Surgical Oncology and Cancer Immunotherapy Research Fellowships

Two programs combining basic and clinical research training


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 3 components:

  1. Focused laboratory-based and clinical research in cancer biology, particularly related to surgical aspects of the disease
  2. Formal didactic teaching in modern cancer biology, including the molecular basis of cancer and mechanisms of current cancer therapies
  3. 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 analyses of clinical data.

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:

  1. Identify critically important questions in surgical oncology
  2. Independently design, perform, and interpret experiments and their results to directly address these questions
  3. 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

Graduation 2021

The Surgical Oncology Fellowship commences on July 1st. Applications are accepted throughout the year. A statement of interest in the program, curriculum vitae and 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.

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


Shay Behrens
Shay Behrens, M.D.
Stephanie Gregory
Stephanie Gregory, M.D.
Jacob Lambdin
Jacob Lambdin, M.D.
Carrie Ryan
Carrie Ryan, M.D.
Leila Sarvestani
A. Leila Sarvestani, M.D.
Frank Villa
Frank Villa, M.D.
Kyle Hitscherich
Kyle Hitscherich, D.O.
Brad White
Brad White, M.D.
Robert Grant
Robert R. C. Grant, M.D.
Benjamin Green
Benjamin L. Green, M.D.
Areeba Saif
Areeba Saif, M.D.
 Martha Teke
Martha Teke, M.D.
Emily Verbus
Emily Verbus, M.D.
Paul McClelland
Paul McClelland, M.D.
Shirley Nah
Shirley Nah, M.D.
Neilesh Parikh
Neilesh Parikh, M.D.
Matthew Sporn
Matthew J. Sporn, M.D.
Lauren Gamble
Lauren Gamble, M.D.
Tahsin Khan
Tahsin Khan, M.D.
George Alyateem
George Alyateem, M.D.
Alexander Rossi
Alexander Rossi, M.D.
Agnes Choi
Agnes Choi, M.D.
Elizabeth Hedges
Elizabeth Hedges, M.D.
Shoshana Levi
Shoshana Levi, 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.
Praveen Chatani
Praveen D. Chatani, M.D.
Anup Parikh
Anup Y. Parikh, M.D.
Samantha Seitter
Samantha Seitter, 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 and Morbidity/Mortality conference focusing on management of challenging cases of the NCI Surgical Oncology Clinical Service.

Surgical Oncology Fellows’ Journal Club - Monthly, fellow-run Surgical Oncology Journal Club focusing on seminal and current studies across general, thoracic, and endocrine surgical oncology.

Surgical Oncology Clinical Research Meeting - Twice-monthly, 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 esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas and bile ducts
  • 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.