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Lab Director

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Dr. Leslie Kean, MD, PHD

Director, Stem Cell Transplantation Program
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children’s Hospital
Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Robert A. Stranahan Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Leslie S. Kean, MD PhD, is a physician-scientist with extensive laboratory and clinical expertise in transplantation immunology. She is the Director of Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and a Full Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kean spent the early part of her training at Emory University School of Medicine where she completed her MD/PhD and her residency and fellowship. Before coming to Boston Children's, Dr. Kean was promoted to Full Professor at the University of Washington/Seattle Children's Research Institute, and was a Full Member of the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center. She has been at BCH/DFCI since July 2018.  

Dr. Kean’s research program is focused on the immunology of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, tolerance induction for solid organ transplantation through cellular therapeutics, and immune tolerance in allo- and auto-immune diseases. The overarching goal of her research is to understand mechanisms underlying immune tolerance, with a specific focus on graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), mixed-chimerism induction for solid organ transplantation,  transplant rejection, the immunology of GI auto-immune diseases, and the reconstitution of protective immunity after transplantation. Dr. Kean’s work has led to the creation of multiple novel, MHC-defined non-human primate models of both engraftment and GVHD, to several first-in-disease clinical trials, and to the recent FDA approval of abatacept for acute GVHD prevention, which represents the first FDA approval for this indication. She has used both the animal models and the mechanistic studies linked to her clinical trials to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of immune reconstitution, GVHD, transplant rejection and Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and to test the impact that novel immunmodulatory therapies can make on these processes. To accomplish these research goals, Dr. Kean employs state-of-the single-cell transcriptomic and computational methodologies to interrogate complex immunologic diseases at the molecular level.