George B. McDonald

Appointments and Affiliations

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Clinical Research Division
Gastroenterology/Hepatology Section
Member, Appointed: 1987
University of Washington
School of Medicine
Professor, Appointed: 1987
Professional Headshot of George B. McDonald

Mailing Address

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Avenue N.
P.O. Box 19024
Seattle, Washington 98109-1024
United States

General Contact

Phone: (206) 667-6932
Fax: (206) 667-6519

Crohn’s Study Contact

Phone: (206) 667-CATS (-2287)


Fellowship, University of Washington, Gastroenterology, 1975.
Residency, University of Washington, Medicine, 1969.
M.D., Washington University in St. Louis, Medicine, 1967.

Research Interests

Dr. McDonald's research over the last 40 years has been focused on gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary problems in patients with cancer, with an emphasis on complications of and outcomes following hematopoietic cell transplantation. Specific topics have included graft-vs-host disease, sinusoidal obstruction syndrome, viral hepatitis, biliary disease, and infections of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. He formerly directed the Cytokine Analysis Laboratory, a shared resource for investigators at the FHCRC, University of Washington, and Seattle Childrens' Hospital. In collaboration with investigators in the Pharmacology Section, he has examined the pharmacokinetics of chemotherapy drugs used in transplantation, research that has led to methods of limiting toxicity.  In 1998, he published a paper describing patients with both leukemia and Crohn’s Disease whose leukemia was cured by bone marrow transplants for leukemia, but whose Crohn’s Disease also disappeared.  This observation formed the basis for his current research protocol, the Crohn’s Allogeneic Transplant Study (CATS), described below.

Clinical Studies

The Crohn’s Allogeneic Transplant Study is more completely described in the website  This protocol will enroll 12 patients whose Crohn’s Disease has failed to respond to any of the known therapies, whose symptoms are persistent or whose disease has returned after intestinal surgery.  This study is partially funded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation’s  Medical Research Program, conducted under the auspices of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration Investigational New Drug application, and monitored by a Data Safety and Monitoring Board and by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Institutional Review Office.  

Ongoing clinical research that aims at reducing complications of hematopoietic cell transplantation and improving survival include the following projects: 

  1. Predicting outcomes in patients with severe graft-vs.-host disease involving the intestinal tract following allogeneic transplantation.
  2. Analysis of cytokine and chemokine biomarkers in blood as predictors of outcome in patients with graft-vs.-host disease.
  3. Analysis of the effects of Gilbert Syndrome (a genetic disorder affecting hepatocyte uptake of bilirubin) on transplant outcomes.
  4. Analysis of outcomes of 40-year transplant survivors infected by hepatitis C virus.
  5. Outcome of fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis C after allogeneic transplant.
  6. Effects of ursodiol treatment on biliary microliths after transplant.
  7. Studies of the pathogenesis of renal injury after transplant (Sangeeta Hingorani, PI)—risk factor analyses and studies of cytokines, chemokines, and biomarkers in blood and urine.


Alpha Omega Alpha
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
American Gastroenterological Association

Previous Positions

1967-1969  Resident in Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
1969-1972  U.S. Air Force Medical Corps, San Vito Dei Normanni A.S., Italy
1972-1975  Senior Fellow, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
1973-1976  Instructor, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
1976-1980  Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
1980-1987  Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
1983-1984  Visiting Professor, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, U.K.
1983-1987  Associate Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Res. Ctr, Seattle, WA
1988 - 2010   Head, Gastroenterology/Hepatology Section, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Res. Ctr, Seattle, WA


Recent Publications

In Press

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