Department of Reproductive Medicine
Obstetrics and Gynecology

Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship

Program Director: Michael McHale, MD.

 

Mission:

The goal of the UCSD gynecologic oncology fellowship is to train academic physician leaders in gynecologic oncology. In addition, we expect our fellowship trainees will acquire exemplary clinical skills. The Fellowship aims to train gynecologic oncologists who are expert in all aspects of cancer care: surgery, chemo/immunotherapy and radiation therapy. Our fellows will be prepared not only to practice clinical gynecologic oncology and conduct meaningful, independent research, but, given the unique and academically significant resources available at UCSD, we expect them to set new standards and lead advances in the field.

 

Faculty:

Gynecologic Oncology Faculty

 

Non Gynecologic Oncology Faculty

  • Raul Coimbra, MD - Clinical Care/SICU
  • Christopher Kane, MD - Urologic Oncology
  • Andre Lowy, MD - Surgical Oncology
  • A.J. Mundt, MD - Radiation Oncology
  • Sonia Ramamoorthy, MD - Colorectal Surgery
  • Ann Wallace, MD - Breast and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Cate Yashar, MD - Radiation Oncology

 

Research Faculty

  • Dennis Carson, MD - Translational Oncology
  • Stephen Howell, MD - Tumor Growth Invasion & Metastasis
  • Lisa Madlensky, MD - Cancer Prevention
  • Ravindra Mehta, MD - CREST Program Director
  • Boris Minev, PhD - Translational Oncology
  • Ana Navarro, PhD - Cancer Prevention
  • John Pierce, PhD - Cancer Prevention
  • David Schlaepfer, PhD - Cancer Biology
  • Dwayne Stupack, PhD - Tumor Growth, Invasion & Metastasis
  • Jean Wang, PhD - Cancer Biology

 

 

Structure and Rotations:

The fellowship is designed as a shared program between a nationally prominent academic medical center (UCSD Medical Center) and a large established HMO (Kaiser Permanente.) This training relationship is modeled after our UCSD-Kaiser integrated residency program which has a greater than 25 year history of a close, highly successful relationship, merging the resources of a renowned research institution with the patient volume of a large HMO (> 500,000 members).

The fellowship is divided into 6-month blocks. The first block will be spent on the gynecologic oncology service at UCSD and the second will be spent on the gynecologic oncology service at Kaiser (year 1). After completing these two blocks, the fellow will then spend 3 consecutive blocks or 18 months performing mentored research. During this period they will also continue course work in our CREST program. This will allow fellows to pursue an advanced degree, such as a Masters in Clinical Research. After this 18-month research block, fellows will then participate in a 6-month block of off-service rotations. This block is meant to enhance components of their clinical experience in a concentrated fashion. This block will consist of month long rotations in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Radiation Oncology, Breast and Reconstructive Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Surgical Oncology/urologic oncology and Palliative Care.
Finally, the last two blocks (year 4) will be spent on the gynecologic oncology services at Kaiser and UCSD. Ordering the rotations as described is intended to permit early acquisition of research skills that can be applied throughout the remainder of the fellowship. In addition, beginning the research experience and the CREST program relatively early maximizes the probability that each fellow can pursue an advanced degree.

The Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Comprehensive Cancer Center, located in La Jolla, was completed in July, 2005. This 270,000 square foot facility unites the Cancer Center’s clinical enterprise (including magnetic resonance imaging, digital imaging, and radiation oncology) with basic, clinical, translational, and cancer prevention research. The Cancer Center is one of five Organized Research Units (ORU) of the UCSD School of Medicine.

The Cancer Center carries out research through eight programs: Cancer Biology, Cancer Genetics, Cancer Pharmacology, Cancer Prevention & Control, Cancer Symptom Control, Translational Oncology, and Viral Malignancy. Cancer research is supported by the Center’s 12 shared resource facilities: Biostatistics, Clinical Trials Office, Data Compilation & Analysis, Digital Imaging, DNA Sequencing, Flow Cytometry, Histology & Immunohistochemistry, Microarray, Molecular Pathology, Nutrition, Radiation Medicine, and Transgenic Mouse.

 

Clinical Experience:

A busy clinical experience is available at the Moores-UCSD site; there is constant exposure to non-surgical, as well as surgical, management. At UCSD, patients on the gynecologic oncology service are treated with chemotherapy and radiation, as well as surgery. Many patients are enrolled on cooperative group, commercially sponsored, and investigator initiated, clinical trials. All the benefits of a comprehensive cancer center are available at this site.

Tremendous clinical volume and wealth of clinical experience is available at the Kaiser site. The Kaiser attending gynecologic oncologists provide care for 500,000 members. They receive a large volume of referrals each month and have a very busy clinical service, emphasizing the surgical aspects of gynecologic oncology care.

 

Education:

CREST PROGRAM

The Clinical Research Enhancement through Supplemental Training (CREST) program is designed to improve the training of clinician investigators and translational researchers by providing a comprehensive, cohesive infrastructure in an environment which promotes interaction between basic scientists and clinical researchers. CREST scholars take courses in the methods and techniques of clinical research, meet regularly with a CREST advisor who provides guidance for career development, gain experience in the design, planning, implementation, analysis and presentation of a research project, and have the opportunity to interact with researchers in other disciplines. The CREST program has a modular format consisting of eight 10-week courses and professional development module offered over a two-year period. CREST scholars can enroll in any of the individual courses (Track I) or in the full two-year program (Track II). The courses are accredited for 20 credit units that can be applied towards a Master’s degree in clinical research. The MAS degree requires completion of 36 credit units over a 2-3 year period.
Gynecologic oncology fellows will enroll in the full two-year program (Track II) and will encourage them to continue their studies in order to earn the MAS degree.
In addition to the CREST course, other educational activities include:
Multi-disciplinary Gynecologic Oncology Tumor Board held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday mornings of each month from 7 AM to 8 AM at the Moores Cancer Center.

Educational conferences for the Dept. of Reproductive Medicine every Wednesday afternoon, and include Grand Rounds, Gynecology Morbidity and Mortality Conference, Perinatal Morbidity and Mortality Conference, Medical and surgical complications are presented and discussed at these conferences. The fellows will participate in these conferences when the conferences are pertinent.

The Gynecologic Oncology Division’s monthly journal club.

Weekly “Topics in Hematology-Oncology” didactic sessions, when pertinent to gynecologic oncology

Weekly Cancer Center research conference

Monthly (September-June) Moores UCSD Cancer Center/American Cancer Society conferences, which include clinical topics from all areas of Medical Oncology.

 

Research:

Dr. David Schlaepfer, Professor of Reproductive Medicine, is the Division of Gynecologic Oncology’s primary research faculty member. Dr. Schlaepfer's research interest is in the area of cell signaling, particularly as relates to metastasis and invasion. He has published a number of very high impact papers on Focal Adhesion Kinase, which plays a central role in these processes, and is considered one of the leaders in the field. Dr. Schlaepfer runs an active, and productive, research laboratory. He trains graduate and post-doctoral students and will serve as the research mentor for our gynecologic oncology fellows. Each fellow will serve as a post-doctoral student in the lab, will participate in all lab activities and is expected to complete one, or more, basic science research projects.

Dr. Dwayne Stupack, Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine, is the Division of Gynecologic Oncology’s even more primary research faculty member. Dr. Stupack’s lab has focused on how stromal and normal cells take cues from their microenvironment, regulating the biochemical pathways that support tumor cell survival and dissemination. The lab is at the forefront of understanding how tumor cells usurp programmed cell death pathways to promote tumor malignancy, with studies ranging from molecular interactions to mammalian models. Dr. Stupack sits on the Core Curriculum Committee of the Medical School and on the Membership and Curriculum committees of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. His laboratory provides an outstanding and interactive environment in which fellows may train during their research elective year.

Clinical and Translational

The extensive research infrastructure and support within the Cancer Center enables a wide array of clinical research studies. UCSD has a long-standing record of GOG participation as an affiliate member through the University of California, Irvine. With the help of Cancer Center resources, we plan to increase our activity substantially over the next several years. We expect the fellows to become familiar to the open GOG studies and expect them to become familiar with the group’s ongoing research programs.
In addition to cooperative group studies, we maintain a portfolio of commercially sponsored phase I, II and III studies as well as investigator initiated investigations.
Fellows are expected to actively participate in all divisional clinical and translational research projects.

 

Application Process:

Any graduate from a US or Canadian accredited residency program may apply.  We prefer that all applications be submitted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and we participate in the National Residency Matching Program and all applicants must enroll in this program. Applications are accepted from January 1st through May 31st in the year prior to matriculation. Selected applicants will be offered interviews in late summer.
If you think our fellowship program will assist you in your career goals, please send your curriculum vitae, photograph, and personal statement, and arrange for three letters of recommendation, including one from the Chair of your department, or your residency program director. All correspondence should be sent to:

Michael McHale, M.D.

Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center
3855 Health Sciences Drive # 0987
La Jolla, CA 92093-0987

Office: (858) 822-6257
Fax: (858) 822-6319
E mail: mtmchale@ucsd.edu

The UCSD Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Training Program participates in the National Resident Matching Program. You must also call or write the NRMP for application.

Director: Michael McHale, MD, Department of Reproductive Medicine, UCSD

Address all administrative inquiries to our fellowship coordinator:

Marisa Licea

Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center
3855 Health Sciences Drive # 0987
La Jolla, CA 92093-0987

Office: (858) 246-1187
Fax: (858) 822-6319
Email: mlicea@ucsd.edu