Cancer genomics is an emerging medical field with the potential to grow infinitely in the future. Physician scientists with specialized training in genomic medicine will be invaluable as genetics and genomics become fully integrated into research and patient care. The Cleveland Clinic Cancer Genomic Medicine Fellowship is designed to train MDs and PhDs to integrate genomic medicine into their clinical and research activities.
By the beginning of the fellowship program, candidates should have received either their MD and/or PhD from an accredited training institution. MD candidates who have completed a hematology/oncology fellowship or equivalent are particularly desirable. PhD candidates should have concluded rigorous doctoral or postdoctoral training in basic, translational or clinical cancer research, but have the desire to go on to patient-oriented cancer genetics and genomic medicine research.
The program structure is flexible and tailored specifically to each fellow based on their previous experiences (medical specialty, research experience) and career goals. Fellows split their time between laboratory and patient care activities within the context of cancer genomics.
Laboratory activities minimally include performing a lab-based patient-oriented research project applicable to cancer genomics, with an emphasis on mastering techniques commonly used within a human genetics laboratory, such as PCR, gene sequencing, mutation analysis, western blots, and functional protein studies. More importantly, the successful fellow will understand how to form hypotheses from clinical observations and to design experiments to effectively answer the hypothesis. Attendance at a variety of clinical and basic science conferences, presentation at national and international scientific meetings relevant to the field of cancer genomics, and publication generation are expected.
Patient care activities vary dependent on the fellow’s previous training and career goals. A PhD fellow who will not be involved in direct patient care will minimally observe clinics with the cancer genetic counseling team at the Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare in the Cleveland Clinic Genomic Medicine Institute and attend weekly family review meetings. An MD fellow interested in developing clinical cancer genetics skills will progress from observing patient appointments to assuming full case responsibility for patients under the supervision of one of our licensed and certified genetic counselors and Dr. Eng. Attendance at grand rounds, tumor boards, didactic coursework and guided readings round out all fellows’ clinical education experiences.
Funding for fellows currently is provided entirely from private sources. The main source of funding is provided by the Ambrose Monell Foundation, and is renewable on an annual basis. Trainees who bring their own fellowship support will be prioritized. Fellows receive benefits and salary per the standardized pay scale based on Post-Graduate Year.
Director: Charis Eng, MD PhD
Associate Director: Rebekah Moore, MS, LGC
Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should send a copy of their CV and a letter of intent to Dr. Charis Eng: firstname.lastname@example.org. Those with questions may contact either Dr. Eng or Rebekah Moore: email@example.com
Is this fellowship program certified by ACGME?
Cancer genetics is not yet a recognized specialty or subspecialty of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), making this fellowship program a one-of-a-kind training opportunity. Upon program completion fellows receive a training certificate from the Genomic Medicine Institute of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute.
How many fellows participate in this program per year?
The program can support two to three trainees.
How long does the program last?
Length of fellowship is partly dependent on each fellow’s goals and time needed to complete their projects. A minimum of two years is required, with extension to three years possible.
What have recent graduates done with this training?
Our graduates have used this training as a successful launching point to academic careers in cancer genomics. All alumnae currently hold faculty positions, leading clinical genetics programs and translational science laboratories, both nationally and across the world.
Program graduates, by date of completion, include:
2015: Pauline Funchain, MD – Staff, Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland Clinic; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Lerner College of Medicine
2014: Joanne Ngeow, MB BS, MPH, MRCP – Head, Clinical Cancer Genetics Services, National Cancer Centre Singapore; Associate Professor of Genomic Medicine, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
2011: Min-Han Tan, MB BS, PhD, MRCP – Founding Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director, Lucence Diagnostics
2010: Holly Pederson, MD – Staff Physician, Director of Medical Breast Services and Head, Hereditary High-Risk Breast Program, Cleveland Clinic; Associate Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Lerner College of Medicine
2007: Kevin Zbuk, MD – Associate Professor, Medical Oncology, McMaster University
Does the fellowship program sponsor international fellows?
Yes. For clinical fellows, USMLE testing is not a pre-requisite for entry, but we strongly suggest this be completed before or during the early months of the fellowship in order to maximize opportunities for clinical training.