Our laboratory is focused on understanding the underlying biology of the renal cell carcinomas. This set of diseases affects over 60,000 new patients annually in the US. Molecular discoveries based on understanding the molecular and genetic underpinnings of these cancers have led to the development of multiple new lines of treatment, and new targeted therapies and immunotherapies are demonstrating effectiveness as a direct result of basic cancer biology investigations. Our goal is to identify fundamental aspects of the biology of renal cell carcinomas, to develop strategies to improve the treatment of cancers based on biomarker approaches to defining drivers of the cancer phenotype, or developing better ways to detect these cancers earlier. Therefore, our research takes a broad approach using genetic, molecular, and cell biology 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 kidney-derived cancers, is folded into a clinical research program at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.