Dr. Robert Kratzke is a physician and researcher at the University of Minnesota and the Masonic Cancer Center, and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School. His clinical care of patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer is informed by his career-long research into the two challenging conditions and relies on genetic therapies in addition to more traditional treatment protocols. He sees patients at the University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center Cancer Clinic of the Masonic Cancer Clinic.
Education and Career
Dr. Kratzke’s educational journey began at the Pacific Lutheran University, where he earned a bachelor of arts in Biology. He attended medical school at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and after earning his medical degree completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was also a Research Fellow at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research. He went on to pursue a Medical Oncology Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health and continued doing research there while also serving as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. He became a staff physician at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center in the Section of Hematology/Oncology as well as a Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School and and Section Head of Medical Oncology at the Masonic Cancer Center and University of Minnesota Medicine.
He is also a member of the Genetic Mechanisms of Cancer Program at the Masonic Cancer Center and was awarded the John Skoglund Chair for Lung Cancer Research at the University of Minnesota. He is a member of the Editorial Academy of the International Journal of Oncology and holds leadership roles in the Alliance for Cancer Clinical Trials where he directs thoracic oncology correlative science projects. He has also served as the Chair of the Steering committee for the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium and has worked on numerous lung cancer projects for the cancer research cooperative group Cancer and Leukemia Group B.
Dr. Kratzke’s research is currently dedicated to two separate projects: oncolytic virotherapy and targeting cap-mediated translation for lung cancer or mesothelioma therapy. He has worked with a variety of National Institute of Health lung cancer projects, including analyses of patient outcomes, biomarkers, and staging. He also participates in active oversight and analysis of the Alliance lung cancer tissue bank and PLCO tissue and blood samples and has mentored numerous fellows and trainees in the study of mesothelioma and lung cancer at institutions including the University of Minnesota, the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, and Stanford University.