NIH Hematology Oncology Fellowship

Jointly sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


NIH Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Banner

The mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Hematology Oncology Fellowship is to use the unique clinical and basic research resources of the NIH to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of hematologic and oncologic diseases by developing and training the next generation of clinicians and physician scientists. 

Top 10 Reasons to Do A Hematology Oncology Fellowship at NIH

  1. Unparalleled opportunity to collaborate with top scientists and clinicians in cutting-edge research across the scientific spectrum, including basic science, cancer prevention, drug development, and clinical trials.
  2. Ability to participate as an investigator in more than 350 clinical trials at the world’s largest hospital dedicated to clinical research.
  3. Integration of clinical rotations at top area hospitals, including Georgetown, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, to broaden fellows’ clinical training.
  4. Outstanding compensation, including salary, the ability to moonlight, and paid relocation.
  5. Public service loan forgiveness.
  6. Formal partnerships with government regulatory agencies, including FDA and CTEP.
  7. A laptop computer and cell phone are provided to every fellow for use during fellowship.
  8. Paid travel for up to two national meetings per year in the second and subsequent fellowship years.
  9. Numerous social and cultural amenities of life in the beautiful Washington, D.C. area.
  10. A diverse training environment dedicated to the NIH mission to attract “the most brilliant and promising research fellows from the United States and abroad.”

Key Details

The NIH Hematology Oncology Fellowship program enables physicians to gain a strong clinical grounding in hematology and oncology, as well as a comprehensive exposure to clinical, laboratory, and translational research. NIH runs more than 350 clinical trials in oncology and hematology, and our fellows can participate in trials from the moment they begin their training. Fellows are able to serve as a principal or associate investigator throughout their fellowships.

Jointly supported by the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Center for Cancer Research (CCR) and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Division of Intramural Research, the program is located on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C. Fellows train at the NIH Clinical Center, the nation's largest hospital devoted entirely to clinical research and one of the world’s top cancer research facilities. Alumni of the fellowship program include accomplished and respected physicians conducting cutting-edge research at NIH and other premier research hospitals and institutions throughout the world.

Patient Population, Research, and Rotations

In addition to the NIH Clinical Center, fellows rotate at major urban hospitals including MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, The George Washington University Hospital, and MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Fellows are exposed to a diverse population of patients and a wide array of hematologic and oncologic diagnoses with opportunities to deal with the entire spectrum of complications and therapy. The range of opportunities for individualized training includes the option to complete elective rotations elsewhere. Training at NIH also provides opportunities to learn the strategies and regulations involved in conducting clinical research in hematology and oncology, bench-to-bedside research, and the design and management of clinical trials.

Fellows are eligible to sit for the ABIM certifying exam in medical oncology after two years; those interested in the combined medical oncology/hematology program are eligible to sit for both exams after three years. The program offers a competitive salary, including internal opportunities for moonlighting.

Program Structure

The NIH Hematology Oncology Fellowship program provides a unique opportunity for physicians interested in academic and research careers to develop and integrate their interests in clinical, basic, and population-based research. At their discretion, fellows may choose to pursue a three-year program (1.5 years of clinical rotations, 1.5 years of research) leading to board certification in both hematology and oncology (double-track training) or a two-year program (one year of clinical rotations, one year of research) leading to board certification in either hematology or oncology alone (single-track training). All fellows have one half day of continuity clinic per week throughout their clinical and research time.

First and Second Years: The first 12-18 months of clinical training includes rotations in in-patient wards, as well as outpatient clinical rotations in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, lymphoma, leukemia, solid-tumor oncology, bone marrow failure, sickle cell hemoglobinopathies, and hematology/oncology consults at the NIH Clinical Center. Additional structured clinical rotations are performed in hematology/oncology clinics and inpatient consults at Medstar Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the George Washington University Hospital, and the acute leukemia service at The Johns Hopkins Hospital or University of Maryland Medical Center. The conference schedule includes regularly scheduled journal clubs, tumor boards, core lecture series, board review, multidisciplinary rounds, and weekly conferences at which fellows present analyses of clinical or research problems. Internationally recognized clinical investigators are invited to present at weekly CCR grand rounds and at multiple venues encompassing the NIH’s intramural and extramural research programs.

Second and Third Years: During the final 12-18 months of research time, fellows acquire the skills necessary to become independent biomedical investigators. They may choose to work with one of the more than 100 laboratories and clinical research groups at the NIH. The choice of laboratory or clinical research group is made by mutual agreement of the fellow, the laboratory or clinical mentor, and the fellowship leadership. During this period, the half-day/week clinic continuity obligation continues, along with didactic activities and further development of clinical independence.

Research opportunities include basic, clinical, and population-based investigation. Fellows may elect to work with any investigator on the NIH campus, not only those within the NCI or the NHLBI. A process is in place for fellows interested in continuing their research time beyond the 3-year program to enhance their competitiveness for intramural tenure-track positions or extramural positions and grant funding.

Joint Training in Cancer Prevention & Control: A collaborative effort between the NIH Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program and the NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP) allows single-track medical oncology fellows to complete both clinical training in oncology and research training in cancer prevention and control.   The Joint Training in Cancer Prevention and Control track provides clinical training with the NIH Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program, the opportunity to earn a fully funded MPH or equivalent degree sponsored by the CPFP, mentored research opportunities in cancer prevention and control across the NCI, and access to a structured professional development curriculum.  For more information about this track, the training timeline, and the CPFP, visit cpfp.cancer.gov.

Single BoardSingle Board

Dual BoardDual Board

Cancer PreventionCancer Prevention

Single BoardSingle BoardSingle Board

Contact Information

Fellowship Directors

Marijo Bilusic, M.D., Ph.D.
Program Director

240.760.6064

Charles D. Bolan, Jr., M.D.
Associate Program Director for Hematology

301.451.7099

Kathryn Lurain, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Program Director for Medical Oncology

240.858.3257

Chief Fellows

Elizabeth Hill, M.D.
Co-Chief Fellow

301.275.3912 

Rahul Lakhotia, M.D.
Co-Chief Fellow

301.275.5960
 

Program Administrators

Ms. Kellyn Betts
240.858.3386

Ms. Janet Edds
240.858.3297

Mr. George Lindsay
301.402.2399


All of CCR's clinical training programs are part of Graduate Medical Education at NIH.

The storied history of medical hematology and oncology fellows at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) dates back more than 80 years. The over 600 physician researchers who have worked and trained at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) include giants of the field. Over the years, our alumni have improved the lives of millions of cancer patients.

FDR NIH

On October 31, 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stood on the steps of Building 1 and delivered a speech dedicating the new Bethesda campus of the National Institute of Health, including the building for the new National Cancer Institute.

Attracting “the most brilliant and promising research fellows from the United States or abroad” was a stated aim of the 1937 act establishing the NCI. A year later, the first bright young physician-scientists intent on investigating and treating the nation’s growing incidence of cancer were appointed as fellows. The institute’s state-of-the-art laboratory opened in Bethesda, Md., the following year on a former estate that recently had been donated to the government to house the NIH.

Notable early fellows
After completing their fellowships, many of our alumni have stayed on and contributed to the NCI’s myriad accomplishments as well as those of the NHLBI. A notable early fellow was Henry Seymour Kaplan, M.D., who trained here in the early 1940s. He went on to Stanford University, where he co-developed the medical linear accelerator for cancer treatment. This led to one of the major treatment advances of the 20th century, extended field radiation treatment for Hodgkin’s disease.

The opening of the Clinical Center on the expanding NIH campus in 1953 facilitated the integration of laboratory and clinical research to improve patient care. A few years later, ground-breaking NCI physician researchers Gordon Zubrod, M.D., Emil “Tom” Frei III, M.D. and Emil J. Freireich, M.D. came to NCI. Their presence ushered in an era of progress towards eradicating cancer detailed in the widely acclaimed book, The Emperor of All Maladies by oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., D.Phil.

The 1960s saw the arrival of Vincent DeVita, M.D. (now the Amy and Joseph Perella Professor of Medicine at the Yale Cancer Center), who worked with Frei and Freireich during the fellowship he began in 1963. Dr. DeVita returned to NCI in 1966 as a senior investigator, and collaborated with another fellow, George Canellos, M.D. (now the William Rosenberg Professor of Medicine, Emeritus, at the Harvard Medical School) to develop MOPP, the first successful combination chemotherapy program. Used to treat Hodgkin's disease and diffuse large cell lymphomas, MOPP reduced the likelihood of dying from Hodgkin's disease from nearly 100% to around 30%.

Dr. DeVita established the basis for further combination therapies, which became a mainstay of cancer treatment. In 1980, he was appointed director of the NCI, a position he held until 1988. While at NCI, he served as one of the editors for the first edition of CANCER: Principles & Practices of Oncology. Now in its 11th edition, CANCER is the most widely-read text on cancer in the world. Collaborations between Drs. Canellos and DaVita also resulted the combination chemotherapy CMF, which remains a useful therapy for breast cancer.

Bruce Chabner, M.D. (now chief of hematology and oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital) is another prominent cancer researcher who served as an NCI medical oncology fellow. He arrived in 1967 and stayed on at the NCI after completing his fellowship in 1969, where his research led to the development of Taxol, a commonly prescribed drug to treat  breast, ovary, lung and other cancers. In 1983, he became the director of the NCI’s division of Cancer Treatment.

A place where many leaders began their careers
“The NCI fellowship has afforded a unique combination of opportunities for excellent clinical training and translational research experience,” Chabner says. “Many of the leaders in translational research began their careers at the NCI and flourished in this outstanding environment.”

The NCI’s formal Medical Oncology Fellowship program officially began in 1982, while DeVita was the NCI director.  It was officially accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in 1991.

The NHLBI’s Hematology Fellowship Program began in 1991 under the leadership of Cynthia Dunbar, M.D., whose basic laboratory research on stem cells led to the first FDA-approved drug for treating aplastic anemia in more than 30 years. 

The Medical Oncology Fellowship and Hematology Fellowship programs officially joined together to create the NIH Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program in 2016. 

Former Directors of the NIH Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program
​2016-2018:  Charles Bolan, M.D. 

Former Directors of the Medical Oncology Fellowship Program
2015-2016:  James Gulley, M.D., Ph.D. (alumnus of the program)
2007-2015:  Antonio “Tito” Fojo, M.D., Ph.D. (alumnus of the program)
2001-2007:  Barry Gause, M.D. (alumnus of the program)
1995-2007:  Michael Hamilton, M.D.
1993-1995:  Carmen Allegra, M.D. (alumnus of the program)
1990-1993:  Robert Wittes, M.D.
1987-1990:  Charles Myers, M.D.
1982-1987:  Robert Young, M.D.

Former Directors of the Hematology Fellowship Program
1991-2008:  Cynthia Dunbar, M.D.
2008-2016:  Charles Bolan, M.D.

Physicians who have completed their residency in internal medicine can begin applying to the program yearly on July 1 via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) webpage. Early application is encouraged for those wishing to be considered for the 4 to 5 Friday interview sessions generally held in September and October. 

If you have any questions about the fellowship program or application process, please email Kellyn Betts or George Lindsay.

Key Application Details

Applications are reviewed and processed through ERAS. Our program is listed as the NIH Clinical Center Program (ACGME ID#1552314155) under the heading for Hematology/Oncology (Internal Medicine).

Documents Required for Application: A minimum of 3 letters of recommendation, one of which is from the candidate's internal medicine training program director.

Candidates with significant prior research experience should include a recommendation from their research mentor.

Application Deadline: September 1st Annually

Training Track Options:
NCI: Oncology, Oncology/Hematology, or Cancer Prevention
NHLBI: Hematology or Hematology/Oncology

Salary and Other Benefits

Our Fellows receive:

  • Competitive salary (for 2020, the salary is: $74,271 (PGY 4); $78,429 (PGY 5); $86,641 (PGY 6); $94,850 (PGY 7))
  • Relocation assistance, including payment of moving expenses
  • A laptop computer and cell phone for use during fellowship
  • Loan repayment program for eligible fellows
  • Moonlighting opportunities within NIH
  • Reimbursement for medical oncology and hematology board exams
  • Reimbursement for state medical license
  • Paid travel covered for one national meeting per year (e.g., ASCO or ASH) in the second and subsequent fellowship years
  • Lab coats and cleaning
  • Purchase of online access to resources from the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology
  • The numerous social and cultural amenities of life in the Washington, D.C. area

Research Opportunities

NIH fellows have a wide range of opportunities for both clinical and laboratory research and options are available for those interested in cancer prevention or working at the Food and Drug Administration and in grant-writing. Our mentors are independent or laboratory investigators with proven records of grantsmanship and academic success

Clinical research: Fellows working with clinical teams have the opportunity to help design, write, and run clinical trials, as well as analyze and publish their findings.

Laboratory research: Fellows wishing to pursue laboratory research can be involved in cutting-edge projects with more than 100 principal investigators throughout the NIH. Labs that take on a fellow are paid a supplement for extra supplies and services, making the addition of a bright, eager fellow a welcome prospect.

Cancer prevention and control: Fellows wishing to conduct research in cancer prevention and control can choose mentors in areas including vaccination, screening, chemoprevention, behavior modification, health care delivery, risk assessment, or genetic risk interpretation (see the Joint Training in Cancer Prevention and Control opportunity).

FDA: Fellows interested in experiencing a regulatory environment can arrange for protected time with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). During their second or subsequent years, fellows may also apply to participate in a formal training program in clinical trials research, offered collaboratively with Duke University and leading to a master’s degree. Finally, fellows may take advantage of numerous opportunities to write grants and participate in grant-writing workshops.

The range of opportunities for individualized training also includes the option to complete elective rotations elsewhere.

NIH Hematology Oncology fellows can work with more than 100 laboratories and clinical research groups at the NIH, many led by principal investigators who have achieved international recognition. Our leadership and faculty include inspiring and award-winning instructors

Program Leadership

The program’s leadership in 2019-2020 includes Dr. Rahul Lakhotia, Kellyn Betts, Dr. Charles Bolan, Dr. Kathryn Lurain, Dr. Marijo Bilusic, Dr. Elizabeth Hill and George Lindsay.

The program’s leadership in 2019-2020 includes Dr. Rahul Lakhotia, Kellyn Betts, Dr. Charles Bolan, Dr. Kathryn Lurain, Dr. Marijo Bilusic, Dr. Elizabeth Hill and George Lindsay.

Name Position Specialty
Marijo Bilusic, M.D., Ph.D. Program Director Medical Oncology
Charles Bolan, Jr., M.D. Associate Program Director for Hematology Hematology
Kathryn Lurain, M.D., M.P.H. Associate Program Director for Medical Oncology Hematologic Oncology
Elizabeth Hill, M.D. Co-chief Fellow Hematology/Oncology
Rahul Lakhotia, M.D. Co-chief Fellow Hematology/Oncology
Kellyn Betts Program Coordinator Medical Oncology
George Lindsay Program Coordinator Hematology

Program Faculty

NCI Faculty

Genitourinary Malignancies Branch
James L. Gulley, M.D., Ph.D.*
Andrea B. Apolo, M.D.
William L. Dahut, M.D.*
Marijo Bilusic, M.D., Ph.D.*
Ravi A. Madan, M.D.*
Fatima Karzai, M.D.*
Philip Arlen, M.D.
Howard Parnes, M.D. (DCP)
Yang-Ming Ning, M.D. (FDA)
Hussein Abdul Sater, M.D.
Jason Redman, M.D.*
Charalampos Floudas, M.D., DMSc, MS*
Scot Niglio, M.D., M.S.

Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch
Ronald E. Gress, M.D.
Christian S. Hinrichs, M.D.*
Christopher G. Kanakry, M.D.
Jennifer A. Kanakry, M.D.
Scott Norberg, D.O.*
Kazusa Ishii, M.D.

HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch
Robert Yarchoan, M.D.*
Kathryn Lurain, M.D., M.P.H.*
Ramya Ramaswami, M.B.B.S., M.R.C.P., M.P.H.

Blood and Immune Deficiency–Cellular Therapy Program
Dennis Hickstein, M.D.
Steven Z. Pavletic, M.D., M.S.

Developmental Therapeutics Branch
James Doroshow, M.D.*
Alice Pinting Chen, M.D.
Geraldine H. O'Sullivan Coyne, M.D.*
Richard Piekarz, M.D., Ph.D (CTEP)*
Sheila Prindiville, M.D., M.P.H. (CCCT)*
Elad Sharon, M.D., M.P.H. (CTEP)*
Howard Streicher, M.D. (CTEP)
Naoko Takebe, M.D., Ph.D. (DTC)
Anish Thomas, MBBS, M.D.*
Nitin Roper, M.D.,M.Sc.*

Vaccine Branch
Hoyoung Maeng, M.D.*

Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Christine Campo Alewine, M.D., Ph.D.*
Robert J. Kreitman, M.D.

Women's Malignancies Branch
Stanley Lipkowitz, M.D., Ph.D.*
Christina M. Annunziata, M.D., Ph.D.*
Jung-Min Lee, M.D.*
Alexandra S. Zimmer, M.D.*
Elise C. Kohn, M.D. (CTEP)*
Lori Minasian, M.D. (DCP)

Thoracic and GI Malignancies Branch
Raffit Hassan, M.D.*
Tim F. Greten, M.D.
Arun Rajan, M.D.
Eva Szabo, M.D. (DCP)
Shakun Malik, M.D.
Azam Ghafoor, M.D.*
Cecelia Monge Bonilla, M.D.*
Nitin Roper, M.D., M.Sc.*
Chen Zhao, M.D.*
Chanqing Xie, M.D., Ph.D.*

Surgery Branch
James N. Kochenderfer, M.D.
Jennifer Brudno, M.D.*
Lekha Mikkilineni, M.D.* 

Lymphoid Malignancies Branch
Thomas A. Waldmann, M.D.
Wyndham Wilson, M.D., Ph.D.*
Kevin C. Conlon, M.D.*
Christopher Melani, M.D.*
Milos Miljkovic, M.D., MSc.*
Mark J. Roschewski, M.D.*
Dickran Kazandjian, M.D. (FDA)*

Urologic Oncology Branch
Ramaprasad Srinivasan, M.D.,Ph.D*
Munjid Al Harthy, M.D.*

Neuro-Oncology Branch
Mark R. Gilbert, M.D.

Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology
Margaret Gatti-Mays, M.D., M.P.H.*
Julius Strauss, M.D.*

NHLBI Faculty 2019-2020

Hematology Branch
Hematopoiesis and Bone Marrow Failure
Neal Young, M.D.
Emma Groarke, M.D.
Bhavisha Patel, M.D.

Lymphoid Malignancies
Adrian Wiestner, M.D., Ph.D.*
Inhye Ahn, M.D.*
Clare Sun, M.D.*

Myeloid Malignancies
Christopher Hourigan, M.D., D.Phil*

Regenerative Therapies for Inherited Blood Disorders
Andre Larochelle, M.D., Ph.D.*
Daisuke Araki, M.D.*

Molecular and Clinical Hematology Branch
John Tisdale, M.D.*
Matthew Hsieh, M.D.*
Richard Childs, M.D.*
Kate Stringaris, M.D., Ph.D.
Georg Aue, M.D., Ph.D.*
Rosa Nadal Rios, M.D.*

Sickle Cell Branch
Swee Lay Thein, M.B., B.S., D.Sc
Laurel Menapace, M.D.
Arun Shet, M.D.

Early Sickle Mortality Prevention
Courtney Fitzhugh, M.D.*

Translational Stem Cell Biology Branch
Cynthia Dunbar, M.D.
Stephan Cordes, M.D., Ph.D.*

Hematology Consults & Graduate Medical Education Section
Charles Bolan, M.D.
Shelley Kalsi, M.D.
Christopher Pleyer, M.D.

*Alumna/alumnus of the NIH Hematology Oncology Fellowship program, the Medical Oncology Fellowship program or the Hematology Fellowship Program

The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center is among the world’s top cancer research facilities, where many important therapies have been pioneered, including CAR T-cell therapy and other immunotherapy approaches that use adoptive cell transfer. NIH is also involved in efforts to determine the most efficient and effective ways to evaluate new anticancer therapies, such as developing new clinical trial designs for precision medicine and immunotherapies.

The Hematology Oncology Fellowship program builds on NCI’s 50-plus-year involvement in cancer research linked to the discovery and development of approximately half of the chemotherapeutic drugs currently used by oncologists to treat cancer. Fellows also benefit from the extensive body of research conducted in benign hematology and hematologic malignancies within the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Learn more about NCI’s Center for Cancer Research advances and landmarks throughout the years.

Fellows are able to participate in the more than 350 clinical trials in oncology and hematology taking place at NIH, and they are able to serve as principal and/or associate investigators throughout their fellowships.

Fellows working with clinical teams have the opportunity to help design, write, and run clinical trials, and then analyze and publish their findings.

Productivity and PIs

The Hematology Oncology Fellowship is part of the National Institutes of Health’s intramural research program, as are the dozens of principal investigators that fellows can collaborate with during their time in the program.  Our fellows regularly publish papers and present posters, and they also have a good track record for making oral presentations and receiving grants. 

 

Marijo Bilusic, M.D., Ph.D., an award-winning teacher who directs the NIH Hematology Oncology Fellowship program, is a regularly featured speaker at the program’s Friday Didactics lectures. Fellows from all years attend the Friday events where fellows lead tumor board-type discussions and journal club. Program faculty speak about their areas of expertise at the core oncology, hematology and transplant lectures, as well as the monthly inpatient walk rounds and board reviews.

Didactics Topics

  • Oncology Core Lecture Series
  • breast cancer
  • central nervous system cancers
  • conference discussions
  • gastrointestinal cancers
  • genitourinary cancers
  • geriatric oncology
  • head and neck cancers
  • HIV-associated malignancies
  • immunotherapies
  • lymphoma
  • medical genetics
  • melanoma
  • multiple myeloma
  • neuroendocrine tumors
  • pharmacology
  • sarcoma
  • thoracic cancers
  • transplants
  • women's cancers
  • Benign Hematology Core Lecture Series
  • apheresis
  • aplastic anemia
  • autoimmune cytopenias
  • hemophilia
  • hypereosinophilia
  • mastocytosis
  • myelodysplastic syndrome
  • myeloproliferative disorders
  • neutrophil disorders
  • normal hematopoiesis
  • qualitative platelet disorders
  • RBC membrane and enzyme disorders
  • sickle cell disease
  • T-cell disorders
  • thalassemias
  • thrombotic microangiopathy
  • transfusion medicine
  • transfusion reactions
  • Malignant Hematology Core Lecture Series
  • acute lymphocytic leukemia
  • chronic myeloid leukemia
  • acute myeloid leukemia
  • multiple myeloma
  • aggressive lymphoma
  • indolent lymphoma
  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Regular Weekly Schedule

The NIH Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program’s weekly didactics schedule includes options available from the NIH, NCI and NHLBI. 

Additional Educational Opportunities

Fellows are eligible to participate in the NIH-Duke Master’s Program, which enables participants to attend formal courses in research design and research management by means of video-conferencing from Duke or on-site at NIH by adjunct faculty.

Current Fellows

Class Starting in 2019

Class Starting in 2018

Class Starting in 2017

Fellows Testimonials

The NIH fellowship has provided me the opportunity to immerse myself in every aspect of clinical trial research.  As a fellow, I’ve been actively involved in writing a clinical protocol, submitting that protocol to the FDA, and opening a new clinical trial.  It is exciting to be involved in so many first-in-human research studies that are occurring at the NIH.  Also, the colleagues here are great and mentorship is outstanding.  I feel very lucky that I had the chance to do my fellowship here.
Kathryn Cappell, M.D., Ph.D., Hematology Oncology Clinical Fellow beginning in 2018

I come to work every day knowing that I stand on the shoulders of giants in the field. Fellows and their mentors regularly make discoveries that revolutionize the practice of oncology and hematology. Training here means that your thoughts and intellect will create everlasting scientific legacy.
Vincent Chau, M.D., Ph.D., Hematology Oncology Clinical Fellow beginning in 2018

The NIH Intramural Research Program offers an intellectually rich training environment where clinical fellows develop a comprehensive understanding of clinical research and cancer drug development.  Closer to a “Cancer University” than a traditional hospital training environment, NCI fellowship provided me with a foundational understanding of oncologic therapies that represent the past, present, and future of the field.  Federally-funded fellowship positions are a national resource and fellows are expected not just to deliver patient care, but to push cancer medicine forward.  During my time at NCI, I always felt that I was a part of something greater than myself – and that sense of purpose is something that I will carry with me in the years beyond fellowship.
Peter J. DeMaria, M.D., Hematology and Oncology Clinical Fellow beginning in 2017

The NCI fellowship provides unparalleled exposure to translational research and clinical trials. I truly feel this is the ideal place to start a career in academic hematology-oncology, with mentors who are world leaders in oncology research.
Nina Kim, M.D., Hematology Oncology Clinical Fellow beginning in 2019

The NIH Hematology Oncology fellowship program is truly unique, providing fellows with unparalleled flexibility and support to build a training experience tailored to their interests. As a trainee with a longstanding interest in non-malignant hematology, I found ample opportunities to train in my area of interest and felt incredibly well supported by the NIH faculty throughout. In addition, having the opportunity to run clinical trials and write my own clinical protocols during fellowship has been an extremely rewarding experience.
Julia Xu, M.D., Hematology Clinical Fellow beginning in 2018

Fellowship Size

Physician researchers have been receiving fellowships to study hematology and oncolog at the NIH for more than 80 years, and it was one of the first training programs to be established. Our program’s alumni include accomplished and respected physicians conducting cutting-edge research at NIH and other premier research hospitals and institutions throughout the world.

2019

Program Years Name of Alumni Where They Are Now
2016-2019 Munjid Al Harthy, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Urologic Oncology Branch, with focus on renal cell cancer
2018-2019 Jennifer Carter, M.B.B.S. Hematologist and Oncologist, Northwest Alabama Cancer Center, Muscle Shoals, AL
2016-2019 Gang Chen, M.D., Ph.D. Community Practice, Silver Spring, MD
2016-2019 Julie Collins, M.D., M.P.H. Assistant Professor, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, with focus on breast oncology
2017-2019 Charalampos Floudas, M.D., D.M.Sc., M.S. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, with focus on head and neck cancers
2017-2019 Frank Lin, M.D. Investigator, Molecular Imaging Program; NIH Lasker Clinical Resarch Scholar
2016-2019 Idrees Mian, M.D. Hematologist and Oncologist, Kaiser Permanente, Largo, MD
2016-2019 Lekha Mikkilineni, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Surgery Branch, with a focus is on developing and carrying out phase 1 clinical trials for CAR T-cell therapy targeting hematological malignancies
2017-2019 Cecelia Monge Bonilla, M.D., M.P.H. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Thoracic and Gastrointestinal Malignancies Branch
2016-2019 Christopher Pleyer, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NHLBI
2016-2019 Changqing Xie, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Clinical Investigator, NCI Thoracic and GI Malignancies Branch, with focus on exploring the role of cancer stem cells in the development of treatment resistance to immunotherapy in cholangiocarcinoma
2016-2019 Chen Zhao, M.D. Assistant Clinical Investigator, NCI Thoracic and GI Malignancies Branch, with focus on using advanced imaging techniques to study lung microbiota during lung cancer development and interactions between lung microbiota and immune cells in patients with lung cancer

2018

Program Years Name of Alumni Where They Are Now
2015-2018 Daisuke Araki, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NHLBI
2015-2018 Tara Berman, M.D. Medical Officer, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
2017-2018 Amine Achhal El Kadmiri, M.D. Community Practice, affiliated with Metro Nashville General Hospital
2016-2018 Azam Ghafoor, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Thoracic and GI Malignancies Branch
2015-2018 Vid Leko, M.D. Postdoctoral Fellow, NCI with Stephen Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., who pioneered the development of effective immunotherapies and gene therapies for patients with advanced cancers
2015-2018 Kathryn Lurain, M.D., M.P.H. Assistant Research Physician, NCI HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch, with a focus on the development of new treatments for primary effusion lymphoma and other Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus-associated diseases
2015-2018 Rosa Nadal Rios, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NHLBI
2016-2018 Scott Norberg, D.O. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch; researches the use of immunotherapy and cellular therapy for a variety of conditions including human papillomavirus-positive (HPV+) cancers and premalignant diseases caused by chronic HPV infection
2015-2018 Karolyn Oetjen, M.D., Ph.D. Instructor, Stem Cell Biology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis MO
2016-2018 Jason Redman, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Genitourinary Malignancies Branch; works on clinical trials involving combinations of immunotherapy, chemotherapy and other therapies for patients with prostate cancer, colon cancer, head and neck cancer, and other solid tumors

2017

Program Years Name of Alumni Where They Are Now
2014-2017 Stefan Cordes, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Research Physician, NHLBI
2015-2017 Jaydira Del Rivero, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Pediatric Oncology Branch, developing the Rare Tumor Natural History study and Rare Tumor Clinic
2014-2017 Farhad Fakherjahani, M.D. Community Practice, Kaiser Permanente and Holy Cross Hospital
2014-2017 Eitan Friedman, M.D. Community Practice, affiliated wiht United Oncology Medical Associates of Florida LLC and Jackson North Medical Center
2015-2017 Margaret Gatti-Mays, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Laboratory of Tumor Immunology & Biology, with focus on immuno-oncology and breast cancer
2014-2017 Kazusa Ishii, M.D., M.P.H. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch
2014-2017 Chul Kim, M.D., M.P.H. Assistant Professor, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
2015-2017 Hoyoung Maeng, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Vaccine Branch, focus on therapeutic vaccines in cancer as well as novel strategies to treat precancerous lesions in patients with chronic viral infection
2014-2017 Christopher Melani, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Lymphoid Malignancies Branch, specializing in lymphoma
2014-2017 Milos Miljković, M.D., M.Sc. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Lymphoid Malignancies Branch, specializing in mature T-cell malignancies
2015-2017 Ana Nunes, M.D., Ph.D. Study Physician, AstraZeneca
2013-2017 Georgios Pongas, M.D. Physician and researcher, University of Miami, specializing in lumphoma and CLL
2015-2017 Nitin Roper, M.D., M.Sc. Assistant Clinical Investigator, NCI Developmental Therapeutics Branch, research focus on high-grade neuroendocrine tumors, including small cell lung cancers, bladder, prostate, pancreatic and non-small cell cancers that transform to high-grade neuroendocrine cancers
2014-2017 Sanaz Soltani, M.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, West Virginia University Cancer Institute
2014-2017 Phuong Vo, M.D. Assistant Professor, University of Washington Division of Medical Oncology and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

2016

Program Years Name of Alumni Where They Are Now
2013-2016 Inhye Ahn, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NHLBI
2013-2016 Jennifer Brudno, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NCI, researches the use of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy to treat cancers of the blood, including Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and multiple myeloma
2013-2016 Haobin Chen, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Clinical Investigator, NCI, researches novel therapies for small cell lung cancer 
2012-2016 James Cooper, M.D. Medical Director, Genentech
2013-2016 Oxana (Rusher) Crysler, M.D. Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Medical School
2014-2016 Nicole Davarpanah, M.D. Assistant Medical Director, Product Development Oncology, Genentech , Inc.
2010-2016* Bogdan Dumitriu, M.D. Community Practice, Kaiser Permanente, Largo, MD
2014-2016 Jennifer Gao, M.D. Medical Oncologist, Food and Drug Administration Division of Oncology Products 1 Breast Cancer team
2015-2016 Monalisa Ghosh, M.D. Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Medical School
2014-2016 Daniel Lee, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, with interest in genitourinary tumors
2012-2016 Sandya Panch, M.D., M.P.H. Medical Director, Center for Cellular Engineering, NIH Department of Transfusion Medicine
2013-2016 Julius Strauss, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology (LTIB) and Co-Director of the LTIB's Clinical Trials Group
2013-2016 Clare Sun, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NHLBI

2015

Program Years Name of Alumni Where They Are Now
2012-2015 Syed Abbas Ali, M.B.B.S. Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins Medicine Kimmel Cancer Center
2013-2015 Victoria Chiou, M.D. Global Medical Director, Cell & Gene Therapy, GSK
2013-2015 Neil Dunavin, M.D. Clinical Hematologist, University of California at San Francisco
2013-2015 Pricilia Goncalves, M.D. Medical Director, Regeron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
2012-2015 Moonjung Jung, M.D. Clinical Scholar and Instructor in Clinical Investigation, Rockefeller University 
2012-2015 David Kotlyar, M.D. Community Practice, Bethesda and Hagerstown, MD
2013-2015 Metin Kurtoglu, M.D., Ph.D. Chief Medical Officer, Cartesian Therapeutics
2012-2015 Sham Mailankody, M.B.B.S. Medical Oncologist specializing in plasma cell disorders at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
2012-2015 Ciara O'Sullivan, M.B., B.Ch. Assistant Professor of Oncology, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
2012-2015 Geraldine O'Sullivan Coyne, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Early Clinical Trials Development Program
2012-2015 Vinayak Prasad, M.D., M.P.H. Associate Professor of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University; Assistant Director of OHSU Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program
2012-2015 Enkhee Purev, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Medical Director, Product Development, Genentech
2012-2015 Harpreet "Bonnie" Singh, M.D. Acting Director, Division of Oncology 2, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, focus on thoracic, head & neck cancers, neuro-oncology, rare cancers, pediatric solid tumors
2012-2015 Ira Surolia, M.D. Medical Hematologist and Oncologist, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
2012-2015 Alexandra Zimmer, M.D. Assistant Research Physician, NCI Women's Malignancies Branch

2014

Program Years Name of Alumni Where They Are Now
2011-2014 Christina Alewine, M.D., Ph.D. NCI Lasker Scholar, Laboratory of Molecular Cancer, with a focus on use of immunotoxin therapies in pancreatic cancer
2011-2014 Manisha Bhutani, M.D. Community Practice, Hematology, Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute
2011-2014 Mauricio Burotto Pichun, M.D. Medical Director, Bradford Hill Clinical Research; Medical Oncologist, Clínica Universidad de los Andes, Chile
2012-2014 Yuanbin Chen, M.D., Ph.D. Medical Oncologist, Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan
2011-2014 Lauren Curtis, M.D. Assistant Professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital
2011-2014 Jan Davidson-Moncada, M.D., Ph.D. Senior Director, Clinical Research at MacroGenics Inc.
2011-2014 Helen Gharwan, M.D., Ph.D. Internal Medicine, Northern Light Health
2010-2014 Christian Hinrichs, M.D. NIH Lasker Clinical Research Scholar, Experimental Transplantation and Immunotherapy Branch
2011-2014 Catherine Lai, M.D., M.P.H. Director of Leukemia at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
2011-2014 Kit Lu, M.D. Medical Hematologist and Oncologist, UPMC Pinnacle, Harrisburg, PA
2011-2014 Sabrina Martyr, M.D. Medical Hematologist and Oncologist, WellSpan Medical Group, Haover, PA
2011-2014 Avani Shah, M.D. Medical Director, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Breast Oncology Division
2011-2014 Nishant Tageja, M.D. Medical Oncologist and Hematologist, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
2011-2014 Susanna Ulahannan, MD, MMed Assistant Professor of Hematology and Oncology, Oklahoma University Medicine; Associate Director of the Oklahoma TSET Phase I Program
Alumni Working Pie Chart

Alumni Voices


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.


Aerial view of the NIH Bethesda Campus

Aerial view of the Clinical Center (Building 10), NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD