Skip to main content

Congratulations to Dr. Kathryn Hacker Gessner who has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious 2023 Pope Clinical Trainee Awards.

Dr. Gessner joins a distinguished list of UNC Urology Program alumni who have received the award, including current faculty members Angela Smith, MD, MS in 2012 and David Johnson, MD, MPH in 2014, and former trainees Pauline Filippou, MD in 2019 and Ibardo Zambrano, MD, MS in 2022.

Supported by the John William Pope Foundation, award recipients are named by the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, with nominations voted on by all Department Chairs and Division Chiefs of cancer-related clinical and research areas.

The Pope Clinical Trainee Award is designed to honor emerging physician-researchers for excellence, accomplishment, and dedication to cancer research and clinical care.

The other 2023 award winners included Jeremy Meier, MD, PhD (Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine) and Joannie Ivory, MD, MSPH (Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine).

“It is an honor to be recognized for both my patient care and research in kidney and bladder cancer. I am grateful to Dr. William Kim and Dr. Ray Tan for their continued guidance and support on our exciting research projects. This award is truly a reflection of the incredible mentoring I received from the UNC urologic oncology faculty during both my urology residency and urologic oncology fellowship.”

Kathryn Hacker Gessner, MD, PhD
Urologic Oncology Fellow

Kathryn Hacker Gessner, MD, PhD


About Dr. Gessner’s Research

Dr. Gessner was recognized for her work evaluating the decision-making experiences and genomics of renal mass biopsy specimens in patients with small renal masses, which is performed under the mentorship of Dr. William Kim and Dr. Ray Tan. This research was presented at the Kidney Cancer Research Symposium, International Kidney Cancer Symposium, Society of Urologic Oncology Annual Meeting, and American Urological Association annual meeting. Dr. Gessner also received the Women in Urologic Oncology Best Poster Award at the Society of Urologic Oncology Annual Meeting for this work. Dr. Gessner studies how molecular alterations and the tumor microenvironment promote both the development and progression of bladder cancer and treatment response.

About The Pope Foundation

The awards, supported by the John William Pope Foundation, are given to emerging physician-scientists in-training based on their excellence in research and clinical oncology practice.

The Pope Foundation endows the Clinical Trainee Awards through a gift made in 2014 designed to help recruit, educate and train future oncologists.