Photo: W. Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD
W. Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD
Year elected: 2011
Current membership category: Active
Chair, Department of Medicine
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Hugh Jackson Morgan Professor of Medicine
1161 21st Avenue South
Medical Center North, Suite D3100
Nashville, TN 37232
United States of America
Phone: 615-875-9731

Society service

President, 2019–2020

Biographical statement

Dr. Kimryn Rathmell is the Chair of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  She is a physician-scientist studying the molecular biology of renal cell carcinomas and rare tumors of the kidney. She earned her undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Biology at the University of Northern Iowa, and her MD and PhD in Biophysics at Stanford University. She completed internal medicine training at the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, and fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Pennsylvania.  She joined the Departments of Medicine and Genetics at the University of North Carolina in 2003 and was a founding member of the Department of Urology before relocating to Vanderbilt in 2015.

Her research program focuses on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of renal cell carcinomas and spans early models of renal tumorigenesis, novel imaging strategies for diagnosis and screening of kidney cancer, epigenetic regulation of kidney cancers, metabolic features of tumorigenesis, and novel therapeutic strategies to overcome resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy and checkpoint targeted immunotherapy. With these bench to bedside strategies, her laboratory endeavors to integrate knowledge of pathways that promote cancer development with translational clinical studies, and uses these discoveries to develop robust approaches to improve the survival of patients with kidney cancers. She is also deeply committed to the development of physician-scientists. At UNC Chapel Hill, she served as co-director of the MSTP, founded the oncology junior faculty mentoring program, and served the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center as Associate Director for Education and Training. Now directing the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Vanderbilt, she holds a K24 which supports focused mentorship activities, and directs a K12 career development program, in addition to continuing to serve as a faculty mentor for the Vanderbilt MSTP. Outside of these activities, she has led organizational initiatives through such work as service on the ASCO Ethics and Education Committees, led numerous working groups of the NIH Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), served on several editorial boards, most recently the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cancer Research, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology-Precision Oncology, and served on the ASCI Council as Secretary-Treasurer and President of the Society, leading changes for young physician-scientists, enhancing advocacy and development, and during the founding of the second journal of the society, JCI Insight.

Institutional affiliations

Christopher S. Williams, MD, PhD is the representative at this institution.


Cancer biology
Translational Medicine

Positions held

Department Chair