The Dana-Farber/Mass General Brigham Fellowship in Hematology and Oncology

More Than 50 Years of Far-Reaching Influence

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Mass General Brigham (DF/MGB) Fellowship Program in Hematology/Oncology is among the most esteemed and competitive training programs in the country. Since 1973, it has attracted the brightest early career physicians and researchers to Dana-Farber in their pursuit of specialized training in cancer medicine.

The fellowship program gives fellows access to:

  • Top-notch curricula
  • Invaluable firsthand experience in the lab and the clinic
  • One-on-one mentorship from world-renowned faculty at Dana-Farber and partnering institutions

DF/MGB Fellowship Alumni: Luminaries in Cancer Medicine

As illustrated below, DF/MGB Fellowship Program alumni have shared their expertise all over the world, working to advance cancer medicine for patients everywhere. The Institute takes enormous pride in the number of scientists and physicians trained at Dana-Farber who now hold leadership positions here, as well as who have key appointments at universities, hospitals, and research institutions around the world, such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Society of Hematology. Here are some examples of places where they have made their contributions.

James Abbruzzese, MD, Chief, Duke Division of Medical Oncology; Associate Director for Clinical Research, Duke Cancer Institute

Kenneth Anderson, MD, Program Director, Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center; Kraft Family Professor of Medicine, Dana-Farber

Karen Antman, MD, Provost, Medical Campus; Dean, School of Medicine, Boston University

Philippe Armand, MD, PhD, Chief, Division of Lymphoma; Harold and Virginia Lash Endowed Chair in Lymphoma Research, Dana-Farber

Steven Artandi, MD, PhD, Director, Stanford Cancer Institute

Mark Awad, MD, PhD, Director of Clinical Research; Program Director, Advanced Fellowship in Thoracic Oncology, Dana-Farber

Jay Bradner, MD, Former President, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research; Executive Vice President, Research and Development, and Chief Scientific Officer, Amgen

Mike Caligiuri, MD, President, City of Hope

George Demetri, MD, Director, Sarcoma Center; Senior Vice President for Experimental Therapeutics, Quick Family Chair in Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber

Susan Domchek, MD, Executive Director, Basser Center for BRCA; Director, MacDonald Women’s Cancer Risk Evaluation Center, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Brian Druker, MD, Director, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine

Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Judy Garber, MD, MPH, Chief, Division for Cancer Genetics and Prevention; Susan F. Smith Chair, Dana-Farber

Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, FAACR, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Product Development and Chief Medical Officer, Roche and Genentech

Wolfram Goessling, MD, PhD, Chief, Division of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital; Director, Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Medical School

Daniel Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO, Former President, American Society of Clinical Oncology; Clinical Director, Breast Oncology Program, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

Roy Herbst, MD, PhD, Deputy Director, Yale Cancer Center; Chief of Medical Oncology, Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital

John Heymach, MD, Chair, Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Pasi Jänne, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President, Translational Medicine; Director, Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science; Director, Chen-Huang Center for EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancers, Dana-Farber

Matthew Kulke, MD, Chief, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Boston University Medical Center; Co-Director, Boston University/Boston Medical Center Cancer Center

Ross Levine, MD, Deputy Physician-in-Chief, Translational Research, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital

Thomas Lynch, MD, President and Director, Fred Hutch Cancer Center

Ursula Matulonis, MD, Chief, Division of Gynecologic Oncology; Brock-Wilson Family Chair, Dana-Farber

Nadine Jackson McCleary, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Patient Reported Data Program; Medical Oncologist, Gastrointestinal Cancer Center; Leader, Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity Clinical Trial Access Committee, Dana-Farber

Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, Medical Oncologist, Columbia University Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center; Pulitzer Prize-winning author, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

Charles Roberts, MD, PhD, Director, St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center

Deb Schrag, MD, MPH, Chair, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Norman “Ned” Sharpless, MD, Former Director, National Cancer Institute

Margaret Shipp, MD, Douglas S. Miller Chair in Lymphoma; Director, DF/HCC Lymphoma Research Program, Dana-Farber

Richard Stone, MD, Director, Translational Research, Adult Leukemia Program; Lunder Family Chair in Leukemia, Dana-Farber

Sara Tolaney, MD, MPH, Chief, Division of Breast Oncology, Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers; Associate Director, Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers

Deborah Toppmeyer, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Chief of Medical Oncology, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

David Tuveson, MD, PhD, Former President, American Association for Cancer Research, Chief Scientist, Lustgarten Foundation; Director, Cold Spring Laboratory Cancer Center

Matthew Vander Heiden, MD, PhD, Director, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, MIT

Robert Vonderheide, MD, Director, Abramson Cancer Center, Penn Medicine

Barbara Weber, MD, CEO, Tango Therapeutics

Kwok-Kin Wong, MD, PhD, Director, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, NYU Langone Health

As of May 2024

Learn more about current and past fellows here.

A Commitment to Excellence

The program has two interconnected tracks: a Hematology/Oncology track that admits 14 new fellows each year, and a Classical Hematology track that admits two new fellows each year. The fellowship program is highly selective and competitive. As of 2023, fellows are chosen from a pool of more than 500 applicants each year. After an initial year of intensive clinical training, fellows pursue two or more years of in-depth clinical, translational, and/or basic science research.

In its first 50 years, the fellowship program has accepted more than 530 trainees.

“The fellowship program is an opportunity to train the next leaders in our field. It is also a chance for our donors to get in on the ground floor of these young investigators’ careers and support the next big ideas in cancer medicine.”

Ann LaCasce, MD, MMSc, Director, DF/MGB Fellowship Program in Hematology/Oncology; Fellowship Program in Hematology/Oncology Chair at Dana-Farber; Former Dana-Farber/Mass General Brigham Fellow, Class of 1999

Best-in-Class Training

Fellows are trained in essential areas, including biomedical research, grant writing, and career development, all while providing excellent care to patients. Together, this provides them with the best foundation possible to become successful physicians and investigators.

This commitment to training sets the standard in academic cancer medicine. Through the DF/MGB Fellowship Program, the world’s most impressive early career physician-scientists develop the skills necessary to become leaders in the field.

Class of 1996, 2001, and 2006

A Fellow’s Journey:

After completing medical school and internal medicine residency training, our select group of fellows spend up to five years developing the knowledge and skills to become successful physician-scientists, journeying through the program as follows:

Year 1: Clinical Rotation

Fellows receive broad exposure to each type of cancer treated at Dana­ Farber through clinical rotations. Under the mentorship of disease center physicians, fellows spend time in each clinic refining their skills in caring for patients. The Classical Hematology track organizes fellows around disease-specific programs, where they are supervised directly by faculty mentors in each clinical division.

Year 2 & Beyond: Specialization

Fellows focus on research and continue to develop their expertise in caring for patients—a tangible example of Dana-Farber's hallmark balance between research and care.

Research

In the second year and beyond, fellows in both the Hematology/Oncology track and the Classical Hematology track begin a period of immersive research, with the aim of assuming independent research programs in respected academic institutions.

Fellows choose from three main areas of study and begin developing their own research projects:

  • Laboratory research
  • Clinical research
  • Health services research

Clinical Care

Fellows choose an area of clinical focus. They may concentrate on a specific disease area, such as breast or pancreatic cancer. Additional clinical training is available for those in the Hematology/Oncology track who desire to board in hematology. Additionally, upper-level fellows maintain a longitudinal continuity clinic in the disease center and campus of their choosing.

Career Paths

Once board certified, nearly 50% of recent fellows continue working at Dana-Farber, and about 70% stay within the Mass General Brigham community.

"Being a Dana-Farber trained fellow has also allowed me early in my career to hold leadership positions at the local, regional, and national level related to adolescent and young adult cancer care. I remain very thankful for my training at Dana-Farber and the support of philanthropists who make this training possible."

Vinayak Venkataraman, MD, Physician, Sarcoma Center, Dana-Farber; Dana-Farber/Mass General Brigham Fellow 2021-2023

Legacy of the Fellowship Program

Dana-Farber celebrated the 50-year milestone of the DF/MGB Fellowship Program at the Institute’s annual Presidential Symposium in September 2022. This session recognized the legacy of the fellowship program and its impact on future oncologists.

MODERATED BY: Robert Mayer, MD, Faculty Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dana-Farber; Stephen B. Kay Family Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Levi Garraway, MD, PhD

Ann LaCasce, MD, MMSc

Thomas J. Lynch Jr., MD

Nadine Jackson McCleary, MD, MPH

Norman “Ned” Sharpless, MD

Watch the full panel here:

In September 2022, the Fellowship Program in Hematology/Oncology Chair was established in honor of Robert Mayer, MD, with LaCasce as the first incumbent.

Fellowship Program in Hematology/Oncology Chair Celebration
“For me, it was important to be trained by the thought leaders and innovators in the field of hematology and medical oncology. I received that training and more in the Dana-Farber/Mass General Brigham Fellowship Program that prepared me well for a career as a translational investigator where I am running clinical trials in my field.”

Brandon Huffman, MD, Physician, Gastrointestinal Cancer Center, Dana-Farber; DF/MGB Fellow 2020-2023

Your Opportunity for Impact

The next generation of leaders in oncology rely on the support of generous donors. Your investment in the DF/MGB Fellowship Program in Hematology/Oncology makes an immediate and lasting impact on the careers of young physician­scientists who have the vision and dedication to succeed as outstanding cancer researchers and clinicians. This essential funding provides fellows with protected time to build their research program and hone their clinical expertise.

With your help, our fellows can:

  • Pursue clinical and laboratory research interests
  • Build strong foundations for successful careers in oncology
  • Shape the future of cancer medicine for patients everywhere
“It is an incredible privilege to be a DF/MGB hematology/oncology fellow. We are trained by some of the best in the field and are surrounded by motivated peers. As a physician-scientist early in my career, I have benefited immensely from protected research time that will launch my future scientific endeavors. This program has provided the foundation and mentorship that is truly career-defining.”

Cynthia Hahn, MD, PhD, Clinical Fellow, Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber; DF/MGB Fellow 2018-2023

Funding Opportunities

Dana-Farber honors its responsibility to shape the next generation of leaders in cancer research and patient care by prioritizing vital training pathways for physicians early in their careers. Yet fellowships are often limited by lack of independent funds. Philanthropic investment in our faculty and programs has the power to prepare a new generation of promising physicians to become tomorrow's leaders in the clinic and lab.

Named Fellowship

Provide two years of fellowship funding with an investment of $200,000 or more and name the fellowship recipient for someone important to you.

Endowed Fund

Establish a permanent fund that guarantees ongoing annual support and resources to the DF/MGB Fellowship Program with an investment of $500,000 or more.

Named Endowed Fellowship

Fund a fellowship in perpetuity through a named fellowship of $1 million. By establishing a named endowed fellowship, you help the Institute attract the brightest young physicians and researchers—from the United States and abroad—to pursue specialized training opportunities in cancer medicine.

Current-Use Funds

Give our fellows the edge with programmatic support at varying investment levels that include career development, professional memberships, educational materials, and access to mentoring.

Thank you for your interest in supporting Dana-Farber’s mission to defy cancer.

To Learn More, Please Contact:

Michelle Kovach, Director, Principal & Major Gifts | 617-582-7175 | michelle_kovach@dfci.harvard.edu