Kimryn Rathmell, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Division of Hematology and Oncology
As the Director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology, I am invested in creating a basic, translational, and clinical program that supports each of our cancer programs.
As a genitourinary oncologist, I lead the GU oncology disease group clinical and research program, focusing my own research on renal cell carcinoma. Our laboratory is focused on cancers caused by deregulation of the normal hypoxia response pathway. We use clear cell renal cell carcinoma as a model system because virtually all of these tumors display dysregulation of this pathway. This cancer affects over 60,000 new patients annually in the US. Recent molecular discoveries based on understanding the hypoxia response pathway have led to the development of multiple new lines of treatment for this cancer. Our goal is to identify strategies to improve the treatment of cancers dependent on hypoxia pathway activation, or better ways to detect these cancers earlier. Therefore, our research takes a broad approach using genetic techniques to study tumor-initiating events and events that promote the development of invasive or metastatic features using in vitro, animal, and human systems. This translational research, all geared toward enhancing our understanding of the genetics and molecular biology of hypoxia-driven cancers, is folded into a clinical research program at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.