Find a Provider

Katherine L. Nathanson, MD

Katherine L. Nathanson, MD Physician

Associate Professor of Genetics
Professor of Medicine

Languages spoken:

  • French

Dr. Nathanson is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Clinical Specialties


  • Medicine
    • Medical Genetics

Programs & Services:

  • Cancer
    • Basser Center for BRCA
  • Medical Genetics

Board Certification:

  • Medical Genetics, 1999

Conditions & Treatments:

  • acoustic neuromas
  • Birt-Hogg-DubĂ© syndrome
  • cancer genetics
  • Genetic and Rare Diseases Treatments and Procedures
  • Genetic Counseling
  • genetic skin disease
  • Genetic Testing
  • hereditary cancer syndrome
  • hereditary papillary renal cancer
  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • medical genetics
  • neurofibromatosis
  • paragangliomas
  • pheocromocytoma/paragangliomas
  • schwannomatosis
  • tuberous sclerosis
  • von Hippel Lindau syndrome

Practice Locations and Appointments

Insurance Accepted

  • Aetna US Healthcare
  • Cigna
  • Cigna HealthSpring
  • Devon Health Services (Americare)
  • Gateway Health Plan
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • HealthAmerica / HealthAssurance, a Coventry Plan
  • HealthPartners
  • HealthSmart
  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Humana / Choicecare
  • Independence Blue Cross (Keystone East)
  • Intergroup
  • Keystone First
  • Multiplan
  • NJ Medicaid
  • NJ Qualcare
  • Oxford Health Plan
  • PA Medicaid
  • PA Medicare
  • Preferred Care
  • Rail Road Medicare / Palmetto GBA
  • Tricare
  • United Healthcare
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan
  • US Family Health Plan

Education and Training

Medical School: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Residency: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Fellowship: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


AACR-Kure It Grant for Kidney Cancer Research Scientific Review Committee, National ACMGE Milestones Working Group for Medical Genetics, National American Association for Cancer Research, National American Association for the Advancement of Science, National American College of Medical Genetics, National American College of Physicians, National American Society for Clinical Investigation, National American Society for Human Genetics, National Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, International Breast Cancer Information Core Steering Committee, National Cancer Research UK (UK), International Cancer Research UK, International Cancer Working Group, PhenX Project (sponsored by NHGRI), National Department of Defense Breast Cancer, National Department of Defense Breast Cancer, National Genesis Oncology Trust, New Zealand, International Genome Quebec, International Hidary Foundation-MRA Team Science Awards for Acral Melanoma Genomics, International Lance Armstrong Foundation Study Section, National Melanoma Research Breakthrough Consortium, National Melanoma Research Foundation, National Movember GAP5 Translational Research Steering Committee (Testicular Cancer), International National Cancer Institute, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group (R21), National National Institutes of Health, Cancer Biomarker Study Section, National National Institutes of Health, Cancer Genetics Study Section, National National Institutes of Health, Cancer Genetics Study Session, National National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute Loan Repayment Program Study Section, National National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Intramural Site Visit Review, Cancer and Inflammation Program, National National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, National National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, National Selected for AAMC Mid-Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar, Austin TX, National Susan G. Komen for the Cure Grants Program, National TCGA Pheochromocytoma/Paraganglioma Disease Working Group, National TCGA Testicular Germ Cell Tumor Working Group, National Cancer Institute, National Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, National UK Medical Research Council, International VA MERIT Review - Special Emphasis - Research on Clinical Application of Genetics, National


Dr. Nathanson is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Hospital Privileges:

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.


Research Interests:

Dr. Nathanson’s research focuses on the genetics of human cancer, both germline changes which confer susceptibility to cancer and somatic genetic changes associated with outcome.

Her research projects fall into several areas:

1) Identification and characterization of germline genetic changes associated with breast cancer susceptibility. These projects utilize two sample sets, a large clinical database of high risk breast cancer patients and a case-control study of white and black patients with breast cancer. Currently the projects in the laboratory focus on resequencing of BRCA1-associated genes as candidate breast cancer susceptibility genes in patients with high risk breast cancer and studying copy number variation as associated with potential susceptibility to high risk breast cancer in families with multiple cases of breast cancer.

2) Identification of genetic changes associated with testicular cancer susceptibility in case-control sample set. Dr. Nathanson recently completed a successful genome wide association study in testicular cancer, and is in the process of designing and doing a number of follow-up studies.

3) Identification of somatic genetic markers in melanoma as determinants of response to therapy. The projects in the laboratory focus on several aspects of melanoma genetics including genotyping patients to determine targeted therapy selection, using genetics and genomics to sub-set melanomas, as well as understand response to therapy, and identify novel genes important in melanoma progression.

Selected Publications:

Riff BP, Katona BW, Wilkerson M, Nathanson KL, Metz DC: HNPCC-Associated Pheochromocytoma: Expanding the Tumor Spectrum. Pancreas 44 (4): 676-678,2015.

Academic Contact Info

421 Curie Blvd
University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 662-4740
Patient appointments: 800-789-PENN (7366)

Related Links