Laura Klesse, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Neurofibromatosis Program at Children’s Health℠ and specializes in assessing and treating cancer predispositions. She is also an Associate Professor of pediatrics and neurological surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Dr. Klesse earned her medical and doctoral degrees at UT Southwestern. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Children’s Health and performed her fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at UT Southwestern.
As we’ve learned more over the last 10 years about the signaling pathways that get disregulated in neurofibromatosis and in tumors, we now have some specific therapies that we can offer that are directed more toward the pathway that gets dysregulated.
Dr. Klesse is one of the few neurofibromatosis specialists in the country. Neurofibromatosis, which causes tumors to form on nerve tissue, is the most common cancer predisposition syndrome in children, and managing this chronic disease requires continuity of care with a focus on screening and access to subspecialists. “As we’ve learned more over the last 10 years about the signaling pathways that get disregulated in neurofibromatosis and in tumors, we now have some specific therapies that we can offer that are directed more toward the pathway that gets disregulated,” she says.
In addition to her research on neurofibromatosis, she is involved with a number of drug development trials as well as studies focused on some of the psychosocial consequences that patients with neurofibromatosis sometimes experience, such as bullying.
Dr. Klesse is a member of the medical advisory board for the Texas Neurofibromatosis Foundation and for Neurofibromatosis Inc. Her professional memberships include the American Society for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, the American Society for Clinical Oncology, the Society for Neuro-Oncology and the Children’s Oncology Group.
She is married to neurosurgeon Kevin Morrill, M.D., and they have three children.
Education and Training
- Medical School
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (2001)
- Children's Medical Center Dallas (2005), Pediatrics
- UT Southwestern Medical Center (HR) (2008), Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (2002), Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
- Board Certification
- American Board of Pediatrics/Hematology-Oncology
Departments and Programs
- Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2)
- Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma of Childhood: MRI and Diffusion MRI Features. Moore W, Mathis D, Gargan L, Klesse L, Bowers D, Margraf L, Koral K. American Journal of Neuroradiology. 2014 July 3.
- Intracerebral Schwannoma: A Rare Disease with Varying Natural History. Scott, W., Margraf, L., Koral, K., Klesse, L., Sacco, D. and Weprin. B Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics. 2013 May 10
- Cutaneous features predict paraspinal neurofibromas in neurofibromatosis type 1. Brown, R.M., Klesse, L.J., and Le, L.Q. J Investigational Dermatology. 2010 130(9):2167-9.
- Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder resembling Wilms tumor. Diagnostic dilemma: Renal biopsy or nephrectomy? Cheng, E., Fustino, N., Klesse L., Chinnakotla, S., and Sanghavi, R. Pediatric Transplant. 2010 July 28.
- Acute myeloid leukemia with inv(16)/CBFB-MYH11, 3’CBFB deletion, variant t(9;22)/BCR-ABL1 & del(7)(q22q32) in a pediatric patient, a case report and review of the literature. Tirado, C.A., Valdez, F., Uddin, N., Arbini, A., Klesse, L., Karanidikar, N.J., Fustino, N., Doolittle, J., Garcia, R., Collins, R., and Chen, W. Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics. 2010 200(1):54-9.
- Wilms tumor in a child with L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria. Rogers, R., DeBerardinis, R., Klesse, L., Margraf, L., Boriack, R., and Rakheja, D. Pediatric and Developmental Pathology. 2010 13(5):408-11.
- American Society for Clinical Oncology
- American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
- Society for Neuro-Oncology
Awards and Honors
- D Magazine Best Pediatric Specialist, (2015-2021)
- Dr. George Buchanan Fellow Teaching Award 2017-2017, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program
- Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care 2009
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