A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Hematology-oncology Fellowship Program

Hematology-oncology Fellowship Program
Welcome to one of the premiere hematology-oncology fellowship programs on the West Coast! Located in the city of Duarte, just minutes northeast of Los Angeles, City of Hope has celebrated over 90 years of groundbreaking basic science research and clinical contributions to the field of oncology. As an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, City of Hope offers fellows the opportunity to explore a large spectrum of research endeavors while receiving clinical training from nationally recognized mentors in hematology and oncology.
We encourage prospective fellows to peruse our web site to gather more information about this exceptional program.
To experience the program firsthand, contact us to schedule a tour — our current fellows demonstrate an enthusiasm for the program that is unmatched.

ACGME Fellows
Third Year (2009-2012)
Rajinder Grover, M.D.
Timothy Kristedja, M.D.
Janet Pan, M.D.
Second Year (2010-2013)
Kevin Scher, M.D.
First Year (2011-2014)
Matthew Mei, M.D.
Arvind Shinde, M.D.

Program Overview

The City of Hope Hematology-Oncology fellowship has been ACGME-accredited since the mid-1970's. It was the last free-standing fellowship independent of an internal medicine training program until its affiliation with Harbor-UCLA Internal Medicine. The strengths of this fellowship have always been the variety and viability of patient populations, the excellent accessibility of faculty teaching and opportunity for fellows to participate in clinical trials and even write clinical trials. Graduates excel in both clinical oncology skills and academic training to be able to thrive in either private or academic practice.

In the first year of fellowship, the emphasis is placed on acquiring a knowledge base of solid tumor oncology, both in the outpatient and inpatient settings. In addition, there is an early exposure to Bone Marrow Transplantation.

The experience shifts towards a significant amount of research time during the second year. Six months are spent in the continuity hematology-oncology clinics at Harbor-UCLA. A portion of this time is also reserved for work on the general hematology consult service. Harbor-UCLA offers excellent preparation for board certification in hematology.

In the third year, fellows have an opportunity to participate in elective rotations and continued research. Fellows are afforded the opportunity to explore oncology related research opportunities during the dedicated research months. City of Hope provides fellows many avenues for both for clinical and basic science research; fellows have pursued a diverse array of projects in the past and have earned numerous distinctions in the process, including national awards at American Society of Hematology (ASH) and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

How to Apply
Please take note of important dates listed in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) application to recognize deadlines for the fellowship application process.

Apply to: Harbor-COH program, Hematology and Oncology/Research (Code: 1067155F0).

Please note that the application for the City of Hope track is not distinct from the Harbor-UCLA/Kaiser track. However, at the time you are selected for interview, you will be offered a choice of either of the two programs (or both, at the discretion of the selection committee). Be sure to apply in a timely fashion.



Recommended Resources

City of Hope utilizes a variety of Web-based learning tools in their standard curriculum. Most faculty members at City of Hope participate in site specific treatment guidelines committees for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), which has come to establish the standard of care for a variety of malignancies. These and other Web resources are essential for today’s oncologist. Printed and electronic versions of numerous journals are available through City of Hope's Graff Library.
As stated previously, the NCCN guidelines are regarded as standard of care in the treatment of most malignancies. Refer to the clinican's site of this Web resource for straightforward algorithms and detailed didactics.
Fellows will regularly participate in journal club reviews of clinical trials published in this journal and in other prominent oncology publications. Electronic access is available to fellows through the Graff Library.
Connect to ASCO to find the latest clinical trial abstracts of relevance to your patients. City of Hope fellows have regularly earned honors for their presentations at ASCO Annual Meetings.
During the Harbor-UCLA experience, fellows are immersed in a plethora of amazing hematology cases. Refer to the ASH Web site to obtain up-to-date abstracts for your patients.
City of Hope is highly regarded throughout the community for its exceptional work in bringing the latest research to community clinicians. These activities are excellent learning opportunities for current fellows.
City of Hope encourages enrollment of all suitable patients in active clinical trials. City of Hope stands as one of the most active members of the Southwest Oncology Group and other national consortiums. Fellows gain valuable experience in clinical trial participation.

K-12 Program

The Paul Calabresi Clinical Oncology Training Program provides additional didactic training and mentored clinical research for young investigators. Faculty members who are within four years of completion of training in oncology have protected time to pursue additional training to ensure their success as translational researchers in Oncology.

The success of the program is evidence by the many trainees who have become independent researchers with peer-reviewed funding. The Program has been continually funded since 1994.

City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center with strong research programs that provide ample opportunity for mentored research in:
Program Components:
Year One: Intensive courses in clinical investigation (See Didactic Curriculum Overview); Participation in Journal Clubs and/or Research Seminars; Laboratory rotations and initiate multi-disciplinary clinical research training.

Years Two through Four: For a minimum of 23 hours per week, scholars will be engaged in a supervised translational research program under the full-time guidance of a senior clinical investigator with the assistance of a laboratory mentor. In addition the the supervised translational research, scholars will present their ongoing clinical research efforts to peers, mentor and the Advisory Committee and provide a written progress report every six months.

Program Management - Clinical Oncology Career Research Development Program Organizational Chart

Joanne Mortimer, M.D., (Principal Investigator, Program Director)
Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research

Dr. Joanne Mortimer has a long history of commitment to scholarship and the mentoring of trainees and faculty. Following completion of her Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology Fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, she was recruited to the University of Washington. Seven years later, she moved to Washington University as the Medical Director of the Barnard Cancer Center. During her 13 years in St. Louis, Dr. Mortimer conducted clinical research trials in breast cancer and served as co-Director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program. She received numerous awards for teaching and clinical excellence. In 2007, Dr. Mortimer was recruited to City of Hope from the University of California, San Diego, where she was the Deputy Director for Clinical Affairs at the Moores Cancer Center. Currently, Dr. Mortimer is the Director of the Women’s Cancers Program and the Associate Director for Affiliates in the Cancer Center. She is also the Vice Chair of Medical Oncology and the Principal Investigator for the “Paul Calabresi Career Development Award for Clinical Oncology (K12)”.

Susan Kane, Ph.D., (Advisory Committee Member)
Professor, Cancer Biology
Member, Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center

A Professor in the Department of Cancer Biology, studying drug resistance. Her laboratory isolated trastuzumab-resistant tumor cells and discovered that they exhibit constitutive activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway, which is normally down-regulated by trastuzumab in HER2-dependent cells. Further studies have identified components of the protein kinase A (PKA) and protein phophatase-1 (PP-1) pathways as dysregulated in trastuzumab-resistant cells, consistent with a role for PP-1 as a negative regulator of Akt. These results suggest that resistance to trastuzumab in breast cancer can be induced by activated Akt signaling as a consequence of PKA up-regulation and protein phosphatase-1 dysregulation in HER2-positive breast cancers. PKA and PP-1 dysregulation might also be involved in drug resistance in non-HER2 positive breast cancer. Current studies are focused on understanding the mechanism of PKA/PP-1 dysregulatioin and the possible identification of new biomarkers or molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. Dr. Kane has a strong commitment to education at all levels. She has mentored numerous pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and clinical oncology fellows.

Andrew Raubitschek, M.D., (Advisory Committee Member)
Chair, Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology

Dr. Raubitschek is Chair, Department of Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology; Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology; and the Co-Leader of the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center Cancer Immunotherapeutics Program. Dr. Raubitschek received his medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco, and completed an internship at UCSF and then initiated his residency in Radiation Oncology at Stanford University. While at Stanford, Dr. Raubitschek began work on the production of human monoclonal antibodies and was one of the first to describe an antigen-specific human monoclonial antibody. Dr. Raubitschek pursued this interest at Cetus Immune where he was the Director of the Human Antibody Program, as well as being responsible for the early IL-2 clinical trials.

Ravi Bhatia, M.D., (Advisory Committee Member)
Director, Stem Cell and Leukemia Research

Dr. Bhatia received his medical training from he All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi. He received Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant training from the University of Minnesota, where he also did a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Catherine Verfaillie and Dr. Philip McGlave. He joined City of Hope in 1996. Dr. Bhatia's research interests are in studying the regulation of normal and malignant hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, therapeutic targeting of malignant stem cells, and hematopoietic stem cel therapeutics.

Smita Bhatia , M.D., M.P.H., (Advisory Committee Member/Mentor) Professor and Ruth Ziegler Chair in the Department of Population Sciences and Associate Director of Population Research of the Cancer Center

Dr. Bhatia has developed a Program that utilizes the large and diverse patient population base at City of Hope to create a Center for Cancer Survivorship that serves as an invaluable resource for research, observational studies, and interventional trials in cancer survivorship, quality of life, genetic risk assessment, and molecular epidemiology. She has worked closely with the disease site leaders within the Cancer Center to establish comprehensive, multidisciplinary clinics for survivors of childhood malignancies as well as breast and prostate cancers. Dr. Bhatia is the Principal Investigator of several extramurally funded multi-institutional trials examining the health-related outcomes in cancer survivors and has been continuously funded since establishing her own independent research program in 1996. She serves on several peer-review panels, including the NCI Epidemiology of Cancer (EPIC) Study Section and the Lance Armstrong Foundation Study Section, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the latter. She has served as a reviewer for leading scientific journals and is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Cancer. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society Scholar Award in 2001 and the American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Group Frank A. Oski Lectureship Award. In 2006, she was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2006. Since 2009, she has served as the Associate Chair of the Children's Oncology Group. Dr. Bhatia is recognized as an outstanding educator and mentor.

Linda Malkas, Ph.D., (Advisory Committee Member)
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope.

Dr. Malkas is also the Associate Director for Basic Science of the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her laboratory has focused on elucidating the mechanisms underlying cancer cell DNA damage accumulation, which has also been correlated with disease progression. Her laboratory was the first to successfully isolate an intact multiprotein DNA synthesis complex that is both stable and fully functional (termed the DNA synthesome) from a variety of mammalian cell lines and tissues. Subsequent work demonstrated that the synthesome of malignant breast epithelial cells has a significantly decreased DNA synthesis fidelity (exhibiting a more error-prone synthesis process) than the complex of non-malignant breast epithelial cells. She is currently working on the development of DNA-damaging cancer chemotherapeutic drugs based on the novel target identified in her lab. Dr. Malkas has mentored numerous graduate and post-graduate students.

Susan Neuhausen, Ph.D., (Advisory Committee Member)
Morris & Horowitz Families Professor in Cancer Etiology and Outcomes Research, Population Sciences

A prominent molecular epidemiologist and Co-Leader of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program in the Cancer Center. Dr. Neuhausen’s research focuses on genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that predispose to the development of diseases such as breast and ovarian cancers. Using genetics to understand the etiology of this disease and develop more accurate models for risk estimation is essential to ultimately tailor prevention strategies and therapies. Based on extensive in vivo and in vitro studies, one important pathway for breast cancer pathogenesis may be the IGF signaling pathway, which regulates both cellular proliferation and apoptosis. One of Dr. Neuhausen’s research studies is focused on the association of variants in genes involved in insulin-like growth factor signaling and risk of breast cancer in a cohort of women carrying pathogenic BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations and in women not carrying known mutations. Another study investigates the role of DNA methylation as a modifier of risk in carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. She also works with Dr. Bernstein on the California Teachers Registry and with Dr. Weitzel on studies utilizing the Hereditary Cancer Research Registry.

Yun Yen, M.D., Ph.D., (Advisory Committee Member/Mentor)
Chair, Molecular Pharmacology

An accomplished physician-scientist who has a long history of peer-reviewed funding and has been a leader in experimental therapeutics research at City of Hope. Dr. Yen is the Dr. & Mrs. Allen Y. Chao Chair in Developmental Cancer Therapeutics in the Cancer Center and oversees the Translational Research laboratory for integration of correlative laboratory studies into clinical trials. As the Chair of the Molecular Pharmacology Department, Dr. Yen supervises pharmacology research on new molecular targets as well as pre-clinical evaluations. Dr. Yen’s long-term research interest is in defining the molecular biology of ribonucleotide reductase, especially in terms of drug targeting and drug resistance mechanisms. He has served as both a laboratory and clinical mentor for a number of Oncology Fellows and Junior Faculty. He will serve as a faculty mentor on this grant.

Jonathan Espenschied, M.D., (Advisory Committee Member)
Director of Graduate Medical Education and Clinical Training

As the curriculum Director, Dr. Espenschied oversees the didactic curriculum and works closely with the Principal Investigators, Advisory Committee, trainees and mentors to ensure a hihg quality experience and effective reseaech training. Dr. Espenschied has extensive experience in building efficient, effective graduate level training and expertise in current methodologies of clinical trial design, responsible conduct, and statistical analysis. Dr. Espenschied currently leads the GME and Clinical Training programs which allows him to keep apprised of all of our trainees', assisting them as they develop and advance through their programs.

For more information on the K-12 research program, contact:

Kim Chau
Program Coordinator

Past Scholars
Jana Portnow, M.D.,assistant chief of Neuro-oncology, joined the faculty in 2002. Her research interests include the pharmacokinetics of femozolomide and signal transduction inhibitors in brain tumors.

Warren Chow, M.D.,director of the Sarcoma Research Program, joined the faculty in 1994. His research involves assessment in preclinical models of sarcoma tissue growth and evolution.

Oncology Rotations

City of Hope will pilots award system to enhance the inpatient experience for fellows. The ward system will involve a team that combines one attending, one fellow and one physician extender (either a nurse practitioner or physician assistant) to manage the solid oncology service. Through the solid oncology service, fellows will have one-on-one teaching in either one of several key areas of inpatient oncology through organized didactics led by teaching faculty. The areas to be covered are:
  • Intraperitoneal chemotherapy
  • High dose IL-2 administration
  • High dose chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplant
  • High dose methotrexate administration
  • Chemoembolization and hepatic artery infusion (liver directed therapy)
The outpatient experience in oncology at City of Hope has always been one of the highlights of the program. The system is built to allow continuity of care and, through the course of the year, fellows accumulate a large roster of their own patients for whom they are responsible.

Monthlong blocks on one of several rotations allow the fellows to ultimately gain knowledge and insight into the variety of malignancies they will ultimately see in practice. Fellows work elbow to elbow with attendings who are nationally recognized experts in their tumor type. Fellows participate in Solid Tumor Program directed tumor boards weekly.

The outpatient experience also allows for an experience in clinical trial enrollment. City of Hope is a contributor to several large cancer research consortiums, including the Southwest Oncology Group and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project.

Please take note of important dates listed in the Electronic Residency Application Service ( ERAS ) application to recognize deadlines for the fellowship application process.

How to Apply
Apply to: Harbor-COH program, Hematology and Oncology/Research (Code: 1067155F0).

Please note that the application for the City of Hope track is not distinct from the Harbor-UCLA/Kaiser track. However, at the time you are selected for interview, you will be offered a choice of either of the two programs (or both, at the discretion of the selection committee). Be sure to apply in a timely fashion.



Hematology Rotation

The hematology rotation of the program will provide extensive training in malignant hematology over a 6 to 12 month period. The fellows will learn about the diagnosis and management of acute leukemias and lymphomas. They will present cases at the multidiscplinary leukemia and lymphoma conferences and work closely with the hematopathologists.

The rotation also allows fellows the unique opportunity to have extensive exposure to stem cell transplantation. As City of Hope is one of the largest hematopoietic cell transplantation programs, this rotation allows fellows the unique opportunity to be involved in the evaluation of new patients referred for transplant and the management of acute complications of stem cell transplantation. Fellows will gain experience in bone marrow harvesting, techniques for stem cell mobilization, and learn how to use HLA typing to evaluate potential donors. Fellows will also gain experience in the diagnosis, staging and management of acute and chronic graft versus host disease.

How to Apply
Please take note of important dates listed in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) application to recognize deadlines for the fellowship application process.

Apply to: Harbor-COH program, Hematology and Oncology/Research (Code: 1067155F0).

Please note that the application for the City of Hope track is not distinct from the Harbor-UCLA/Kaiser track. However, at the time you are selected for interview, you will be offered a choice of either of the two programs (or both, at the discretion of the selection committee). Be sure to apply in a timely fashion.


Fellowships and Residencies
City of Hope offers a number of exciting fellowships and residencies in laboratory cancer and diabetes research, administration, clinical applications and other areas.

City of Hope is one of only 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the country, the highest designation awarded by the National Cancer Institute to institutions that lead the way in cancer research, treatment, prevention and professional education.
Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope is internationally  recognized for its innovative biomedical research.
Students and professionals at City of Hope can access a plethora of medical databases, scientific journals, course materials, special collections, and other useful resources at our 12,000 square foot Lee Graff Library.
City of Hope has a long-standing commitment to Continuing Medical Education (CME), sharing advances in cancer research and treatment with the health-care community through CME courses such as conferences, symposia and other on and off campus CME opportunities for medical professionals.
Learn more about City of Hope's institutional distinctions, breakthrough innovations and collaborations.
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