People

Current Members

  • Jennifer A Pietenpol, Ph.D.

    Professor of Biochemistry and Otolaryngology
    Benjamin F. Byrd, Jr. Professor of Oncology
    Brock Family Directorship in Career Development
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    Director
    Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
    Executive Vice President for Research
    VUMC
    Preston Research Building
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Room / Suite
    652
    Nashville
    Tennessee
    37232-0146

    Jennifer Pietenpol earned her doctorate in cell biology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1990. She continued her postgraduate training at Johns Hopkins Oncology Center (now Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center) before returning in 1995 to Vanderbilt, where she became a professor in 2002. She leads a research program focused on triple-negative breast cancer and the p53 family-signaling network. She has integrated her research expertise in tumor suppressor genes and molecular genetics to molecularly subtype difficult-to-treat, triple-negative breast cancer. This work has been cited over 4,000 times since 2011, and the pre-clinical results continue to be translated to clinical trials. Her research has impacted many areas of science and medicine, and she has brought her discoveries to clinical impact for breast cancer patients.  Her lab also discovered that one of the p53 family members, p73, is required for multiciliogenesis. Loss of p73 and ciliary biogenesis can lead to deficits in the nervous system, sterility, and chronic inflammation and infection. These findings provide insights to the study of several human inflammatory diseases.

     

    Professor Pietenpol also translates science discoveries to human health through her leadership roles, including her positions as Executive Vice President for Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Chief Scientific Advisor for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and past member of the National Cancer Policy Forum and American Association for Cancer Research Board of Directors.  In 2008, President Bush appointed Pietenpol to a six-year term on the National Cancer Advisory Board. Dr. Pietenpol also served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel, advising the former Vice President Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot.  She has received numerous awards, including the Burroughs Wellcome New Investigator Award in Toxicology, the Carleton College Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, the T. J. Martell Medical Research Advancement Award, and the Charles R. Park Award for fundamental research into the pathophysiology of cancer. She was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars and was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. During her tenure at Vanderbilt University, she has trained more than sixty undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral and clinical fellows, and directly mentored more than twenty-five early-career faculty members.

  • Brian D Lehmann, Ph.D.

    Research Assistant Professor of Medicine
    VICC
    Preston Research Building
    Room / Suite
    652
    Nashville
    Tennessee
    37232-6307

    Brian D. Lehmann is a Research Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. After graduating from the University of Illinois, Lehmann earned a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Cell Biology at East Carolina University in 2007. He continued his postgraduate training at Vanderbilt University. His research expertise lies at the intersection of cancer biology and bioinformatics. His unique understanding of both has led to the successful characterization of distinct molecular subgroups for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). These distinct transcriptional subtypes of TNBC display unique biology and differential sensitivity to conventional and targeted therapy. These findings have made a substantial impact within the field and subsequent studies have led to several multi-institutional clinical trials aligning TNBC patients with targeted therapy. He has authored or co-authored over 50 articles published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. These include novel characterization of targetable gene fusions in TNBC and melanoma, clinical evaluation of androgen receptor antagonist (AR) and PI3K inhibition in AR+ TNBC and development of novel tools for next generation sequencing analysis.   He is currently exploring mechanisms of immune suppression in TNBC.