Patrick Kenney

Patrick O. Kenney
M.D., M.S.

Patrick O. Kenney M.D., M.S.

UBMD Pediatrics


Bacterial Pathogenesis; Drug Development; Drug Discovery; Global Health; Infectious Disease; Infectious Diseases; Internal Medicine - Pediatrics; Microbiology; Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Accepting new patients by referral only

Professional Summary:

I am a physician and scientist with clinical specialization in Infectious Diseases (ID) across the age spectrum. In my clinical role, I see inpatient consults at Oishei Children's Hospital and Buffalo General Hospital as well as outpatient pediatric patients at the UBMD Pediatrics clinic in the Conventus Building. My basic and translational science expertise includes biochemistry, protein chemistry, microbiology, and related disciplines. My varied training and experience provide the basis for ongoing research into bacteriophages (phages) to treat multidrug-resistant (MDR) and difficult-to-treat bacterial infections. I view my clinical and translational research as extensions of one another, informing my approach to the bench and the bedside.

I was trained in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics for both my general and subspecialty training. When seeing hospitalized patients of all ages, I evaluate and treat a wide variety of infectious conditions. These can include any variety of local and systemic infections caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and/or parasites. In the outpatient setting I see pediatric patients both as hospital follow-up and from community pediatrician referrals. I am particularly interested in complex lung and other difficult-to-treat infections. In all encounters I endeavor to deliver the best, most appropriate care for each individual patient.

I have more than 15 years of experience teaching at the undergraduate level and beyond in classroom, laboratory, clinic, and hospital settings. While working in the hospital and outpatient clinic, I train a variety of medical students, resident physicians, and ID fellow physicians. My goal is to encourage the development of compassionate, inquisitive, and competent physicians of all specialties. This is achieved with direct learning “on the wards” as well as through didactics and conversational learning.

My clinical work in ID has led me to encounter an all-too-common problem – infections that cannot be treated by antibiotics and typical management alone, either due to inability to remove infected tissue or hardware or, as is increasingly common, due to growing rates of MDR infections. Bacteriophages are one tool in the arsenal that shows promise in these difficult situations. These are viruses that specifically infect bacteria alone, and have been in a predator-prey relationship with human pathogens for time immemorial. Phage therapy is also not a new invention. It has been in existence for over 100 years. However, there are numerous challenges to bringing phages to human infections, particularly a phenomenon called host range, whereby a single phage may only infect a very small proportion of a single bacterial species. Bacteria can also rapidly mutate, so phage ‘cocktails’ and mixtures of phage with traditional antibiotics are typically required for a chance of successful therapy. Due to these challenges, there are no FDA-approved phage therapy products in the US for human infections. Cases must be approached individually to isolate active phages for a particular patient and obtain emergency (eIND) approval for each case. My translational research aims to increase our understanding of phages that target complex, clinically relevant organisms such as Acinetobacter baumannii and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. It is my hope that we can translate a better understanding of bacteria-phage interactions in these less well studied organisms to directed treatment of patients with otherwise untreatable infections.


Bacterial Pathogenesis, Drug Development, Drug Discovery, Global Health, Infectious Disease, Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine - Pediatrics, Microbiology, Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Patients Treated:

Children, Adolescents

Physician Gender:


Education and Training:

  • Fellowship, Combined Adult and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University at Buffalo (2024)
  • Residency, Internal Medicine-Pediatrics, University at Buffalo (2020)
  • MD, Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University (2016)
  • MS, Chemistry, Rochester Institute of Technology (2008)
  • BS, Biochemistry, Rochester Institute of Technology (2006)

Awards and Honors:

  • Louis A. and Ruth Siegel Award honorable mention for excellence in resident teaching (2020)
  • Gold Humanism Honor Society, Richard Sarkin, MD—Medical Emeritus Faculty Chapter (2018)
  • Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award (2017)

Research Profile:

This UBMD physician is also a member of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, teaching the next generation of doctors and researching to advance care in WNY and beyond. Learn more about this physician's research and teaching activities, as well as view credentials, publications, professional involvement and more below.

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