The goal of the research program is to prepare the fellow for a productive career in academic gynecologic oncology through a highly focused laboratory and clinical research experience, including the writing of scientific manuscripts and presentation at major national meetings.
Fellows enter into two years of full-time laboratory cancer research in one of six areas of scientific inquiry:
- Molecular and cellular biology
- Tumor immunology and immunotherapy
- Cancer genetics
- Pharmacology and experimental therapeutics
- Cell stress biology
- Cancer prevention and epidemiology
Fellows conduct laboratory research under the direction of Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, the Executive Director for the Center for Immunotherapy, and Principal Investigator of the NCI-funded Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Ovarian Cancer. Dr. Odunsi oversees and monitors the research work of fellows that work directly with him and those that work with other mentors. Other mentors are also NIH/NCI funded Principal Investigators of independent laboratories.
Fellows have access to a number of clinical databases and medical records including:
The GYN Department Ovarian Cancer Database
This database contains annotated clinico-pathologic information on more than 1,800 patients with ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer. This database is updated by the research fellows.
The Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry at RPCI
This is a self-referred registry of families with two or more ovarian cancer cases in blood relatives. The registry was established in 1981 at Roswell Park Cancer Institute to study the incidence of familial ovarian cancer. The primary function of the registry is to receive family cancer information voluntarily contributed throughout the United States by ovarian cancer patients, referring and concerned physicians, concerned women, and patients of the RPCI Gynecologic Oncology Department. As of April 2014, a total of 2,556 pedigrees consisting of 50,000 individuals, have been accessioned by the registry.
NIH T32 Postdoctoral Research Training in Gynecologic Oncology
The Department of Gynecologic Oncology provides an additional opportunity for advanced training as a clinical scientist through an NIH-funded T32 training program. The T32 research program and clinical Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship are combined into a four-year program. This includes full clinical training to meet and exceed American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) requirements and two full years of research training. Opportunities range from basic research in immunology and genetics to molecular therapeutics, pharmacology and health services research.