T cell metabolism in inflammation and anti-tumor immunity
Dr. Rathmell studies mechanisms by which extracellular cues influence lymphocyte death and differentiation in efforts to control inflammatory diseases and leukemia. Following undergraduate studies on Biology at the University of Northern Iowa, his earned a PhD in Immunology on B cell tolerance and death mechanisms at Stanford University. In postdoctoral studies at the University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania, he showed that lymphocyte metabolism was dynamically regulated by growth factors and controls apoptotic mechanisms. He began at Duke University in 2003 in the departments of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and Immunology, as well as a member of the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute. Dr. Rathmell's group showed that the metabolism of T cells is highly dynamic and that specific metabolic programs are essential for each functional T cell subsets. These fundamental metabolic distinctions may now allow modulation of selective populations of lymphocytes in inflammatory diseases and anti-tumor immunity. He joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University in 2015 as Professor of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology to direct the Vanderbilt Center for Immunobiology and co-lead the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center Host Tumor Interactions Program and now is Associate Director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Infection, Immunology, and Inflammation and co-leader of the Molecular Pathology and Immunology PhD training program.