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Vanderbilt’s W. Kimryn Rathmell named to ASCI leadership post

Apr. 20, 2017, 11:04 AM

W. Kimryn Rathmell, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), has been named vice president of The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).

W. Kimryn Rathmell, M.D., Ph.D.

Rathmell, who is the Cornelius Abernathy Craig Professor of Medicine, will serve a four-year term, initially as vice president, then president-elect in 2018, president in 2019, and immediate past president of The ASCI in 2020.

The ASCI is an elite honor society of physician-scientists. The Society, founded in 1908, is home to nearly 3,000 members from the upper ranks of academic medicine and industry.

Rathmell’s new leadership role will be announced during the ASCI annual conference to be held April 21 – 23 in Chicago.

“I am delighted by the opportunity to serve this community of exceptional physician-scientists. I view my role as raising the visibility of this career path to allow for increased engagement of physician-scientists at all levels in the national conversation around biomedical research training, funding and translation to the benefit of human health,” Rathmell said.

Rathmell was elected to The ASCI in 2011 and has served on the organization’s Council as Secretary-Treasurer, and as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the Society’s flagship journal.

Rathmell’s research focuses on the genetic and molecular signals that drive renal cell carcinomas (kidney cancers), which affect more than 60,000 new patients annually in the U.S.

She specializes in the treatment of patients with rare and complex kidney cancers as well as hereditary kidney cancer syndromes. Her research program includes basic mechanisms of cancer, innovative imaging strategies and novel therapeutics.

In her current research Rathmell and colleagues have identified factors that are critical to transitions in the progression of kidney cancer. She has also led or participated in a number of the Cancer Genome Atlas projects.

Rathmell is also passionate about the training of translational scientists, having served a variety of educational roles in her prior position at the University of North Carolina and now at Vanderbilt as the co-director (with Debra Friedman, M.D.) of the Oncology K12 program, and a faculty mentor for the Vanderbilt Medical Scientist Training Program. She has been awarded a federal K24 grant for mentoring trainees in patient-oriented research.

Rathmell earned her M.D., and Ph.D., at Stanford University and completed medicine and oncology training at the University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the faculty at Vanderbilt, she served for 12 years on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She has received the Award for Outstanding Achievement at the 14th World Congress on Cancer, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Landon INNOVATOR Award for Personalized Medicine, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Leadership Development Award, and the Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award.

Rathmell joined the Vanderbilt University faculty in 2015.

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