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Sunil Sudarshan, MD

Professor and Director, Renal Cancer Biology Program, Department of Urology, University of Alabama at Birmingham | Co-Leader, Cancer Biology Immunology Program, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center


Personal Statement

Dr. Sudarshan is a urologic surgeon-scientist dedicated to further understanding of the molecular basis of renal cancer and to translate these findings to treatments that may impact the care of affected patients.  He provides urological care for patients with kidney cancer.  Dr. Sudarshan’s work on kidney cancer has led to lead/corresponding authorship in several-well respected journals including Journal of Experimental Medicine, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Oncogene, Journal Of Biological Chemistry, Clinical Cancer Research, Molecular Cancer Research, and Cancer Discovery.  His laboratory’s principal focus has been to study the impact of tumor metabolism on the epigenome and epitranscriptome.  In turn, they are interested in how these interactions contributes to tumor formation, progression, as well as response to therapy. The overarching goal is to perform mechanistic studies that will advance our current knowledge base of kidney cancer in order to develop better methods to treat patients through epitranscriptomic, epigenetic, metabolic, and/or signaling approaches. Dr. Sudarshan also serves as Co-Leader of the Cancer Biology and Immunology (CBI) Program at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center.  In this role, he coordinates program activities that revolve around enrichment opportunities, shared resources, training, and inter/intraprogrammatic interactions.


  • AB, Duke University, Durham, NC
  • MD, Duke University, Durham, NC

Research Interests

  • Epigenetic studies in renal cancer
  • Investigation on the role the tricarboxylic acid cycle enzyme fumarate hydratase (FH) in renal carcinogenesis
  • Novel Aspects of mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) Signaling in Renal Cancer
  • Therapeutic Approaches to Genitourinary Malignancies

Recent Publications

  • Brinkley G, Nam H, Shim E, Kirkman R, Kundu A, Karki S, Heidarian Y, Tennessen JM, Liu J, Locasale JW, Guo T, Wei S, Gordetsky J, Johnson-Pais TL, Absher D, Rakheja D, Challa AK, Sudarshan S*.  Teleological role of L-2-hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenase in the kidney.  Dis Model Mech. 2020 Nov 27;13(11)
  • Kundu A, Shelar S, Ghosh AP, Ballestas M, Kirkman R, Nam H, Brinkley GJ, Karki S, Mobley JA, Bae S, Varambally S, Sudarshan S.  14-3-3 Proteins Protect AMPK-phosphorylated Ten-Eleven translocation-2 (TET2) From PP2A-mediated Dephosphorylation.  J Biol Chem 2020 Feb 7;295(6):1754-1766.
  • Nam H, Kundu A, Brinkley GJ, Chandrashekar DS, Kirkman RL, Chakravarthi BVSK, Orlandella RM, Norian LA, Sonpavde G, Ghatalia P, Fei F, Wei S, Varambally S, Sudarshan S*. PGC1α suppresses kidney cancer progression by inhibiting collagen-induced SNAIL expression. Matrix Biol. 2020 Jul;89:43-58.
  • Nam HY, Chandrashekar DS, Kundu A, Shelar S, Kho EY, Sonpavde G, Naik G, Ghatalia P, Livi CB, Varambally S, Sudarshan S*.  Integrative Epigenetic and Gene Expression Analysis of Renal Tumor Progression to Metastasis.  Mol Cancer Res. 2019 Jan;17(1):84-96.
  • Ghosh  AP, Willey CD, Anderson JC, Welaya K, Chen D, Mehta A, Ghatalia P, Madan A, Naik G, Sudarshan S*, Sonpavde G* (* Corresponding Authors).  Kinomic profiling identifies focal adhesion kinase 1 as atherapeutic target in advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma.  Oncotarget. 2017 Apr 25;8(17):29220-29232.  PMC5438725.
  • Complete List of Published Work:…