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Katy Beckermann, Ph.D., M.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine

Katy Beckermann, Ph.D., M.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine



I am a clinical and translational researcher focused on kidney cancer and inspired by the dramatic responses with immunotherapy agents targeting T cells to harvest the power of the immune system and fight cancer. I aspire to take excellent care of patients forced to deal with the horrific diagnosis of cancer by asking the “why” questions that will advance our understanding and improve their therapy. My work has benefitted from IRB protocols that I developed to readily obtain patient donations including peripheral blood, normal kidney tissue, and cancer specimens which we use for our studies. I received a post-doctoral fellowship award from the Cancer Research Institute to fund my prior efforts in this area that led to multiple publications showing that T cells in kidney cancer have multiple metabolic defects that can be targeted (JCI Insight, 5(16) pii:138729, PMCID PMC7455120). My goal now is to translate the knowledge from this preclinical work to the clinic and by studying patients who have so generously donated serial blood samples while on immune therapy to determine if T cell metabolism and effector function found in the peripheral blood may correlate with therapeutic response.

I currently serve as site PI on nine kidney cancer focused trials and national PI on two additional trials. I have funding as a sub-PI on our recently awarded DoD Kidney cancer clinical consortium grant as well as a collaboration studying endogenous retroviruses as immune instigators in kidney cancer. The goal of my research is to care for patients with kidney cancer by advancing novel therapeutics and identifying predictive biomarkers of response to improve patient selection.


  • M.D., Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Nashville, TN (2012)
  • Ph.D., Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Nashville, TN (2010)
  • B.S., Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX (2004)
Post-Doctoral Training
  • Resudency, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN (2014)
  • Fellowship, Postdoc, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN (2018)

Research Emphasis

Research Description


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