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Dr. Gregory Kennedy

Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery
John H. Blue Chair of General Surgery
Cancer Network Director, O’Neal Cancer Service Line

Areas of Interest
colon cancer, rectal cancer, anal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, benign conditions of colon, rectum and anus, endoscopic treatment of colonic disease, chemoprevention


Dr. Kennedy is certified by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery and by the American Board of Surgery. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery. Kennedy’s main interest is in laparoscopic approaches to complex colorectal disease. He has experience with all advanced laparoscopic and minimally invasive approaches including single-incision laparoscopy and robotic surgery. His clinical areas of expertise include colon cancer, rectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, benign conditions of colon, rectum, and anus, and endoscopic treatment of colonic disease.

Dr. Kennedy was born and raised in Montana and is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He earned his doctorate in cancer biology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, where he also completed his general surgery residency in 2006. Dr. Kennedy then completed his colon and rectal surgery fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in 2007.

Dr. Kennedy’s research efforts are focused on chemoprevention of colon and rectal cancer. His funded laboratory uses genetic models to better understand how chemicals prevent tumor formation and what genetic pathways are responsible for their effects. The ultimate goal is to identify targeted agents that are better tolerated by patients in hopes of preventing colon and rectal cancer.

Selected Publications

Díaz-Díaz CJ, Ronnekleiv-Kelly SM, Nukaya M, Geiger PG, Balbo S, Dator R, Megna BW, Carney PR, Bradfield CA, Kennedy GD. The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor is a Repressor of Inflammation-associated Colorectal Tumorigenesis in Mouse. Ann Surg. 2016 Sep;264(3):429-36. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000001874. PubMed PMID: 27433903; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5125557.

Kennedy GD. Hot Topics in Colorectal Surgery. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2016 Sep;29(3):183-4. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1584291. PubMed PMID: 27582642; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4988855.

Kennedy GD, Nukaya M, Moran SM, Glover E, Weinberg S, Balbo S, Hecht SS, Pitot HC, Drinkwater NR, Bradfield CA. Liver tumor promotion by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin is dependent on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor and TNF/IL-1 receptors. Toxicol Sci. 2014 Jul;140(1):135-43. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfu065. PubMed PMID: 24718703; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4133587.

Xing Y, Nukaya M, Satyshur KA, Jiang L, Stanevich V, Korkmaz EN, Burdette L, Kennedy GD, Cui Q, Bradfield CA. Identification of the Ah-receptor structural determinants for ligand preferences. Toxicol Sci. 2012 Sep;129(1):86-97. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfs194. PubMed PMID: 22659362; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3491955.

Lee JS, Cella M, McDonald KG, Garlanda C, Kennedy GD, Nukaya M, Mantovani A, Kopan R, Bradfield CA, Newberry RD, Colonna M. AHR drives the development of gut ILC22 cells and postnatal lymphoid tissues via pathways dependent on and independent of Notch. Nat Immunol. 2011 Nov 20;13(2):144-51. doi: 10.1038/ni.2187. PubMed PMID: 22101730; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3468413.

Nukaya M, Walisser JA, Moran SM, Kennedy GD, Bradfield CA. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator in hepatocytes is required for aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated adaptive and toxic responses in liver. Toxicol Sci. 2010 Dec;118(2):554-63. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfq305. PubMed PMID: 20935161; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2984536.

Nukaya M, Lin BC, Glover E, Moran SM, Kennedy GD, Bradfield CA. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein (AIP) is required for dioxin-induced hepatotoxicity but not for the induction of the Cyp1a1 and Cyp1a2 genes. J Biol Chem. 2010 Nov 12;285(46):35599-605. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.132043. PubMed PMID: 20829355; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2975184.

Honors and Awards

National Institutes of Health, Loan Repayment Program Award (2007, 2009)

Alumni Association 2011 Distinguished Award for Clinical Science Teaching (given by the graduating class of 2012)

Physician Excellence Rising Star Award Nominee (2011)

Alpha Omega Alpha (inducted April 2013)

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Medical Student Mentorship (2013)

Physician Excellence Award Nominee (2013)

Madison Top Doctors Award, Madison Magazine (2010, 2012, 2014)

UW Physician Leadership Development Program (September 2013-December 2015)


Medical School
University of Washington

Graduate School
University of Wisconsin - Madison 
Ph.D., Cancer Biology

University of Wisconsin - Madison 
General Surgery

University of Wisconsin - Madison 
Postdoctoral Fellow, Comprehensive Cancer Center

University of Wisconsin - Madison 
Research Fellow

Mayo Clinic - Rochester, MN 
Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellow


Campus Address
Kracke Building
Room 428

Patient Appointments and Questions: 205-975-3000
Academic Office: 205-934-7822