Alumni


Since its inception in 1937, the NCI has been involved in finding new treatments for patients. One of the key elements of our mission is training the next generation of oncologists. Over the last 10 years almost two-thirds of NCI graduating medical oncology fellows have gone into academic medicine, another 17% are working in private industry or at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


Selected Testimonials from Alumni


Bruce A. Chabner, M.D.

Bruce A. Chabner, M.D.
Clinical Fellow
(1967 - 1969)

Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Director of Clinical Research

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Boston, MA

The NCI fellowship has afforded a unique combination of opportunities for excellent clinical training and translational research experience. Many of the leaders in translational research began their careers at the NCI and flourished in this outstanding environment.


Nima Sharifi, M.D.

Nima Sharifi, M.D.
Clinical Fellow
(2003 - 2007)

Associate Professor and Kendrick Endowed Chair for Prostate Cancer Research

Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland, OH

The NCI fellowship allowed me to seamlessly go back and forth to work with basic scientists and clinical oncologists who are working on the same problem from two fronts. These differing vantage points are available in NIH's unique working environment, where creativity allows one to pursue projects simply not possible elsewhere. The NCI fellowship and environment launched my career as a laboratory-based oncologist.


Yang-min "Max" Ning, M.D., Ph.D.

Yang-min "Max" Ning, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Fellow
(2003 - 2007)

Senior Reviewer/Medical Officer

Office of Hematology and Oncology Products

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Silver Spring, MD

The NCI Medical Oncology Fellowship Program provides a dynamic platform to develop essential clinical oncology research skills. The knowledge and skill sets I gained from the well-known experts in the program, including the opportunity to write and run clinical trials as a fellow, have laid a solid foundation for me to effectively evaluate new oncology drug applications at the FDA.


John F. Deeken, M.D.

John F. Deeken, M.D.
Clinical Fellow
(2004 - 2006)

Associate Director for
Clinical Research & Medical Oncology
INOVA Comprehensive Cancer and Research Center
Falls Church, VA

The fellowship training I received at the NCI was the best thing I could have done to successfully launch a career in academic translational research, and I would not be where I am today without the help of the mentors and teachers I had during my fellowship. I had the opportunity to learn about clinical trial design, management, and analysis. I also had the opportunity to work in a laboratory pursuing translational research. These experiences provided me with the background to launch my own research career, with the support of my new institution as well as outside funders. I am not aware of any other program in the country that matches cutting edge clinical research with translational and basic science, all led by top researchers in their fields, like the program at the National Cancer Institute.


Nilofer Saba Azad, M.D.

Nilofer Saba Azad, M.D.
Clinical Fellow
(2004 - 2008)

Nilofer Saba Azad, M.D.
Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel
Comprehensive Cancer Center
Baltimore, MD

Coming out of residency, my priority was to find an academically focused oncology program that would train me to craft and implement clinical trials with strong scientific components. The NCI Medical Oncology fellowship allows trainees ample exposure in translational clinical research from inception to completion. It was an ideal jumping off point for the next step in my career in early-phase clinical trials.


Marc Ballas, M.D., MPH

Marc Ballas, M.D., MPH
Clinical Fellow
(2004 - 2008)

Senior Medical Director

AstraZeneca

Washington, DC

The positive attitude that permeates every aspect of working here is unbelievable. It is welcoming, pleasant, and supportive. The motto of being like no other hospital is truly felt here. In every hospital there are issues with getting studies done on time and difficulty maneuvering the bureaucracy. The difference in this hospital is everybody realizing this challenge and trying to help the patient and the providers get through the maze of patient care. Moreover, as a fellow, our attendings were wonderful and collegial treating us as equals and having a genuine interest in our career development and success. You see this occurring in the different fellowships of medicine, pharmacy, and social work. It is truly a hospital like no other!


Jeanny Aragon-Ching, M.D.

Jeanny Aragon-Ching, M.D.
Clinical Fellow
(2004 - 2008)

Clinical Program Director, Genitourinary Cancers

INOVA Dwight and Martha Schar Cancer Institute

Falls Church, VA

Training at the NCI was the best part of my academic life!  I had a tremendous opportunity to work under the tutelage of world-class mentors in GU oncology, with a balance of guidance as well as independence that helped shape my career moving forward.  I also had the good fortune of working with wonderful colleagues, from my co-fellows whose friendships I’ve forged to this day, to the research nurses and NPs who tirelessly helped, to the post-docs in the lab who shared their knowledge and techniques with me, and certainly to the investigators and staff at the NIH Clinical Center who imparted their endless wisdom.  All these made fellowship a truly remarkable experience!


Joseph W. Kim, M.D.

Joseph W. Kim, M.D.
Clinical Fellow
(2010 - 2013)

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Medical Oncology
Yale Cancer Center
Prostate and Urologic Cancers Program
Yale School of Medicine
New Haven, CT

Having completed my medical oncology fellowship training at the NCI and moved onto an academic institution, I realize there is no place like the NCI, particularly for aspiring clinical cancer researcher. Among others, I appreciate the rigorous training not just in clinical oncology, but also in clinical cancer research. Most of my experience at the NCI was about developing and conducting hypothesis-driven clinical trials.  I functioned as an acting investigator for multiple, early phase immunotherapy clinical trials under the mentorship and guidance of the internationally renowned cancer researchers. I was given ample opportunities, not only in publishing manuscripts, but also in writing clinical protocols and career development grants.  Moreover, the Loan Repayment Program helped me stay focused on training and research activities. No other place but NCI, provides this type of training, which prepares his trainees to succeed in cancer research which defines the future of cancer care.