Kleber Yotsumoto Fertrin, MD, PhD

Director, Sickle Cell Disease and Iron Overload Program
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Assistant Professor
University of Washington School of Medicine
Clinical expertise
Marrow failure syndromes, autoimmune diseases, Leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), hematology, sickle cell disease, iron overload disorders
“I believe it is my responsibility to provide patients with access to modern medical advances while preserving personalized care that respects each patient’s needs and beliefs.”
— Dr. Yotsumoto Fertrin
Why do you work in health care?

I decided to be a doctor because I didn’t want to be around machines all the time. For a long time, I envisioned being an engineer because I was very good at math, but I wanted to be able to have daily interactions with people. As a teenager, I decided to work in health care because I found myself very interested in genetics research. Here at SCCA, I have a nice combination of caring for my patients in clinic while also conducting research.

What is an important factor in patient care?

Personalized care is very important. Each patient I see is different and has different needs. Being an effective listener and building trust helps me address those varying needs. In the future, I hope we can apply modern technology to achieve not only personalized diagnosis and treatment of hematologic diseases, but personalized prevention of diseases as well.

Provider background

Specialties and clinical expertise: Hematologic malignancies, non-malignant hematology

Iron overload

In Brazil, where I’m originally from, thalassemia and sickle cell disease are public health problems and are managed almost entirely by specialized public hematology centers — all the way from diagnosis to treatment with transfusion and bone marrow transplantation. I first studied hemoglobin disorders as an undergraduate; this life-changing opportunity eventually brought me closer to patients, but also piqued my interest in research to try to help solve the issues I faced on a daily basis in the clinic. Recently, a complication that has particularly caught my eye is iron overload — specifically, trying to understand its clinical heterogeneity across different anemias and working toward better management of the condition.

Hemolytic anemias

Benign hematology chose me. I happened to join a professor’s lab when I was an undergrad, and he worked with hemolytic anemias, especially the genetic ones. From that point on, I fell in love with the field. Prior to joining the team at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, I was a professor of hematology at the University of Campinas in Brazil. I have been involved in translational and clinical research involving red cell disorders and its complications since my medical school years.

Diseases treated

Education, experience and certifications
Medical Degree
University of Campinas, Brazil
University of Campinas, Brazil, Internal Medicine
University of Campinas, Brazil, Clinical Hematology and Transfusion Medicine; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda
PhD, University of Campinas, Brazil; Teaching Appointment, University of Campinas, Brazil


Clinical trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by SCCA doctors. Many of these trials at SCCA have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.

Study ID:
Extension Study of AG-348 in Adult Participants With Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency Previously Enrolled in AG-348-006 or AG348-C-007
Complete title


Many of our SCCA physicians conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other physicians and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this SCCA provider has written.

Your care team

At SCCA, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a team coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
Registered nurse (RN)
Your nurse manages your care alongside your physician and assists with care procedures and treatments.
Team coordinator (TC)
Your team coordinator works closely with you and your physician and serves as your scheduler.


SCCA accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.

For providers