W. Kimryn Rathmell
Photo: W. Kimryn Rathmell


Elected 2011

W. Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, MMHC, is the Hugh Jackson Morgan Professor and Chair of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), and Physician-in-Chief for Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital and Clinics. A chemistry and biology graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Rathmell earned her PhD in biophysics and MD from Stanford University. Following completion of her MD, she did an Internal Medicine internship at the University of Chicago before attending the University of Pennsylvania where she completed an Internal Medicine residency and Medical Oncology fellowship. She completed postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania, working with Dr. Celeste Simon. A physician-scientist, Rathmell’s work focuses on the treatment and research of complex renal cell carcinomas. Her research has resulted in over 20 years of funding from the National Institutes of Health, and more than 200 articles in leading peer-reviewed journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, PNAS, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI). In 2015, Rathmell joined VUMC as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Biochemistry. In 2019, she was named Deputy Director for Research Integration and Career Development at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. She served in this role until her appointment as Chair of the Department of Medicine in 2020. In 2022, she completed her Master of Management in Health Care from the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management. Prior to Vanderbilt, Rathmell served on faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) where she was co-director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Graduate Training Program in Translational Medicine, Associate Director for Training and Education at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Associate Director and Alexander Family Chair in Translational Research for the Medical Scientist Training Program. She is a member of The Cancer Genome Atlas, winning the 2021 American Association for Cancer Research Team Science Award, and serves on the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Advisors, the American Physician Scientist Association Board of Directors, the Keystone Symposia Board of Directors, and the Forbeck Foundation Scientific Board of Directors. She is a senior editor for eLIFE, and has served on editorial boards for JCI, Kidney Cancer, and JCO-Precision Oncology. She has held leadership positions for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Kidney Cancer Research Foundation, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), of which she served as Secretary-Treasurer and President. As a result of her efforts, in addition to the ASCI Rathmell has been elected to the Association of American Physicians, the American Clinical and Climatological Society, and as fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in recognition of her research achievements and contributions to the mentorship of physician-scientists, Rathmell was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. During her service on the ASCI Council as Secretary-Treasurer and President of the Society she led changes for young physician-scientists, bolstering the early career components of the society and enhancing advocacy and development, and served during the founding of the second journal of the society, JCI Insight.

Honors / awards

American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2023)
National Academy of Medicine (2022)

Society service

President, 2019–2020