Sunil Sudarshan, MD
Photo: Sunil Sudarshan



Elected 2021

Dr. Sudarshan is urologic surgeon-scientist dedicated to further understanding of the molecular basis of renal cancer. He is a practicing urologist with surgical expertise in the management of renal and prostate cancers. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Duke University. His postgraduate training included fellowship training at the National Cancer Institute. He is a Professor of Urology and currently serves as Co-Leader of the Cancer Biology and Immunology Program at the O’Neil Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). His laboratory has focused on the interaction between tumor metabolism and epigenetics/ epitranscriptomics using renal cancer as a model system. His research studies have centered on two main areas. (i) His laboratory is focused on the role of oncometabolites and their impact on tumor biology. These efforts have largely center on the small molecule L-2-hydroxyglutarate (L-2HG) which his laboratory identified to be elevated in the most common variant of kidney cancer. Subsequent studies have focused on the impact of this metabolite on gene expression and tumor behavior through the combined use of metabolomics and genome/transcriptome-wide approaches. (ii) His laboratory is also interested in the transcriptional regulation of tumor metabolism in kidney cancer which primarily focuses on the pronounced alterations in mitochondrial metabolism that occur in this malignancy. The overarching goal of his laboratory is to perform mechanistic studies that will advance our current knowledge base of aggressive kidney cancer in order to develop better methods to treat patients with advanced disease through epitranscriptomic, epigenetic, metabolic, and/or signaling approaches.