Surgical Oncology Research Fellowship

Surgical Oncology Program, National Cancer Institute


The Surgical Oncology Research Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute

The Surgical Oncology Research Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute is a fully-funded, 2- or 3-year program designed to educate and develop future leaders in the field of Surgical Oncology. The fellowship connects fundamental basic science research in cancer biology to translational studies in patients and patient-derived tissues.

Fellowship training involves three components:

  • Focused laboratory-based and clinical research in cancer biology, particularly related to surgical aspects of the disease
  • Formal didactic teaching in modern cancer biology, including the molecular basis of cancer and mechanisms of current cancer therapies
  • Operative clinical rotations in key surgical oncology subspecialties

Research Component

This includes 18 months of bench laboratory experience in one of the many NCI laboratories with the option to extend for an additional year. In addition, Fellows participate in clinical research projects and have first-hand exposure to the design and conduct of clinical trials, including statistical analysis of clinical data.

Previous Surgical Oncology Research Fellows have gained experiences in the following research tracks, among others:

  • Surgical Oncology: Metastasis biology modeling and analysis, hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome, wild-type gastrointestinal stromal tumors
  • Thoracic Surgery: Epigenetics of thoracic malignancies, tumor predisposition syndrome, microRNA therapeutics for mesothelioma
  • Endocrine Surgery: Adrenocortical cancer modeling and analysis, neuroendocrine tumor and carcinoma imaging and targeting

Didactic Component

All Fellows participate in a formal didactic lecture and discussion curriculum, Foundations of Modern Cancer Biology, designed to quickly bring surgical residents up to speed in understanding the current state of molecular oncology. The curriculum covers current and historical breakthroughs in cancer and cancer treatment through a series of lectures and literature-based discussions, focusing on experimental methods and data interpretation in tumor types of particular interest to surgical oncologists. A summary of the course content can be found here.

Clinical Component

This includes operative rotations in the areas of gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, endocrine, thoracic, and peritoneal surface and gynecologic malignancies. Fellows actively participate in all aspects of patient care including conducting the pre-operative evaluation, performing the operative procedure, and providing post-operative care and subsequent outpatient follow-up. In addition to daily rounds with the attending surgeons, clinical training is further enhanced by a series of weekly conferences including multidisciplinary molecular-based tumor boards, a weekly clinical service meeting, a diverse array of talks on the latest topics in cancer and biomedical science in general by some of the world’s most outstanding scientists through lecture series and Grand Rounds held across the entire NIH campus.


At the conclusion of their laboratory, clinical, and didactic training, Fellows will be able to:

  • Identify critically important questions in surgical oncology
  • Independently design, perform, and interpret experiments and their results to directly address these questions
  • Attain mastery in oral and written communication of both scientific research and clinical patient management.

Graduates of the Fellowship are expected to become the next generation of leaders in Surgical Oncology

Training at the NIH Clinical Center

All CCR residents and clinical fellows train at the 240-bed NIH Clinical Center, internationally recognized as the premier hospital dedicated to translational research and clinical care. Clinical rotations offer fellows the opportunity to have direct experience in the care of patients enrolled in investigational oncology-related treatment protocols. Participants will have first-hand exposure to the design, conduct, and management of clinical trials. 

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


Fellowship Program Director
Andrew M. Blakely, M.D.

Program Administrator
Ms. Joanna Lamot
Ph: 240.858.3731

How to Apply

Surgical Oncology Research Fellowship applications are accepted from August 1st through November 1st each year. Matriculants to the fellowship start on July 1st of the following year. A statement of interest in the program, curriculum vitae, and at least two (2) if not three (3) letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the Program Administrator.

Alternatively, interested applicants may submit materials through the NIH Graduate Medical Education page; if using this system, the applicant should contact the Program Administrator to ensure that application materials have been received.

Applications will be reviewed by faculty from both the Surgical Oncology Program and the Surgery Branch. Joint interviews are offered in the fall of each year.

Please contact the Program Administrator, Joanna Lamot, for additional information.


Shruthi Perati
Shruthi R. Perati, M.D.
Alyssa Eade
Alyssa V. Eade, M.D.
Lindsay Friedman
Lindsay R. Friedman, M.D., M.S.
Carolina Larrain
Carolina Larrain, M.D.
Katherine Barrows
Katherine M. Barrows, M.D.
Amber Famigleitti
Amber Famiglietti-Gallanis, M.D.
Tracey Pu
Tracey Pu-Forsythe, M.D.
Shadin Ghabra
Shadin Ghabra, M.D.
Kenneth Luberice
Kenneth Luberice, M.D.
Vijay Putatunda
Vijay Putatunda, M.D.
Bhavishya Ramamoorthy
Bhavishya U. Ramamoorthy, M.D.
Leila Sarvestani
A. Leila Sarvestani, M.D.
Frank Villa
Frank Villa Hernandez, M.D.
Shay Behrens
Shay Behrens, M.D.
Stephanie Gregory
Stephanie N. Gregory, M.D.
Jacob Lambdin
Jacob T. Lambdin, M.D.
Carrie Ryan
Carrie E. Ryan, M.D.
 Martha Teke
Martha E. Teke, M.D.
Robert Grant
Robert R. C. Grant, M.D.
Benjamin Green
Benjamin L. Green, M.D.
Areeba Saif
Areeba Saif, M.D.
Emily Verbus
Emily Verbus, M.D.
Lauren Gamble
Lauren A. Gamble, M.D.
Tahsin Khan
Tahsin Khan, M.D.
George Alyateem
George Alyateem, M.D.
Alexander Rossi
Alexander Rossi, M.D.
John Aversa
John G. Aversa, M.D.
Dana Dominguez
Dana A. Dominguez, M.D.
Shreya Gupta
Shreya Gupta, M.D.
Brendan Hagerty
Brendan L. Hagerty, M.D.
James McDonald
James D. McDonald, M.D.


Multiple educational conferences highlighting the principles of clinical research are integrated throughout the fellowship experience.

Surgical Oncology Fellows’ Educational Conference - Weekly lecture series throughout the academic year with presentations from NCI faculty addressing the fundamentals of clinical study design and interpretation, design and progress of current NCI clinical trials, and fellow-led debates on current questions in surgical oncology.

Weekly Clinical Conference - Weekly departmental meeting similar to Grand Rounds as well as Morbidity/Mortality conference focusing on clinical management and translational and basic science correlates of challenging cases of the NCI Surgical Oncology Clinical Service.

Surgical Oncology Clinical Research Meeting - Quarterly clinical research think-tank focused on the development and support of clinical research projects for fellows.

Multidisciplinary Oncology Meetings

Multiple clinically and translationally oriented meetings focus on care of complex general surgical oncology, thoracic and endocrine diseases:

  • NIH Foregut Team manages patients with tumors of the gastrointestinal and hepatopancreaticobiliary tracts
  • Thoracic Tumor Board
  • Endocrine Oncology Tumor Board

NIH-Wide Lecture and Educational Opportunities

Diverse, NIH-wide lecture series focusing on basic science, translational and clinical work as well as traditional classroom educational opportunities in basic and clinical science available through the NIH Graduate School.