David Rimm, MD, PhD

Professor of Pathology and of Medicine (Medical Oncology); Director of Pathology Tissue Services; Director of Translational Pathology

Research Departments & Organizations

Pathology: Pathology Research | Rimm Lab | Tissue Services: Specialized Translational Services

Internal Medicine: Medical Oncology

SPORE in Skin Cancer

Yale Cancer Center: Signal Transduction

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

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

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. 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 diagnostic problems in pathology. 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. We are particularly interested in translocation of these receptors to the nucleus. Finally, Group 3: the use of spectral/spatial analysis tools to improve diagnostic accuracy in cytopathology.

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


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 was the lead author on a recent paper in

Journal of Clinical Oncology that sets forth guidelines for construction of

tissue microarrays from cooperative group clinical trial samples. This

expertise has landed him positions on correlative science committees in the

ALTTO and TEACH breast cancer clinical trials.

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 500 times[2]. He is a

regular invited speaker at the Biospecimen Research Network annual meeting and

is supported by a large contract from the Office of Biospecimen and

Biorepository Research. However, 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 350 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.

There are over 100 publications in the literature from labs in the US and

around the world that use this technology, including many in high impact

journals (NEJM, Nature, Cancer Cell, JCO, etc). The technology has been patented and was the

founding intellectual property of HistoRx in 2004. The company has largely used the technology

to assist pharmaceutical companies in development of companion


Clinical Trials

Conditions Study Title
Lung Determining Mechanisms of Sensitivity and Resistance to Anti-Cancer Therapy for Advanced Lung Cancer

Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

Edit this profile

Contact Info

David Rimm, MD, PhD
Office Location
Department of PathologyBrady Memorial Laboratory
310 Cedar Street, Ste BML 116A

New Haven, CT 06510
Mailing Address
Pathology310 Cedar Street
PO Box 208023

New Haven, CT 06520-8023

Rimm Lab