Graft versus host disease (GvHD), mediated by donor T cells, remains the primary cause of non-relapse mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and novel therapeutic approaches are required. Cdk2 is a critical node of signal integration and programming of T cell responses towards immunity versus anergy but is dispensable for hematopoiesis and thymocyte development. We examined the effects of pharmacologic Cdk2 inhibition on alloreactive human T cells. Inhibition of Cdk2 blocked expansion of alloreactive T cells upon culture with HLA-mismatched dendritic cells and prevented generation of IFN-γ-producing alloantigen-specific effectors. In contrast, Cdk2 inhibition preserved effectors specific for Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1) leukemia antigen and for CMV as determined by WT1-specific and CMV-specific pentamers. Cdk2 inhibition preserved Treg cells, which have the ability to prevent GvHD while maintaining GvL. Thus, Cdk inhibitors may improve allogeneic HSCT by reducing alloreactivity and GvHD without loss of pathogen-specific and leukemia-specific immunity. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.