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Dr. Ramaswamy Govindan

Dr. Ramaswamy Govindan

Medical Oncologist

Dr. Ramaswamy Govindan is a medical oncologist handling cases of pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer at the Washington University School of Medicine and the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis.

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About Ramaswamy Govindan

  • Research Excellence icon

    Excellence in Research

  • Pleural and Lung Cancer icon

    Pleural Mesothelioma

  • Team Leader icon

    Team Leader

  • Gene Therapy icon

    Gene Therapy

Govindan is known for his innovative research — particularly in genomics — that is being used to develop better lung cancer therapies and significantly improve patient outcomes.

He is co-chair of the Cancer Genome Atlas project, a nationwide effort to personalize cancer care through identifying genetic mutations.

Govindan also leads a multicenter clinical trial that assigns cancer treatment based on molecular alternations in the tumors of individual patients. The trial is known as ALCHEMIST (Adjuvant Lung Cancer Enrichment Marker Identification and Sequencing Trial).

A Leader in Cancer Research

Washington University recently awarded Govindan its prestigious Anheuser-Busch Endowed Chair in Medical Oncology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

“Medical practice gets very sophisticated when you are merging research into practice, and we approach it very scientifically,” Govindan said. “We try and offer maximum benefit for each patient. The progress we’ve made over the past 10 years is absolutely fantastic.”

Govindan is part of a multidisciplinary team at Siteman that specializes in lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma.

He works closely with surgeons Dr. Alexander Patterson and Dr. Benjamin Kozower, who also specialize in lung diseases, along with a team that includes pulmonologists and radiologists.

Siteman is the only cancer center in Missouri with the prestigious Comprehensive Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. It is an international leader in cancer research, prevention and treatment.

Siteman provides for close to 10,000 cancer patients annually with a full range of diagnostic and treatment services.

“As leaders in the field, we are the ones working with colleagues around the world, sitting down and coming up with new treatments,” Govindan said. “We are constantly thinking about the problems in the clinic, going to the lab and coming up with the research to address them.”

Investigating Novel Approaches to Mesothelioma

Govindan was the principal investigator for a phase II clinical trial — sponsored by the National Cancer Institute — studying mesothelioma and the drug Iressa (gefitnib).

He is currently conducting several clinical trials involving lung cancer. He also is known for his patient-centric care in the clinic and his bedside manner.

“When you are told you have cancer, it is a big, life-changing event,” Govindan said. “We do our best to reassure our patients of the possibilities, and the hope that is there. At the same time, we have to be very honest and candid with our patients.”

Govindan completed his fellowship in hematology and oncology at the Washington University School of Medicine.

He earned his medical degree from the University of Madras in India. He did a residency in internal medicine at the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago before joining the Washington University faculty in 1998.

Disclaimer: Dr. Ramaswamy Govindan has no professional affiliation with

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4 Cited Article Sources

The sources on all content featured in The Mesothelioma Center at include medical and scientific studies, peer-reviewed studies and other research documents from reputable organizations.

  1. Siteman Cancer Center. (n.d.). Ramaswamy Govindan, MD.
    Retrieved from:
  2. Siteman Cancer Center News. (2016, February 19). Govindan named Anheuser-Busch Endowed Chair in Medical Oncology. Retrieve from
    Retrieved from:
  3. Goodwin, J. (2014, September 22). Washington People: Ramaswamy Govindan.
    Retrieved from:
  4. (2013, January 17). Gefitnib in Treating Patients with Malignant Mesothelioma. Retrieved from:

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Last Modified August 7, 2020

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