Graduate Medical Education (GME): Hematology Oncology

Fellowship Program Director: Charles Bolan, M.D.
Associate Program Director for Oncology: Marijo Bilusic, M.D. Ph.D.
Associate Program Director for Hematology: Sawa Ito, M.D. Ph.D.

The National Institutes of Health Hematology Oncology Fellowship is jointly supported by the Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute (CCR, NCI) and the Division of Intramural Research, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (DIR, NHLBI). The ACGME-accredited program provides a strong clinical grounding in hematology and oncology as well as a comprehensive introduction to clinical, laboratory and translational-based research. Even during the initial18 months of full-time clinical rotations there is a strong emphasis on basic science and translational research. During the subsequent 18 months of research and half-day per week continuity clinic, the fellow may choose from more than 100 laboratories or clinical research groups at the NIH Clinical Center (CC) to acquire the skills necessary to become an independent biomedical investigator.

Program Structure
The NIH provides a unique opportunity for physicians interested in academic careers to develop and integrate their clinical and basic research interests. After three years of accredited hematology oncology training, fellows are board-eligible in hematology and oncology. The initial 18 months of clinical rotations are conducted on in-patient ward and outpatient clinical rotations in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, lymphoma, leukemia, solid-tumor oncology, bone marrow failure, sickle cell hemoglobinopathies, and hematology oncology consults at the one of the most outstanding medical research facilities in the world, the NIH Clinical Center. Additional structured clinical rotations are performed in hematology oncology clinics and consults at the Georgetown, Washington Hospital Center, and Washington VA medical centers, and on the acute leukemia service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Each rotation includes regular daily rounds for teaching and patient care purposes. The conference schedule includes regularly scheduled journal clubs, tumor boards, core lecture series, board review, multi-disciplinary rounds, and weekly fellowship conferences for which the fellow is responsible for presenting analyses of clinical or research problems. Internationally recognized clinical investigators are invited weekly for CCR grand rounds, monthly within the NHLBI DIR, and at multiple venues throughout the intramural and extramural research programs at NIH. A lecture series in hematologic malignancies is conducted weekly by senior staff. A formal training program in clinical trials research resulting in a master's degree is offered collaboratively with Duke University, and fellows may apply to participate during their second or subsequent years. At their discretion, fellows may choose to pursue a two year program (1 year clinical rotations, 1 year research and ½ day continuity clinic) leading to board eligibility in either hematology or oncology alone (single track training).

Each fellow will choose a laboratory or clinical research group in which to pursue his or her research interest during the research portion of the fellowship. The choice of laboratory is by mutual agreement between the fellow, the laboratory Chief, and the fellowship program director. Research opportunities are broad and include both basic and clinical investigation. By arrangement, fellows may elect to receive training in the laboratory or clinical program of any investigator on campus, not only with members of the NCI CCR or NHLBI DIR. Many fellows elect to stay for a 4th or even 5th year to be highly competitive for intramural tenure-track positions or extramural positions and grant funding. Staying beyond the 3-year fellowship program is at the mutual discretion of the individual fellow and the research mentor.

Additional Information
Please visit the following webpages for more information:

Application Information
Applicants can begin applying to our program via ERAS yearly on July 1, with a yearly deadline near the end of November. Early application is encouraged to be considered for the 3 to 4 Friday interview sessions which are general held in late August, September and early October.

Applications are reviewed and processed through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) [disclaimer] Web site. Our program is listed as NIH Clinical Center Program (ACGME ID#1552314155) and can be found under the heading for Hematology Oncology (Internal Medicine).

Requested Application Documentation

  • At minimum three (3) letters of recommendation, of which one is from the candidate's internal medicine training program director
  • Candidates with significant prior research experience should include a recommendation from his/her research mentor