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Kent E. Kester, MD

Academic Title:

Clinical Assistant Professor (Non-Adjunct Faculty)

Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Vice President and Head, Translational Sciences and Biomarkers, Sanofi Pasteur, Swiftwater, PA Professor of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine, Bethesda, MD Member, Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria


UMH, N3E10

Phone (Primary):


Phone (Secondary):

(410) 328-3656



Education and Training

  • Bucknell University, BS, Biology, 1982
  • Jefferson Medical College, MD, 1985
  • University of Maryland Medical System, Internship and Residency, Internal Medicine, 1986-1989
  • Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Infectious Disease Fellowship, 1992-1995


Dr. Kent Kester is currently Vice President and Head, Translational Science and Biomarkers at Sanofi Pasteur. In this capacity, he leads a team of over 200 research and clinical professionals in the US and France focused on translational development of new vaccines. During a 24-year career in the US Army, he worked extensively in clinical vaccine development and led multiple research platforms at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), the U.S. Department of Defense’s largest and most diverse biomedical research laboratory (~3,000 worldwide staff; research budget >$350 million), an institution he later led and reorganized as its Commander/Director. His final military assignment was as the Associate Dean for Clinical Research in the School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). During his military service, Dr. Kester was appointed as the consultant (policy advisor) to the US Army Surgeon General in both Infectious Diseases and in Medical Research & Development. In these capacities, he worked extensively in the interagency environment and developed a variety of Army medical policies related to infectious diseases, both clinical and research aspects. Dr. Kester holds an undergraduate degree from Bucknell University and an M.D. from Jefferson Medical College, completing his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Maryland and a fellowship in infectious diseases at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. A malaria vaccine researcher with over 70 scientific manuscripts and book chapters, Dr. Kester has played a major role in the development of the malaria vaccine candidate known as RTS,S. Currently a member of the US Government Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, he previously chaired the Steering Committee of the NIAID/USUHS Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program, and has served as a member of the FDA Vaccines & Related Biologics Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), the NIAID Advisory Council, and the CDC Office of Infectious Diseases Board of Scientific Counselors. Board-certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases, Dr. Kester holds active faculty appointments at USUHS and the University of Maryland; and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Infectious Disease Society of America, and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He is a member of the clinical faculty at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he regularly provides care as an infectious disease subspecialist.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Malaria vaccine development, nosocomial infections, antimicrobial resistance, global health policy, and translational sciences

Highlighted Publications

Kester KE, Cummings JF, Ofori-Anyinam O, Ockenhouse CF, Krzych U, Moris P, Schwenk R, Nielsen RA, Debebe Z, Pinelis E, Juompan L, Williams J, Dowler M, Stewart VA, Wirtz RA, Dubois M-C, Lievens M, Cohen J, Ballou WR, Heppner DG, RTS,S Vaccine Evaluation Group. Randomized, double-blind, phase 2a trial of Falciparum malaria vaccines RTS,S/AS01B and RTS,S/AS02A in malaria-naïve adults; safety, efficacy, and immunologic associates of protection. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2009;200:337-346.

Vahey MT, Wang Z, Kester KE, Cummings J, Heppner DG Jr., Nau ME, Ofori-Anyinam O, Cohen J, Coche T, Ballou WR, Ockenhouse CF. Expression of genes associated with immunoproteasome processing of major histocompatibility complex peptides is indicative of protection with adjuvanted RTS,S malaria vaccine. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2010;201(4):580-589.

Lesho EP, Waterman PE, Chukwuma U, McAuliffe K, Neumann C, Julius MD, Crouch H, Chandrasekera R, English JF, Clifford RJ, Kester KE. The Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring and Research (ARMoR) Program: the Department of Defense's Response to Escalating Antimicrobial Resistance. Clin Infect Dis. 2014;59:390-397.

Kester KE, Heppner DG, Moris P, Ofori-Anyinam O, Krzych U, Tornieporth N, McKinney D, Delchambre M, Ockenhouse CF, Voss G, Holland C, Beckey JP, Ballou WR, Cohen J, RTS,S/TRAP Group. Sequential Phase 1 and Phase 2 randomized, controlled trials of the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of combined pre-erythrocytic vaccine antigens RTS,S and TRAP formulated with AS02 Adjuvant System in healthy, malaria naïve adults. Vaccine 2014;32:6683-6691.