Christopher Dirk Keene M.D.,Ph.D.

Christopher Dirk Keene M.D.,Ph.D.
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  • English


  • Pathology


Dr. Keene is a UW assistant professor of pathology and adjunct assistant professor of ophthalmology. Dr. Keene's expertise is in neuropathology where he has an active clinical practice focused on diagnostic neurosurgical and ophthalmic pathology as well as muscle and nerve biopsy pathology.

In addition, Dr. Keene is an expert in diagnostic autopsy neuropathology with extensive experience with acute and chronic central nervous system diseases including stroke, trauma, demyelinating conditions, neurodegenerative diseases, etc. He is the co-leader of the UW Neuropathology Core and performs research brain autopsies for numerous large studies including the University of Washington Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and the Pacific Northwest Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research. Dr. Keene's research interest is focused on developing a better understanding of and treatments for age-related neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, vascular brain injury, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, and chronic traumatic brain injury. He complements studies of neurodegeneration in human disease with experimental models of neurodegeneration with the ultimate goal of developing better ways to treat or even prevent these devastating disorders.

Dr. Keene earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas where he grew up. He matriculated into the medical scientist training program at the University of Minnesota where he earned his Ph.D. in neuroscience studying Huntington's disease, followed by his M.D. He then moved to Seattle where he completed a combined anatomic pathology residency and neuropathology fellowship at the University of Washington.

Dr. Keene remained at the UW after his training in his current position of assistant professor. He is board certified in anatomic pathology and neuropathology and is a fellow of the College of American Pathologists. Dr. Keene is the program director for the UW Neuropathology Fellowship Program and director of the UW Eye Tissue Bank.

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.

Clinical Interests

Brain tumors; diseases of the eye and orbit; muscle and nerve pathology; neurodegenerative disease; autopsy neuropathology with particular interest in neurodegeneration.

Research Interests

As co-leader of the UW Neuropathology Core, my research interests are focused on age-related degenerative processes in brain, spinal cord, and retina with particular emphasis on traumatic and vascular brain injury and Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Lewy body diseases and frontotemporal lobar degeneration.


Institution Credential Year
UW - Dept. of Pathology Residency
Univ. of Minnesota Medical School Medical education 2005
UW - Dept. of Pathology Residency
UW - Dept. of Pathology Fellowship
Degree Institution Year
MD Univ. of Minnesota Medical School 2005

Board Certifications

Certification Specialty Year
American Board of Pathology Anatomic Pathology 2011
American Board of Pathology Neuropathology 2011