C. Dirk Keene, MD, PhD

Professor, Department of Lab Medicine & Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, UW School of Medicine
Director of Neuropathology Fellowship Program
Associate Director and Precision Neuropathology Core Leader, ADRC

Dr. Keene is a UW professor of Pathology and adjunct associate professor of Ophthalmology and Neurological Surgery. Dr. Keene's expertise is in neuropathology where he has an active clinical practice focused on diagnostic neurosurgical, ophthalmic, neuromuscular, and autopsy neuropathology.

Dr. Keene received his education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology) and the University of Minnesota (M.D. and Ph.D. in Neuroscience). His post-graduate medical training in Anatomic Pathology and Neuropathology was at the University of Washington where he earned a faculty position in Neuropathology. Currently, Dr. Keene is the Nancy and Buster Alvord Endowed Chair in Neuropathology, is Associate Professor of Pathology, Adjunct Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurological Surgery, Director of the Neuropathology Division, and Leader of the ADRC Precision Neuropathology Core at the University of Washington.

Dr. Keene is Board Certified in Anatomic Pathology and Neuropathology and regularly attends on each of the clinical neuropathology subspecialties (neurosurgical, neuromuscular, ophthalmic, and autopsy) for UW Medicine and enjoys significant teaching and training opportunities through diverse teaching commitments and as Director of the Neuropathology Fellowship and the UW Graduate School course “PATH513: Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration."

In his research, he strives to promote scientific advancement through diagnostic and research neuropathology. Dr. Keene supervises a team of scientists, fellows, research coordinators, and histotechnologists who respectfully and expeditiously perform research autopsies in a manner that maximally and optimally preserves tissues for diverse applications for investigators around the country whilst providing accurate and timely neuropathological diagnoses according to the latest guidelines.

Dr. Keene energetically promotes tissue and data sharing and facilitation of local and national research through collaborative and cooperative mechanisms, and strives to adapt existing and develop novel technologies to maximize the scientific utility of archived and prospectively acquired human brain tissue. The goal of the Keene Laboratory is to facilitate development of diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative approaches for neurodegenerative disease by combining traditional and precision neuropathological strategies in human tissues with experimental approaches in model systems.

Dr. Keene leads the ADRC's monthly Clinicopathologic Correlation Conference (CPC).

Research Interests

Brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative processes in brain, spinal cord, and retina with particular emphasis on Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, traumatic and vascular brain injury; and genetic causes of neurodegeneration.

Clinical Interests

Brain aging; Alzheimer's disease; neurooncology; neurotrauma; chronic traumatic encephalopathy; degenerative diseases of retina; neuromuscular disease.