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Institute for Drug Development Fellowship

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The Advanced Oncology/Hematology Drug Development Fellowship Program is designed for medical oncologists who desire additional fellowship training and clinical experience in clinical research with particular emphasis on early drug development methodology.

Institute of Drug Development fellows learn the clinical management of patients with advanced malignancies receiving treatment on Phase I clinical trials. This will include documentation necessary for clinical research subjects, the ethical aspects and regulatory process of informed consent as well as the capture of data including understanding the common toxicity criteria used in toxicity assessment. Our alumni are performing translational research into new drug development.

 

How to apply

Candidate application for the Advanced Oncology/Hematology Drug Development Fellowship Program is initiated by referral, query from the candidate, advertisement in leading oncology journals (e.g., Journal of Clinical Oncology) or by recruitment by the UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center/IDD faculty during travels and networking.

The applicant must meet the following criteria to be considered for acceptance into the program:

  1. Has graduated from a medical school accepted by the Texas Medical Board or that meets the requirements as determined by a committee of experts selected by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  2. If a foreign medical graduate, meets eligibility requirements for obtaining an appropriate visa and obtains an ECFMG certificate. The Advanced Oncology/Hematology Drug Development Fellowship Program has been approved by the American Board of Internal Medicine as a Non-Standard Program. Candidates meeting all other requirements and accepted by the program are eligible for ECFMG sponsorship of United States J-1 training visas.
  3. Meets all eligibility criteria for a Texas license, or a Physician in Training Permit issued by the Texas Medical Board.
  4. Has successfully completed postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology/Hematology, according to criteria set forth by the American Board of Medical Specialties for the American Board of Internal Medicine with added qualifications in Medical Oncology/Hematology, or international equivalents. Candidates are not required to be board certified.
  5. Completes an application that includes applicant demographic information and education history, including past and present program directors’ names and addresses. Also provides the following:
  • Biographic information: full name, date of birth, current address (local and/or foreign) and nationality/citizenship
  • Job experience
  • Transcripts (certified by school registrar or official)
  • Postgraduate training certificates
  • ECFMG certificate (if foreign medical graduate)
  • List all current and past visas issued by the United States to a foreign national applicant and/or immediate family
  • If applicable, biographic information for a foreign national applicant’s spouse and children
  • Copy of all passports, visas and I-94 for foreign national applicant and immediate family members joining the applicant
  • Current CV and/or resume
  • Any medical licenses current or prior
  • Current photograph
  • Essay or narrative describing applicant’s prior related experience, future goals and objectives and reason that this program is of interest.

All application documentation, including, without limitation: photographs, certified copies and certified translations into English from foreign languages, must meet the requirements of the Texas Medical Board.

Fellowship information

Year 1

Fellows will learn the clinical management of patients with advanced malignancies receiving treatment on Phase I clinical trials. This will include documentation necessary for clinical research subjects, the ethical aspects and regulatory process of informed consent as well as the capture of data including understanding the common toxicity criteria used in toxicity assessment.

  • Gain insights into clinical trial protocol writing and regulatory approval
  • Attend and present at several regularly scheduled conferences and research meetings
  • Spend time in a variety of laboratories at either UT Health San Antonio, UTSA or UT Austin to gain exposure to different aspects of drug discovery or development.
  • Participate in 2.5 days/week of research clinics. At least one of these clinic days will be spent evaluating new patient referrals for clinical trials under the supervision of licensed clinical research staff physicians.

Year 2

Fellows will continue to be involved with the clinical research and projects from year 1. In addition each fellow will run and initiate an entire study until completion of their program, under the supervision of staff. This will incorporate patient selection, data management, necessary decisions related to protocol adherence as well as necessary changes and amendments to improve feasibility as well as patient safety.

  • Serve as co-principal investigators on several other studies and as a sub-investigator on colleagues’ protocols.
  • You will be encouraged to design and initiate an Investigator Sponsored study.
  • Learn the basics of data analysis and pharmacokinetics and incorporate this knowledge into the execution of each study.
  • Attend several regularly scheduled conferences and research meetings.
  • For those who express interest, more dedicated time to work in a drug discovery/development laboratory will be made available.
  • Assume responsibility for walk-in patients on a rotating basis, and be responsible for this activity for 2-3 months each year.
  • You will be given “protected time” for at least 2.5 days each week to pursue individual research projects.
  • Analyze the data gained from the protocols that have been successfully executed as well as the studies participated in. Furthermore detailed pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analysis of the results will enable the fellow to fully satisfy the scientific nature of the study and assist in a further understanding of the experimental agent examined.
  • Produce a manuscript that ultimately will be submitted for peer-reviewed publication, and publish at least 1-2 manuscripts that detail projects worked on since inception.
  • Be able to construct the next steps for both the clinical development of the agent studied as well as learning the essentials of grant writing for further career development.

Acceptance and Training Requirements

Acceptance

The Cancer Therapy & Research Center/IDD faculty will interview eligible candidates. If a personal interview is not possible, the interview may be conducted by teleconference. Acceptance and continued enrollment is contingent upon the candidate obtaining and maintaining the necessary certifications and permits including, where applicable, a United States visa and work permit, ECFMG certification, and a license or a Physician in Training Permit issued by the Texas Medical Board.

Residency Training Requirements

The fellowship applicant must have successfully completed postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology/Hematology according to criteria set forth by the American Board of Medical Specialties for the American Board of Internal Medicine with added qualifications in Medical Oncology/Hematology or international equivalents. The applicant is not required to be board certified.