Laura Klesse, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist specializing in neurofibromatosis, and is Co-director of UT Southwestern Medical Center's Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) program. 

Dr. Klesse is a Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care and Director of the comprehensive neurofibromatosis program at Children’s Health.

After receiving her undergraduate degree with high honors in biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Klesse earned her medical degree and Ph.D. at UT Southwestern. For her Ph.D. and postdoctoral research fellowship, she studied in the laboratory of Luis Parada, Ph.D., a UT Southwestern faculty member and National Academy of Sciences Fellow who leads one of the foremost centers of research into cancers of the nervous system and their relation to genetic disease. 

Dr. Klesse completed her residency in pediatrics at Children’s Medical Center and performed her fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at UT Southwestern.

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.

Dr. Klesse was included in D Magazine's Best Doctors list for 2018 and 2022 and its Best Pediatric Specialists list in 2015-2017 and 2020-2021.


Undergraduate School
University of Notre Dame (1992)
Medical School
UT Southwestern Medical School (2001)
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2002), Pediatric Hematology/oncology
Children's Health Dallas (2005), Pediatrics
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2008), Pediatric Hematology/oncology

Research Interest

  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Precision Medicine


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Targeted MAPK Pathway Inhibitors in Patients With Disseminated Pilocytic Astrocytomas.
Drobysheva A, Klesse LJ, Bowers DC, Rajaram V, Rakheja D, Timmons CF, Wang J, Koral K, Gargan L, Ramos E, Park JY J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2017 Aug 15 8 978-982
Randomized placebo-controlled study of lovastatin in children with neurofibromatosis type 1.
Payne JM, Barton B, Ullrich NJ, Cantor A, Hearps SJ, Cutter G, Rosser T, Walsh KS, Gioia GA, Wolters PL, Tonsgard J, Schorry E, Viskochil D, Klesse L, Fisher M, Gutmann DH, Silva AJ, Hunter SJ, Rey-Casserly C, Cantor NL, Byars AW, Stavinoha PL, Ackerson JD, Armstrong CL, Isenberg J, O'Neil SH, Packer RJ, Korf B, Acosta MT, North KN Neurology 2016 Dec 87 24 2575-2584
Postoperative surveillance of pediatric cerebellar pilocytic astrocytoma.
Alford R, Gargan L, Bowers DC, Klesse LJ, Weprin B, Koral K J. Neurooncol. 2016 Aug
Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma of Childhood: MR Imaging and Diffusion MR Imaging Features.
Moore W, Mathis D, Gargan L, Bowers DC, Klesse LJ, Margraf L, Koral K AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2014 Jul
Intracerebral schwannomas: a rare disease with varying natural history.
Scott WW, Koral K, Margraf LR, Klesse L, Sacco DJ, Weprin BE J Neurosurg Pediatr 2013 Jul 12 1 6-12
Wilms tumor in a child with L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria.
Rogers RE, Deberardinis RJ, Klesse LJ, Boriack RL, Margraf LR, Rakheja D Pediatr. Dev. Pathol. 2010 Sep-Oct 13 5 408-11
Cutaneous features predict paraspinal neurofibromas in neurofibromatosis type 1.
Brown RM, Klesse LJ, Le LQ J. Invest. Dermatol. 2010 Sep 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, Sanghavi R Pediatr Transplant 2010 Jul
Acute myeloid leukemia with inv(16) with CBFB-MYH11, 3'CBFB deletion, variant t(9;22) with BCR-ABL1, and del(7)(q22q32) in a pediatric patient: case report and literature review.
Tirado CA, Valdez F, Klesse L, Karandikar NJ, Uddin N, Arbini A, Fustino N, Collins R, Patel S, Smart RL, Garcia R, Doolittle J, Chen W Cancer Genet. Cytogenet. 2010 Jul 200 1 54-9
Childhood medulloblastoma: current status of biology and treatment.
Klesse LJ, Bowers DC CNS Drugs 2010 Apr 24 4 285-301

Honors & Awards

  • Dr. George Buchanan Fellow Teaching Award
    Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program (2017-2017)
  • Best Pediatric Specialists/Doctors in Dallas
    D Magazine (2015-2023)
  • Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Society for Clinical Oncology
  • American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Society for Neuro-Oncology