The Cleveland Clinic Cancer Genomic Medicine Fellowship is designed to train MDs and MD/PhDs to incorporate genomic medicine, chief of which includes heritable cancer risk assessment and management, into their clinical and research activities. Successful fellows develop expertise in the following areas:
- The principles of genetic behavior and human genetics in the patient care setting
- The principles of human cancer genetics including cancer risk assessment and management
- The recognition of primary and complex cancer genetic traits in families and in cancer genetic differential diagnoses
- The use of molecular tools for genetic analysis and their interpretation
- Recognition of incidental germline findings in somatic genomics of malignant tissue
- Familiarity of utilizing genomic alterations in selecting targeted therapies
Minimum requirements and preferred qualifications for ideal Cancer Genomic Medicine Fellowship applicants are listed below, along with additional requirements to be completed prior to start of fellowship.
Minimum Required Qualifications for Application:
- MD or MD/PhD from an accredited training institution
- On track to complete residency prior to start of fellowship
- Eligible to obtain Visa for duration of fellowship, if needed
- Desire to pursue patient-oriented cancer genetics and genomic medicine research in addition to patient care
Preferred Qualifications for Application:
- MD or MD/PhD who is on track to complete a hematology/oncology (medical or surgical) fellowship or equivalent
- Candidates on track to complete a residency/fellowship in pathology or radiation oncology may be considered in special circumstances.
Required Qualifications at Start of Fellowship:
- Completed medical residency
- Board-certified or board-eligible in chosen specialty
- Obtain trainee licensure in the state of Ohio
- Completed USMLE exams and obtained Visa sponsorship, if needed
- MD/PhD candidates concluded doctoral or postdoctoral research training in cancer and/or genetics
The Cancer Genomic Medicine Training Program practice is primarily outpatient and consultative. Fellows split their time between patient care and research activities within the context of cancer genomics. Teaching is mainly Socratic and experiential and partially didactic. Fellows observe clinics with the cancer genetic counseling team at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare and attend weekly family review meetings Fellows then further hone clinical cancer genetics skills by progressing from observing patient appointments to assuming full case responsibility for patients under the supervision of one of our licensed and certified genetic counselors and Charis Eng, MD, PHD, program director. Attendance at grand rounds, tumor boards, didactic coursework and guided readings round out all fellows’ clinical education experiences.
Research is mandatory for all trainees because cancer genomic medical practice is based on data generated by human cancer genetics research. Clinical and translational research will be encouraged. Laboratory activities minimally include completing 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. 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 strongly encouraged.
Program Funding and Benefits
Currently, funding for fellows is provided entirely from private sources. The Ambrose Monell Foundation is the primary source of funding for this fellowship 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.
Program Director: Charis Eng, MD, PhD
Interim Associate Program Director : Ryan Noss, MS, CGC
Program Coordinator: Kimberly Clark, MA
How to Apply
Applications are considered on a rolling basis for a start date during the fall of 2024 or later (this timing is subject to change). Interested candidates should send a copy of their CV and a letter of intent to Kimberly Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those with questions may contact Kimberly Clark.
Links of Interest
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. However, our Cancer Genomic Medicine Fellowship is affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic’s ACGME-certified Hematology/Oncology Fellowship program, which serves as the parent program to the Cancer Genomic Medicine Fellowship. 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 new trainees per year, for a total of four trainees.
How long does the program last?
A minimum of two years is required, with extension to three years possible, dependent upon completion of the research project.
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 or lead clinical genetics programs or 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, USMLE testing and Visa are required to be completed before the fellowship.
Can I obtain a PhD while pursuing this Fellowship?
The Cleveland Clinic Molecular Medicine PhD Program offers a track for Cleveland Clinic residents/fellows in accredited training programs who wish to pursue a PhD in laboratory-based research. Heavy clinical obligations are disallowed during the doctoral laboratory research years. Known as PRISM (Physician Researchers Innovating in Science and Medicine), the program is offered in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of the Case Western Reserve University. Participants earn a PhD in Molecular Medicine. PhD programs generally require 54 credit hours, but most PRISM students will have 18 hours waived based on their MD coursework. The remaining 36 hours can usually be completed in two years, which is in addition to the time required to complete the clinical fellowship. Research is done in a basic science laboratory and the program requires a qualifying exam and at least two first author publications, similar to any PhD program. For further information, please contact Sarah Kositha-Smith, Med, MBA, Program Manager, at email@example.com.