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)
- Resudency, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN (2014)
- Fellowship, Postdoc, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN (2018)
- Rasmussen ML, Kline LA, Park KP, Ortolano NA, Romero-Morales AI, Anthony CC, Beckermann KE, Gama V. A Non-apoptotic Function of MCL-1 in Promoting Pluripotency and Modulating Mitochondrial Dynamics in Stem Cells. Stem Cell Reports [print-electronic]. 2018 Mar 3/13/2018; 10(3): 684-92. PMID: 29429957, PMCID: PMC5918190, PII: S2213-6711(18)30031-6, DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2018.01.005, ISSN: 2213-6711.
- McQuade JL, Daniel CR, Hess KR, Mak C, Wang DY, Rai RR, Park JJ, Haydu LE, Spencer C, Wongchenko M, Lane S, Lee DY, Kaper M, McKean M, Beckermann KE, Rubinstein SM, Rooney I, Musib L, Budha N, Hsu J, Nowicki TS, Avila A, Haas T, Puligandla M, Lee S, Fang S, Wargo JA, Gershenwald JE, Lee JE, Hwu P, Chapman PB, Sosman JA, Schadendorf D, Grob JJ, Flaherty KT, Walker D, Yan Y, McKenna E, Legos JJ, Carlino MS, Ribas A, Kirkwood JM, Long GV, Johnson DB, Menzies AM, Davies MA. Association of body-mass index and outcomes in patients with metastatic melanoma treated with targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or chemotherapy: a retrospective, multicohort analysis. Lancet Oncol [print-electronic]. 2018 Mar; 19(3): 310-22. PMID: 29449192, PMCID: PMC5840029, PII: S1470-2045(18)30078-0, DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30078-0, ISSN: 1474-5488.
- Beckermann KE, Sharma D, Chaturvedi S, Msaouel P, Abboud MR, Allory Y, Bourdeaut F, Calderaro J, de Cubas AA, Derebail VK, Hong AL, Naik RP, Malouf GG, Mullen EA, Reuter VE, Roberts CWM, Walker CL, Wood CG, DeBaun MR, Van Poppel H, Tannir NM, Rathmell WK. Renal Medullary Carcinoma: Establishing Standards in Practice. J Oncol Pract. 2017 Jul; 13(7): 414-21. PMID: 28697319, PMCID: PMC5508447, DOI: 10.1200/JOP.2017.020909, ISSN: 1935-469X.
- Siska PJ, Beckermann KE, Mason FM, Andrejeva G, Greenplate AR, Sendor AB, Chiang YJ, Corona AL, Gemta LF, Vincent BG, Wang RC, Kim B, Hong J, Chen CL, Bullock TN, Irish JM, Rathmell WK, Rathmell JC. Mitochondrial dysregulation and glycolytic insufficiency functionally impair CD8 T cells infiltrating human renal cell carcinoma. JCI Insight [print-electronic]. 2017 Jun 6/15/2017; 2(12): PMID: 28614802, PMCID: PMC5470888, PII: 93411, DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.93411, ISSN: 2379-3708.
- Beckermann KE, Dudzinski SO, Rathmell JC. Dysfunctional T cell metabolism in the tumor microenvironment. Cytokine Growth Factor Rev [print-electronic]. 2017 Jun; 35: 7-14. PMID: 28456467, PMCID: PMC5710836, PII: S1359-6101(17)30052-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2017.04.003, ISSN: 1879-0305.
- Siska PJ, Beckermann KE, Rathmell WK, Haake SM. Strategies to overcome therapeutic resistance in renal cell carcinoma. Urol. Oncol [print-electronic]. 2017 Mar; 35(3): 102-10. PMID: 28089416, PMCID: PMC5318278, PII: S1078-1439(16)30409-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2016.12.002, ISSN: 1873-2496.
- Beckermann KE, Johnson DB, Sosman JA. PD-1/PD-L1 blockade in renal cell cancer. Expert Rev Clin Immunol [print-electronic]. 2017 Jan; 13(1): 77-84. PMID: 27426025, PMCID: PMC5555220, DOI: 10.1080/1744666X.2016.1214575, ISSN: 1744-8409.
- Beckermann KE, Jolly PC, Kim JY, Bordeaux J, Puzanov I, Rathmell WK, Johnson DB. Clinical and immunologic correlates of response to PD-1 blockade in a patient with metastatic renal medullary carcinoma. J Immunother Cancer. 2017; 5: 1. PMID: 28105368, PMCID: PMC5240268, PII: 206, DOI: 10.1186/s40425-016-0206-1, ISSN: 2051-1426.
- Shiuan E, Beckermann KE, Ozgun A, Kelly C, McKean M, McQuade J, Thompson MA, Puzanov I, Greer JP, Rapisuwon S, Postow M, Davies MA, Eroglu Z, Johnson D. Thrombocytopenia in patients with melanoma receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. J Immunother Cancer. 2017; 5: 8. PMID: 28239462, PMCID: PMC5319013, PII: 210, DOI: 10.1186/s40425-017-0210-0, ISSN: 2051-1426.
- Siska PJ, Kim B, Ji X, Hoeksema MD, Massion PP, Beckermann KE, Wu J, Chi JT, Hong J, Rathmell JC. Fluorescence-based measurement of cystine uptake through xCT shows requirement for ROS detoxification in activated lymphocytes. J. Immunol. Methods [print-electronic]. 2016 Nov; 438: 51-8. PMID: 27594594, PMCID: PMC5065394, PII: S0022-1759(16)30188-0, DOI: 10.1016/j.jim.2016.08.013, ISSN: 1872-7905.