Rathi Pillai, MD


Titles and Roles

Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Medical Oncologist
Lung Cancer
Research Program
Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics


Rathi Pillai, MD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. A board certified medical oncologist, Dr. Pillai's clinical focus includes the treatment of lung cancer, mesothelioma, and thymic malignancies.

Dr. Pillai is a member of the Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute. She also holds professional memberships in the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.


Dr. Pillai earned her medical degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She then went on to complete her residency in internal medicine and her fellowship in medical oncology at Emory University where she was chief fellow in her final year.


The goal of Dr. Pillai's research is to identify biomarkers that could predict response to immune checkpoint therapies, such as antibodies against Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) and its ligand, PDL-1, in oncology. PD-1 targeted agents have demonstrated promising activity in early phase clinical trials against multiple tumor types, including melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

  • Below is a listing of current federal grants for the above principal investigator.



  • PublicationsPublication Date


Dr. Pillai received the 2017 James R. Eckman Award for Teaching Excellence from the Emory Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellowship Program.

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