C. Dirk Keene M.D.,Ph.D.

 C.  Dirk Keene M.D.,Ph.D.

Specialties and Expertise





Primary Location

Pathology at Harborview

325 9th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206.744.3145|Map It 


Dr. Keene is a UW associate 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 Neuropathology and Targeted Molecular Testing 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".

Dr. Keene 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.

Patient Care Philosophy

As a neuropathologist, I am fortunate to work with neurosurgeons, neurologists, ophthalmologists, oncologists, and primary care physicians to ensure the best possible care for each patient. It is particularly gratifying working hard to help physicians relay accurate and timely information to patients to help them make informed healthcare and management decisions. As a neuroscientist, I am able to delve into the deep workings of the brain to try to better understand disease processes related to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and traumatic and vascular brain injury to help scientists and clinicians develop better ways to diagnose and treat these devastating disorders.

Personal Interests

Hiking, golf, reading science fiction and fantasy, and chess

Clinical Interests

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

Research Interests

As Leader of the UW Neuropathology Core, my research interests are focused on 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.


UW - Dept. of PathologyResidencyPathology2009
UW - Dept. of PathologyFellowshipNeuropathology2008
UW - Dept. of PathologyResidencyAnatomic & Clinical Pathology2006
Univ. of Minnesota Medical SchoolMedical education2005


Board Certifications

American Board of PathologyAnatomic Pathology2011
American Board of PathologyNeuropathology2011
Loading Publications...