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David Rimm, MD, PhD

Anthony N. Brady Professor of Pathology and Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology); Director, Yale Cancer Center Tissue Microarray Facility, Pathology; Director, Yale Pathology Tissue Services, Pathology; Director, Physician Scientist Training Program, Pathology Research

Contact Information

David Rimm, MD, PhD

Office Location

Research Summary

My lab has a strong translational theme and has two main directions: 1) development of new quantitative approaches to pathology and their use to classify tumors by prognosis or predict response to cancer therapy (cancer tissue biomarker research); and 2) the molecular analysis of growth factor receptors and signaling including immunotherapy related signals. Studies fall into 3 groups. Group 1: translational studies using tissue microarray technology and AQUA (automated quantitative analysis) applying basic molecular observations and tools to biomarker discovery and translation. Main topics include predicting response to therapy in breast cancer and predicting metastasis in breast cancer and melanoma. Group 2: the examination of mechanisms of signaling by Met, (the HGF/SF receptor), ErbB family members and other receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) in epithelial tumors. Finally, Group 3: the use of high-plex technology to discover new predictive markers for immunotherapy.

Specialized Terms: Quantitative Pathology; Cancer Tissue Biomarkers; Melanoma; Breast Cancer; Cell-cell adhesion in cancer; Translation of molecular techniques to diagnostic cytopathology; General Cytopathology; Immunohistochemistry; thyroid pathology

Extensive Research Description

Nearly 100% of Dr. Rimm’s lab efforts are related to cancer. He has largely focused on tissue biomarker research. His most innovative research has involved construction of patient cohorts using the tissue microarray format and the development of methods for quantitative analysis of protein expression on tissue microarrays and whole tissue sections. He has also published extensively in the field of biospecimen science including a series of papers published in Laboratory Investigation, the most popular being cited over 1000 times[2]. His most innovative efforts have been related to automated quantitative analysis of formalin fixed, paraffin embedded tissue.

He and his lab developed the AQUA method of quantitative immunofluorescence that was published in 2002 in Nature Medicine (over 875 citations). This technology attempted to remove the subjectivity from the analysis of immunohistochemistry specimens by using co-localization to define regions of interest, rather than feature extraction of pathologist defined subregions.

More recently, he has extended the quantitative work toward the development of standardized assay for antibody drug conjugate therapies (ADCs).


Research Interests

Breast Neoplasms; Immunohistochemistry; Medical Oncology; Melanoma; Pathology; Biomarkers, Pharmacological

Selected Publications