Welcome to the Rathmell Lab!
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 disregulation of this pathway. This disease is a devastating cancer which affects over 50,000 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 NC Cancer Hospital of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.