Fellowship trains next generation of immuno-oncology experts

In 2018, Providence Cancer Institute launched the Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship, a rigorous one-year academic program for medical professionals who want to pursue concentrated training in immunology, immunotherapy and translational clinical trials to enhance their academic career paths.

The program is unique for its focused training in immunotherapy and also the flexibility to work directly with many mentors and experts across the entire landscape of immuno-oncology – from the lab to the clinic and therapeutic development.

The fellowship is offered through Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, the research arm of Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon, a world leader in immuno-oncology. We are home to an acclaimed team of researchers and oncologists that have helped advance the field since 1993. In addition, we administer advanced cellular therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and high-dose interleukin-2.

Our expertise in immunotherapy, basic, clinical and translational research and bioinformatics ensures a rich learning environment for our immuno-oncology research fellows.

“The strength of the program is the opportunity to be immersed in cutting-edge immunology and immuno-oncology research and learn about the opportunities in the field that are relevant across all of oncology,” said Derrick Tao, M.D., a 2021—2022 Immuno-oncology Research Fellow.

“Rather than siloed research groups, the leadership at Providence has fostered a uniquely collaborative environment with multidisciplinary efforts that lead to rapid progress and translation to patient care,” said Dr. Tao. “I was able to gain insight into the entire clinical trial process and participate in the opening of an innovative adoptive cell therapy trial by presenting the SIV.”

A rigorous program for academic careers

In our program fellows will develop an expertise in clinical immunotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer and gain a foundational understanding of research methodology. Fellows may choose to pursue a clinical translational project offered by faculty, or they can initiate a research project in immuno-oncology of their own design. In some cases, projects extend beyond the fellowship, fostering ongoing collaborative and beneficial relationships with mentors and colleagues.

During the Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship Program, fellows can expect:

  • Intensive, one-on-one didactic training in the principles of immuno-oncology taught by our leaders in the field.
  • A research practicum based on the interest of the fellow consisting of “on the job” immersion experiences.
  • Participation in lab meetings where scientists and guest speakers present original research related to a variety of immuno-oncology topics.
  • Participation at two conferences: Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Annual Meeting and AACR/ASCO Clinical Trials Workshop.

Fellows may choose to pursue this program independently or add the year of research and study to one of our two-year surgical fellowship programs.

Post fellowship career advancements

The Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship at Providence Cancer Institute has seen several fellows move into positions in highly respected academic institutions and other acclaimed surgical fellowships.

Dr. Tao noted that this fellowship was “an important step in securing a competitive fellowship position in hematology/oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center” where he was selected as a fellow during the 2021 match process.

Marcus Couey, D.D.S, M.D., a 2018 – 2019 Immuno-oncology Research Fellow and 2018 – 2020 Head and Neck Microvascular Surgery Fellow, received a post-fellowship position as an assistant professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Boston University. Dr. Couey continues to pursue clinical and translation research under multiple grant awards.

Brie Chun, M.D., a 2020 – 2021 Immuno-oncology Research Fellow, was accepted into the Oncology Fellowship Program at Oregon Health and Science University and serves on the Internal Medicine Faculty at Providence Portland Medical Center.

Accepting applications

Providence is currently accepting applications for the 2023 – 2024 academic year. U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status is required. Unfortunately, we are unable to consider foreign applicants. The application deadline is Feb. 28, 2023.

Learn more about the Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship and other Providence Cancer Institute Oregon fellowship programs.

Visit the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute to learn more about our history, achievements and world-renowned faculty.

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