taylor MD, Vatta M, Shearer WT, Towbin JA, Bowles NE. Myocardial Fas ligand expression increases susceptibility to AZT-induced cardiomyopathy. Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2007;7(4):255-63. Epub 2007 Oct 18
  • Wang GS, Kearney DL, De Biasi M, Taffet G, Cooper TA. Elevation of RNA-binding protein CUGBP1 is an early event in an inducible heart-specific mouse model of myotonic dystrophy. J Clin Invest. 2007 Oct;117(10):2802-11
  • Yang Z, Bowles NE, Scherer SE, Taylor MD, Kearney DL, Ge S, Nadvoretskiy VV, DeFreitas G, Carabello B, Brandon LI, Godsel LM, Green KJ, Saffitz J, Li H, Danieli GA, Calkins H, Marcus F, Towbin JA. Desmosomal dysfunction due to mutations in desmoplakin causes arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy. Circulation Research, 2006;99: 646-655
  • Kim JJ, Kearney DL, Grifka RG, McKenzie ED, Mott AR. Pulmonary Venous Stenosis as an Associated Manifestation of Left-sided Obstructive Lesions in an Infant with Partial Atrioventricular Canal Defect. Pediatr Cardiol 2004 May 12: [Epublication]
  • Perez-Atayde, AR, Kearney DL, Bricker JT, Colan SD, Easley KA, Kaplan S, Lai WW, Lipshultz SE, Moodie DS, Sopko G, Starc TC and for the P2C2 HIV Study Group. Cardiac, aortic, and pulmonary arteriopathy in HIV-infected children: The prospective P2C2 HIV multicenter study. Pediatr Devl Pathol 2004 Jan-Feb; 7(1):61-70
  • Bowles NE, Ni J, Kearney DL, Pauschinger M, Schultheiss HP, McCarthy R, Hare J, Bricker JT, Bowles KR, Towbin JA. Detection of viruses in myocardial tissues by polymerase chain reaction. Evidence of adenovirus as a common cause of myocarditis in children and adults. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2003 Aug 6;42(3):466-72

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