Leslie Kean, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics
University of Washington
Associate Member
Clinical Research Division
Director of the Ben Town Center for Childhood Cancer Research
University of Washington


1987: BA, Biochemistry and Philosophy, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH
1988: M.Phil, Department of Biochemistry Cambridge University, UK
1999: MD,PhD, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
2003: Residency in Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta GA
2005: Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta GA

Research Focus:

The Kean lab is working to solve the mystery of immune recognition and immune tolerance.
Immune recognition is the process by which the immune system tells the difference between the body’s own cells and outside invaders, such that it can identify viruses, bacteria and cancers it needs to eradicate. Immune tolerance is the process by which the immune system specifically turns itself off to avoid autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, Crohn’s disease and lupus.

Immune tolerance is also critical after bone marrow transplantation, such that the newly transplanted cells can survive in the patient and not cause graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which is the deadliest complication associated with bone marrow transplantation.

Unraveling immune tolerance will lead to new techniques that overcome transplant rejection and prevent GVHD. It will enable us to use bone marrow transplants to treat HIV and other complex diseases. It will increase our understanding of how best to prevent and treat autoimmune diseases. And it will inform our attempts to augment the immune system to treat diseases such as chronic infections and malignancies.

Clinical Expertise:

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

Current Studies:

A Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate whether the drug is effective in children. It’s the nation’s only multicenter pediatric clinical trial aimed at preventing GVHD.

Contact Information

(206) 884-4079
(206) 667-6939
Additional contact

Box 359300