Jeffrey Keenan (1961- )

By: Nicole Lopez

Jeffrey Keenan

Jeffrey Keenan is the Director of the Southeastern Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine and the main developer behind the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) in Knoxville, Tennessee. This non-profit organization focuses on embryo donation and embryo adoption.

Keenan attended Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1979. Keenan then decided to pursue a career in medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Upon receiving his medical degree with honors in 1983, Keenan interned at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After his internship, he completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. His interest in this area of medicine caused him to further specialize in this field. As a result, Keenan took up a fellowship in 1988 at Hutzel Hospital (a part of Wayne State University) where he focused on reproductive endocrinology and infertility. While in Detroit, Michigan Keenan taught at the University.

Upon completion of his fellowship in 1990, Keenan became an active member of several professional medical societies, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). In addition, he is a current member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA). He also has held leadership roles in the Society Developmental Committee for the American Fertility Society (1990-1994) and served as President of the East Tennessee OB/GYN Society from 1996-1997.

Keenan is board certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. He is also a certified member of the American Board of Bioanalysis High Complexity Clinical Laboratory Director as of 1996. Along with holding several certifications in his specialty fields, Keenan is an accomplished author, having written several books and contributed to numerous journal articles centered on endocrinology and infertility issues.

In 2002 Keenan created the National Embryo Donation Center. This organization has allowed him to combine his extensive knowledge of infertility along with the services of embryo donation and adoption. The donating and adopting of embryos is a process that holds out to couples who have problems with fertility the possibility of pregnancy. The embryos that are donated are cryopreserved and are determined to be no longer needed by the donor. As a result, the individual who owns the embryo(s) makes the decision to donate these embryos to another couple. The couple receiving the donated embryos is referred to as the adopting couple. The establishment of this organization was developed from the standard set forth by the Snowflakes program of Nightlight Christian Adoptions (NCA). The NEDC received a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) federal grant in August of 2008 to further educate the public on embryo donation and embryo adoption through raising awareness. Keenan is the Medical Director of the NEDC.

Currently, Keenan also holds affiliations with several area hospitals and, as a prominent member of the medical community, has expanded his career to teaching. Keenan holds positions as the Director and Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville as a part of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility.


  1. Keenan, Jeffrey. “Development of the National Embryo Donation Center.” In The Ethics of Embryo Adoption and the Catholic Tradition: Moral Arguments, EconomicReality, and Social Analysis, eds. Sarah-Vaughan Brakman and Darlene Fozard Weaver, 221–230. Springer Science + Business Media B.V., 2007.
  2. National Embryo Donation Center. “About the National Embryo Donation Center.” National Embryo Donation Center. (Accessed May 1, 2009).
  3. Southeastern Fertility Center. “Director’s Credentials.” Southeastern Fertility Center. (Accessed May 2, 2009).


How to cite

Lopez, Nicole, "Jeffrey Keenan (1961- )". Embryo Project Encyclopedia ( ). ISSN: 1940-5030


Arizona State University. School of Life Sciences. Center for Biology and Society. Embryo Project Encyclopedia.

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Monday, September 11, 2023 - 10:58

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