Cathy D. Vocke, Ph.D.

Cathy D. Vocke, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist
Head, Tissue Processing and Sequencing Facility

Dr. Vocke’s focus is the genetics of hereditary kidney cancer syndromes. She is involved with discovery and characterization of germline and somatic alterations in genes associated with kidney cancer, including next-gen and whole genome approaches as well as direct sequencing.

Dr. Vocke also heads the UOB Tissue Processing and Sequencing Facility, overseeing procurement, preservation, storage, and annotation of all biospecimens, including blood and surgical tissues, obtained from UOB patients. These biospecimens provide an essential resource for many UOB research projects.

Areas of Expertise

1) genetics, 2) kidney cancer, 3) hereditary cancer syndromes, 4) genomics,
5) molecular profiling

Contact Info

Cathy D. Vocke, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10, Room 1-5888
Bethesda, MD
Ph: 240-858-3951

One of the prime goals of the Urologic Oncology Branch (UOB) is the identification and characterization of the tumorigenesis pathways of human genitourinary malignancies. Dr. Vocke is involved in many facets of these studies, including the genetic, genomic, and molecular characterization of renal tumors and other  benign and malignant lesions from known renal cancer syndromes including VHL, BHD, HRLCC, HPRC, SDH Kidney Cancer, and renal cancer involving germline mutations in the BAP1 and PTEN genes, as well as tumors from patients with no germline mutation in the known renal cancer syndrome genes.  She is also involved in the discovery of novel genes that cause hereditary renal cancer syndromes using both whole genome/next-gen and standard sequencing techniques.

As Head of the Tissue Processing/Sequencing Core (TPSC), Dr. Vocke oversees the  collection, handling, and storage of every  biospecimen, such as tissue and blood, generated within the UOB. She coordinates the provision of samples for UOB researchers and outside collaborators to utilize in their investigative research, including for clinical trials of targeted molecular therapeutic agents. In addition, the core establishes short-term and long-term cell lines and mouse xenograft models from selected samples. Many of the lines have been described in published papers, and have been requested from researchers worldwide.

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Chromosome Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Selected Publications

  1. Vocke CD, Ricketts CJ, Ball MW, Schmidt LS, Metwalli AR, Middelton LA, Killian JK, Khan J, Meltzer PS, Simonds WF, Merino MJ, Linehan WM
    Urology. 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Ricketts CJ, De Cubas AA, Fan H, Smith CC, Lang M, Reznik E, Bowlby R, Gibb EA, Akbani R, Beroukhim R, Bottaro DP, Choueiri TK, Gibbs RA, Godwin AK, Haake S, Hakimi AA, Henske EP, Hsieh JJ, Ho TH, Kanchi RS, Krishnan B, Kwiatkowski DJ, Lui W, Merino MJ, Mills GB, Myers J, Nickerson ML, Reuter VE, Schmidt LS, Shelley CS, Shen H, Shuch B, Signoretti S, Srinivasan R, Tamboli P, Thomas G, Vincent BG, Vocke CD, Wheeler DA, Yang L, Kim WY, Robertson AG
    Cell Rep.. 23(12): 3698, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Vocke CD, Ricketts CJ, Merino MJ, Srinivasan R, Metwalli AR, Middelton LA, Peterson J, Yang Y, Linehan WM
    Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 56(6): 484-492, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Ricketts CJ, Shuch B, Vocke CD, Metwalli AR, Bratslavsky G, Middelton L, Yang Y, Wei MH, Pautler SE, Peterson J, Stolle CA, Zbar B, Merino MJ, Schmidt LS, Pinto PA, Srinivasan R, Pacak K, Linehan WM.
    J. Urol. 188: 2063-71, 2012. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Vocke CD, Yang Y, Pavlovich CP, Schmidt LS, Nickerson ML, Torres-Cabala CA, Merino MJ, Walther MM, Zbar B, Linehan WM.
    J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 97: 931-5, 2005. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Vocke received her B.S. with Distinction from Cornell University, and her Ph.D. in microbiology and genetics from Duke University.  Her Ph.D. research focused on regulation of DNA replication. For this work she received the Norman Francis  Conant Research Award in 1984. She then did a postdoctoral      fellowship at Princeton University, studying developmental gene regulation in the cellular slime molds. She joined the NCI in Dr. Linehan’s Urologic Oncology Section, now Branch, in 1992. Her initial research in the UOB focused on the search for prostate cancer tumor suppressor genes, and more recently she has  focused primarily on the identification and characterization of genes involved in kidney cancer.

Name Position
Catherine Wells Animal Technician (Contr)
Robert A. Worrell Ph.D. Research Biologist
Youfeng Yang M.S. Senior Technical Laboratory Manager