Dr. Hilary Keller was born in Seoul, South Korea, lived in Germany for a few years, then grew up in Maryland in her father’s childhood home. She graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences and a minor in Ancient Studies in 2008. She then worked as a pharmacy technician in the Oncology department at Johns Hopkins Hospital, while obtaining her Master of Science degree in Biotechnology with a concentration in Biodefense at Johns Hopkins University in 2011. She was interested in studying tumor immunology and was awarded a Summer Research Internship at the NCI of NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, followed by an Intramural Cancer Research Training Award, where she worked in an immunology lab as a postbaccalaureate research fellow for over a year. During that time, she co-authored 6 basic science research publications.
In 2013, she left the lab to attend medical school at the University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Ochsner Clinical School, where she spent the first two years of medical school in Australia, and her third and fourth years at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans. During medical school, she studied melanoma immunology in mice and human cell lines, and graduated in 2016 with a medical degree and a Master of Philosophy degree (Master of Science equivalent in Australia) from the University of Queensland, publishing a literature review in 2017, and finally her Master’s thesis in 2020. She attended General Surgery Residency training at the Guthrie Clinic at Robert Packer Hospital in Pennsylvania beginning in 2017 and completed in 2023. She then returned to the NIH for a year during her residency training in the same immunology lab from 2019 to 2020, publishing 3 first author basic science research publications, while co-authoring another. She has presented her research at 16 different national and international conferences globally.
Her hobbies and interests outside of work include spending time with her family and friends, traveling, reading, swimming, relaxing by the pool and at the beach, playing and listening to music.