Fellowship Program

I cannot speak highly enough about the post-doctoral training experience in the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at NCI. This program has given me the opportunity to expand my research interests in pediatric energy balance behaviors in ways that I never thought possible. The immense resources, flexibility to design my own research agenda, and opportunities for transdisciplinary collaboration have made it possible for me to pursue population-based research and conduct my own laboratory-based behavioral research study at NIH. The research experiences and collaborations that I built during this time will continue to influence and strengthen my future research.

Britni Belcher, PhD, MPH

Coming from a basic science background, this fellowship has given me a tremendous opportunity to apply my knowledge and integrate it into the world of cancer epidemiology. I have met people and participated in projects that I never would have thought of before. The training I have received so far has provided me with incredible chances for professional and personal growth. I do not think I would have benefited as much as I have though any other post-doctoral experience.

Shakira Nelson, PhD, MPH

The CPFP made a huge impact on my professional career. I was trained as a medical oncologist but had limited exposure to science, except as an observer or an investigative team member. The CPFP introduced me to the ideas of cancer chemoprevention, many of the leading scientists working in the area, and gave me the opportunity to develop and test ideas that had the potential to transform cancer prevention from a conceptual theory into a greater element of clinical practice.

Ernest Hawk, PhD, MPH

The strength of the CPFP is in its flexibility. The fellowship pairs structured training opportunities with fellow-led research projects and initiatives. It encourages fellows to pursue their own ideas and develop broad collaborations. The independence and networks I have developed during this fellowship have spurred my growth as a scientist and opened up my career opportunities.

Kristin Litzelman, PhD, MPH

The CPFP is the gift that keeps on giving—best thing that's happened to me career-wise and continues to be. The Fellowship is where I learned team science and team work and how to be a good collaborator. I love collaborating and working with folks. I don't have the entire skill set or breadth required to adequately address the issues we face in the field of cancer prevention, so by collaborating we can cover a lot more ground.

Stephen Hursting, PhD, MPH

As a clinician with varied research interests in cancer prevention, I can think of no better postdoctoral fellowship. The mentoring, training and research opportunities of the CPFP are extraordinary.

Jeanne Murphy, PhD, MPH

I feel immensely grateful to be part of the CPFP. This program has given me the unique opportunity to transition from more lab-based work to the population sciences—a move I would not have been able to make without my MPH training. To compliment this training, the research opportunities at the NCI are unparalleled. Finally, the opportunity to regularly interact with such a diverse group of fellows has been invaluable to my personal and professional development.

Sarah Nash, PhD, MPH

The program gave me another dimension in my understanding of cancer care. Before the fellowship, I thought that the only way to help people, being a doctor, was through a direct person-to-person consultation in a clinic or hospital. I thought that direct care was my only camino (way). But through the fellowship and Masters in Public Health Training, I saw there were many different avenues in the arena of cancer and public health that I could choose from to develop my career in cancer prevention.

Elmer Huerta, PhD, MPH

The CPFP is a remarkable opportunity that is enabling me to grow as a researcher and leader in the field of cancer prevention and is unlike traditional postdoctoral training programs. Rather than being restricted to just one area of research, this program allows me the flexibility to work with renowned mentors to explore new areas of research and build on my transdisciplinary training by connecting multiple health behaviors related to cancer, such as tobacco use, physical activity, and eating behaviors. There are networking opportunities, leadership trainings, and other skill-building activities that not only prepare me for the next step in my career, but propel me to heights greater than what I would have achieved through any other postdoctoral training program. 

Minal Patel, PhD, MPH

The atmosphere of the CPFP is rare in that fellows are provided support and time to really think through how they want their career to succeed. The CPFP has a history of excellence that has resulted in the cultivation of a large network of mentors through-out the NIH (and beyond) who are willing to help support fellows as they transition into a variety of independent careers.

Britni Belcher, PhD, MPH

The CPFP has made a huge impact on my professional development. One of my favorite training opportunities was the presentation skills course. The practice delivering scientific talks in front of my peers greatly enhanced my presentation skills. The CPFP presentation skills course is the best workshop on scientific presentations I have ever attended.

Dudith (Didie) Pierre-Victor, PhD, MPH
Current Fellow, Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program

Summer Curriculum

As a toxicologist who is working in molecular cancer prevention, the best part about the Summer Curriculum was meeting fellow participants who were working in different areas of cancer prevention. Hearing their stories from the field, the clinics and communities reminded me that we are indeed branches of the same tree and need to work collaboratively to find lasting and effective solutions to cancer.

This experience has not only enabled me to identify gaps that exist in the field of cancer prevention, but it has also encouraged me to look at cancer through a more wholesome lens, which I will incorporate into my future research and writing, as well as other work.

Dushani Palliyaguru, PhD
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

I express my heartfelt thanks to the entire CPFP and Center for Global Health team. It was a fascinating experience and one of the best in my 30-year fight against cancer, initiated at the age of 22 by conceiving Cancer Aid Society in India, which translates existing research into action within the community.

The meticulously designed curriculum was comprehensive, and enriched participants with knowledge of diversified disciplines, within just 4 weeks. The course designers have mastered the art of perfection, by making it interesting and palatable without over-burdening. This speaks volumes about the commitment of the entire team toward skill development and networking of the visiting scientists from across the globe. The unique exposure to translational research enables us to share the fruits of research with the community. My special thanks go to the Indian scientists for the memorable experience and hospitality. I am indebted to the entire team for making me a part of this wonderful family.

Piyush Gupta, PhD, PGDIRPM, LLB, MA
Cancer Aid Society, Lucknow, India

The NCI Summer Curriculum actually felt like that degree you should obtain after your Masters, but before your PhD, because of the many options it presents to participants. The coordinators did a great job of putting related topics together for each day. Lecturers from within and outside NIH presented me with numerous options to support ongoing and future cancer control efforts in my beloved country. The group activities encouraged interaction among participants and I found myself “psychologically traveling” to 15 other countries when international participants shared the cancer story of their home countries.

The best part for me were the one-on-one appointments I was able to schedule with faculty members after the course. The meetings helped me to finally clarify my area of interest for my PhD.

By the end of the 4-week course, I had acquired more knowledge that I can apply to my ongoing projects, while passing on same to my colleagues back home. I established new relationships and networks that will remain relevant throughout my career, and I have been further challenged to understand and take on the exciting responsibilities ahead.

Funmilola ‘Lola’ James, MScPH
Breast Without Spot, Lagos, Nigeria

This was a very insightful experience. The information and skills that I learned in the 2017 Summer Curriculum will greatly help me achieve my goals in work. The principles learned are powerful ways to understand cancer control and prevention. Anyone and everyone can benefit from this program. I am thankful for having the opportunity to attend.

Yingxi Chen, MD, MPH
Australian National University, Acton, Australia

My participation in the two summer courses on cancer prevention and control was a truly enriching experience. The organization and content were quite exceptional. I had the unique opportunity of interacting and networking with some of the brightest minds in cancer research. I was able to identify the specific applicability of content to my local work. I came out of the training with a specific agenda, which I am working quickly to achieve. My capacity was built in an uncommon way.

The financial support which enabled me to attend the program underscores the commitment of the National Cancer Institute to the global fight against cancer. I am grateful for the opportunity and intend to make it count. It was such a great privilege.

Olumide Abiodun, MPH
Babcock University, Ilishan, Nigeria

The NCI Summer Curriculum Principles & Practice of Cancer Prevention & Control was an amazing, career-defining experience. Sir Richard Peto’s presentation on “Revisiting the Causes of Cancer” was awesome, sobering, and very insightful. I was extremely humbled to be selected and to be surrounded by the best minds in cancer prevention and control.

Ewan Cobran, PhD
University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA

I would highly recommend the Summer Curriculum to those who work primarily in research or cancer treatment, to gain a broad understanding of cancer prevention and control. It is also a great opportunity to meet and learn from fellow participants from across the globe.

Caitriona McCarthy, MB, Bch, BAO, MPH
National Cancer Control Programme, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

The summer cancer prevention curriculum and molecular prevention course were delivered by experts in specific areas of cancer management, research and practice. The program is all encompassing for postdocs and early career researchers in cancer and it is helpful in defining research focus and progression, and presenting a platform of opportunities for connecting with subject matter experts in cancer prevention and diagnosis. I had the opportunity of connecting the predisposing risk factors with modern approaches available for diagnosis and early prevention of cancer in our time.

This is a laudable program that provides a very powerful connecting ladder between cancer scientists and practitioners, and which I strongly recommend for upcoming scientists anticipating a career in cancer.

Olufemi Akanni, PhD
Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Osogbo, Nigeria

The program was so integrative and we learned about every topic related to cancer prevention, including basic science, clinical aspects, behavioral science, epidemiology, prevention and other related topics. I strongly recommend this course for persons in administrative positions in developing countries who need to know every aspect of cancer prevention to design and implement the program in their countries. I also learned from cancer prevention programs in other countries and their valuable experiences. It was a fantastic program.

Maryam Hashemian, MD, PhD
National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland, USA

This training program enabled me to become more equipped with the latest evidence-based facts and strategies on cancer prevention and control. It contributed to development of my skills in research, communication, and human resources training. New knowledge acquired during this training enhanced my capabilities in working as a national level program manager in developing policies, guidelines, protocols and interventions to overcome risk factors contributing to cancer and other non-communicable diseases. It further strengthened my capacity to deliver better inputs in training other stakeholders, health staff, undergraduates and postgraduates.

Global links established during this training, and the network developed with the experts from all over the world would be a very good platform to establish future collaborations with NCI and other well-established institutions all over the world. Being a researcher in the field of cancer prevention and control, I would say it is one of best trainings that I have received in recent years and would definitely recommend it to my colleagues.

P.V.S. Chiranthika Vithana, MD
Ministry of Health, Colombo, Sri Lanka

It was an honor to attend the NCI Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention. The well-structured syllabus made up a one-of-a-kind learning experience that provides the knowledge to address the complex process of bridging research into practice. I appreciate the opportunity to meet and learn from experts in cancer prevention, and their willingness to answer questions, share their expertise and, most significant, help sort out how our situation could most realistically be addressed in a timely fashion.

The dedication to work, the details in the planning, and the support of the NCI staff is extraordinary and remarkable. I am particularly privileged to have met, shared and networked with an inspiring group of global participants eager to learn and share the process of driving health innovations for our countries and become leaders who can move into being a catalyst for positive change in global cancer prevention and control.

María Aponte, MD, PhD
Venezuelan Breast Cancer Research and Education Foundation, Caracas, Venezuela

As an early-career cancer researcher, the Principles and Practice of Cancer Prevention and Control Course provided a unique opportunity to interact and learn with colleagues and experts from around the world. The comprehensive overview of cancer research provided me with both a national and global perspective on cancer prevention, screening, and treatment. I now feel I have a better understanding of the current state of cancer research and a stronger base of knowledge as I begin my career as a cancer researcher.

Erik Willis, PhD, MPH, MS
National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland, USA

NCI’s 2017 Summer Curriculum was a great experience. The curriculum afforded me the opportunity to keep abreast of the global cancer burden and current strategies that low-resource countries are employing in the fight against cancer. The curriculum also afforded me the opportunity to engage renowned experts in the field of cancer prevention and control in a relaxed setting. In addition, it allowed me to expand my professional network. I highly recommend NCI’s Summer Curriculum.

Jarrett A. Johnson, DrPH, MSc
National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland, USA

I am an internal medicine and cancer prevention resident, and aspiring hematologist/oncologist. My interests include designing prevention models in the field of myeloid malignancies, as the mortality related to these is tremendous. This curriculum provided me with the baseline knowledge and links to appropriate people in the field to apply my thoughts in working toward my goal of precision (genetic) risk estimates in the field of leukemia.

This program goes beyond new advances in cancer treatments that prolong survival. It also provides the tools to work on models to prevent these cancers, or at least halt progression. It has been a true honor to be part of this curriculum with a wonderful group of passionate professionals who have dedicated their lives to fight cancer. This curriculum has indeed broadened my perspective towards prevention.

Abhay Singh, MD
Griffin Hospital, Derby, CT, USA

I highly recommend this course to researchers who are interested in cancer prevention worldwide. It broadly covers the principles of cancer epidemiology, important research progress on top life-threatening cancers, as well as the basic science.

It’s already a generational course for my team in China. My mentor took the first course in the late 1990’s, and afterwards over 80% of the principal investigators in our team attended it and we all enjoy it. So, join it, make friends and enjoy this academic feast!

ShaoMing Wang, PhD
National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, USA

Upon attending the Summer Curriculum, I had only one expectation: to learn the basic principles of cancer prevention and control. Little did I expect to be greeted by such a distinguished and diverse group of professionals with various perspectives on how best to reduce the cancer burden across the globe. Experienced lecturers delivered well-tailored materials that were easily comprehensible to both early-career and senior scientists. With an academic background in mathematics and statistics, I found the topics particularly useful for learning epidemiologic concepts and very applicable to my work as a cancer registry coordinator in a middle-income country.

The in-depth thought and hard-work put into the planning and organization of the course was evident through the interactive small group sessions, which highlighted real-world case studies surrounding challenges in cancer prevention. I found these group activities very useful and thought-provoking, as I discovered how multi-disciplinary approaches could be used to develop effective interventions. In addition, the diverse professional backgrounds among the members in my work group served to illuminate possible solutions to scenarios presented in the case studies that may not otherwise be considered if approached from a single perspective. The learning environment made it easy for me to meet people from all over the world. I have established personal and professional relationships that I expect will continue for many years to come.

Last, but not least, attending this course also made room for me to explore the diverse culture of the Washington, DC area. I am grateful for this wonderful experience. I recommend this course to anyone who seeks to contribute to the fight against cancer.

Fred Kwame Awittor
Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

As a basic cancer scientist and a cancer biology lecturer, attending both the Principles and Practice of Cancer Prevention and Control Course and the Molecular Prevention Course was a great opportunity. The Summer Curriculum enabled me to have a better understanding of cancer prevention/epidemiology. I have been focusing on cancer biology, early diagnosis and better treatment, but the program reminded me once again that certain cancers are preventable. The eminent speakers covered the wide range of topics, followed by fruitful discussions. I learned a lot especially from the fellow international classmates and their presentations. Program staff and coordinators were very supportive and the organization was very good.

It was an unforgettable experience for me and I highly recommend this course to anyone regardless of their background, from basic science to policy making, to understand and control this very complex disease.

Pinar Uysal-Onganer, PhD
University of Westminster, London, England, United Kingdom

Having the opportunity to attend the Summer Course on Principles and Practice of Cancer Prevention and Control over the summer has been a great help in assisting my PhD studies. The opportunity to meet with the top researchers and practitioners within cancer has helped me to appreciate the multitude of components involved in evolving cancer care and my role in that. Getting to meet people from across the globe and learning about the different challenges has invigorated me to continue improving and conducting high-quality cancer focused research.

Blain Murphy, MSc
Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Summer Curriculum gave me a unique opportunity to interact and network with experts in the cancer space. The integration of teamwork, the implementation of science and technology, and the influence of behaviors in the development of cancer in the real world were nested in the course in a remarkable manner. The diversity of participants gave rise to fruitful connections and collaborations.

Also, the Wednesday treats were awesome. Thanks to the CPFP team for a wonderful and unforgettable experience.

Dipika Bumb, MDS
Public Health Foundation of India, Gurugram, India

The Summer Curriculum gave me the opportunity to strengthen and update my knowledge in the field of cancer prevention through an integrated, participative and comprehensive training approach, and allowed me to get in touch with internationally renowned experts from NCI and other US institutions. The formal meetings, team works, social activities and informal meetings with speakers and participants from various countries significantly enriched and improved my understanding of cancers.

The interactive nature of the courses, the diversity of participants and the speakers, and the hands-on sessions within working groups gave us the opportunity to put into practice what we had learned to solve—domestic issues and international cancer problems relevant to participants’ various settings. The availability and reactiveness of the organizers and coordinators, made it a unique training program.

On-site visits to facilities such as the NIH Clinical Center, the Cancer Preventorium of the MedStar Washington Hospital, and the various NCI divisions, allowed an edifying immersion into the daily lives of US-based clinicians and researchers working on cancer control issues. Finally, this course will definitely impact my career, which is devoted to the battle against cancer in limited-resource settings.

Joel Bertrand Fokom Domgue, MD, MPH
Ministry of Public Health Cameroon, Yaounde, Cameroon