Clinical and Translational Research in Thoracic Surgical Oncology – Novel Therapies in Mediastinal Tumors and Outcomes in Lung Cancer


There are several components to this project, any or all of which will be available for the interested and motivated student. Our group is interested in diseases of the chest and mediastinum which center around certain rare and interesting tumors. Thymoma is a rare tumor, but is the most common occurring tumor in the anterior mediastinum. The first goal of this project is to assess the efficacy of a novel regimen combining targeted therapy with chemotherapy followed by surgery in a clinical trial in patients with advanced thymoma. Due to the rarity of these tumors, little data is available and the optimal treatment is unclear. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has one of the largest experiences in these rare tumors and this presents a unique opportunity to study a number of patients who often go ignored or are improperly treated. In lung cancer, one goal is to assess the long-term outcomes of patients undergoing combined treatments including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation for locally advanced lung cancers. A second goal is to evaluate new treatment strategies for lung cancer in patients who are high-risk for surgery. These and several other areas are all potential opportunities for investigation for the summer fellow.

Project Type

Clinical Research

Preferred Project Dates

  • June 15 – August 7
  • June 22 – August 14
Student's Role

The student will be able to participate in any of the various components of these projects, from a retrospective or prospective approach, or both, depending on their level of interest. The clinical components will revolve around the implementation of therapeutic and diagnostic clinical trials and gaining expertise in database design, data management, and proper retrospective analysis. The student will be part of a multidisciplinary team that includes surgeons, oncologists, statisticians, and biologists. Our group fosters a collegial atmosphere conducive to intellectual stimulation and academic productivity. The student will have ample opportunity to participate in departmental conferences and didactic seminars, and will have patient contact through clinics and on the inpatient floors, as well as through observation of major operations in the OR. This is an outstanding opportunity for the motivated student who is particularly interested in surgery, cancer, or diseases of the chest.

Extent of Research/Laboratory, Clinical, and Didactic Activities
  • Laboratory Research: 5%
  • Clinical Research: 60%
  • Clinical Activities (Time attending clinics, shadowing, and/or OR observation): 20%
  • Didactics (Lab, DMT meetings, and/or other weekly conferences): 15%

Summer Fellowship Online Application