Fellowship trains next generation of immuno-oncology experts

Authors: Brendan D. Curti, M.D., program director, Immuno-oncology Fellowship Program; and David Page, M.D., associate director, Immuno-oncology Fellowship Program, Providence Cancer Institute

In 2018, Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon 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 and professional careers.

The program is unique because of its focused training in immunotherapy and 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.

Medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, internal medicine physicians and surgical residency graduates are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is Feb. 28, 2023.

Immersion in immuno-oncology research

The fellowship is offered through Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, the research arm of Providence Cancer Institute, home to a team of researchers and oncologists that have helped advance the field of immunotherapy as well as 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 site initiation visit.”

A rigorous program for academic careers

In our program, fellows will develop an expertise in clinical immunotherapies 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 said 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 assistant professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Boston University, where he continues to pursue clinical and translation research under multiple grant awards.

Brie Chun, M.D., a 2020- 2021 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 currently is accepting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year from medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, internal medicine physicians and surgical residency graduates.

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.


Brendan D. Curti, M.D., is a medical oncologist at Providence Cancer Institute; member, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, and Robert W. Franz Endowed Chair for Clinical Research.

David Page, M.D., is a medical oncologist at Providence Cancer Institute; assistant member, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute.


About the Author

The Pulse content team focuses on bringing you the latest in clinical news from our world-class medical providers and physician leaders.

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