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Division of Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship

The UC Irvine Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center has been training physician scientists in the subspecialty of gynecologic oncology since 1977.

The program provides multiple levels of interaction between basic and clinical scientists to facilitate the transfer and exchange of information. The fellowship program provides trainees with opportunities for the practical application of skills in the design and testing of scientific hypotheses. Trainees receive two years of research training in the basic sciences followed by two years of translational and clinical research, and clinical and surgical training.

Faculty mentor

uc irvine gynecologic oncologist leslie randall

Leslie Randall, MD, FACOG, is the director of the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship.

Faculty mentors have research concentrations in the following areas:

  • Photomedicine
  • Structural molecular biology
  • Growth factors and signaling
  • Cell transformation and carcinogenesis
  • Cancer epidemiology and cancer genetics
  • Cancer screening and prevention
  • Experimental therapeutics

Training features of the program include didactic coursework in the areas of responsible conduct of research, biostatistics and epidemiology, and cancer-related electives, national scientific meetings and numerous other multi-disciplinary seminars, lectures and symposia.

Program goals

The primary goal of the UC Irvine Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship program is training academic gynecologic oncologists who are able to organize and direct academic research-oriented units in the departments of obstetrics and gynecology throughout the country.

The program has demonstrated its effectiveness through its track record. More than 93 percent of the graduated fellows from the program have gone on to academic faculty positions.

These trainees have the ability to develop productive laboratory investigations independently and in concert with basic science colleagues, in addition to developing a firm grounding in clinical trials methodology.

Learn more about the fellowship and apply today ›

Program Strengths »

The UC Irvine Division of Gynecologic Oncology fellowship training program has been successful in several areas:

  • The division has continually nurtured basic research collaborative work for its gynecologic oncology fellows through its ties with the strong basic research on the main UC Irvine campus and at UC Irvine Medical Center.
  • The research lines have been focused with each fellow building upon the work of previous fellows, current and past faculty, leading to significant results with clinical relevance. The division encourages the exposure of new fellows to the research interests of the training mentors.
  • The fellows have not only been successful in producing basic research results, they have served as translational agents in bringing these basic research efforts into the clinical component of their training.
  • The research experience of these physician scientists has made major contributions to the treatment options available to women with gynecologic cancers.
  • As the foundation for a strong training program in gynecologic oncology requires a large source of patient referral, the high esteem with which the program's faculties are held in the community is, perhaps, one of its greatest strengths. All of the physicians based at UC Irvine Medical Center are recognized within the area for their clinical skills and research accomplishments. Each attracts a large number of referrals to the system, helping to support fellow training. From November 2007 through November 2008, 1,348 surgical procedures were done within the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at UC Irvine Medical Center.
  • Our program has a close affiliation with the Departments of Radiotherapy, Pathology and Interventional Radiology at all facilities participating in the fellowship training program. The collegial working relationship with members of these departments has ensured that patients receive optimum care and fellows receive comprehensive training.
  • Finally, the high quality of residents in our department programs which is generally acknowledged to be among the best in the country  attracts high-quality applicants for the fellowship program while providing superior support for the day-to-day management of patients with complex medical and surgical problems. 
Current and Graduated Fellows »

Current fellows

  • Valerie Galvan-Turner, MD (2013-2017)
  • Teresa Longoria, MD (2014-2018)
  • Krista Pfaendler, MD (2014-2018)
  • Jill Alldredge, MD (2015-2019)
  • Lindsey Minion, MD (2016-2020)
  • Juliet Wolford, MD (2016-2020)

Graduated fellows

  • Bahman Saffari, MD, PhD (2006): Associate Professor, University of Washington SOM (Tacoma, WA)
  • Devansu Tewari, MD (2006): Gynecologic Oncologist, Director of Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Kaiser, Irvine, CA; Associate Clinical Professor VOL; UC Irvine
  • Nefertiti DuPont, MD (2007): Assistant Professor, State University of New York at Buffalo Staff at Rosewell Park Cancer Center
  • Ernest Han, MD, PhD (2008): Assistant Professor, City of Hope Cancer Center (Department of Defense)
  • Mark Hunter, MD (2008): Assistant Professor, Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology University of Missouri
  • Leslie Randall, MD (2009): Associate Professor, UC Irvine
  • Troy Gatcliffe, MD (2010): Gynecologic Oncology of Miami, Miami, FL
  • Ali Mahdavi, MD (2010): Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin SOM
  • Dana Chase, MD (2011):  Associate Professor, Creighton University School of Medicine; University of Arizona Cancer Center, Phoenix, AZ
  • Thanh H. Dellinger, MD (2012): Assistant Professor, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • Lyndsay Willmott, MD (2012): Assistant Professor, Creighton University School of Medicine; University of Arizona Cancer Center; Phoenix, AZ
  • Ramez N. Eskander, MD (2014): Assistant Professor, UC Irvine, Orange, CA
  • Sara Jordan, MD (2014): Southwest Gynecologic Oncology and University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
  • Fong Liu, MD (2015): Assistant Professor, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Program Alumni »

The following serve as just a few examples of what has been accomplished by some of the graduates of the UC Irvine Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Training Program.

Robert S. Mannel, MD, completed the fellowship in 1989 and joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma where he is currently professor and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Mannel also holds the Rainbolt Family Chair in Cancer and is the director of the Oklahoma University Cancer Institute. He is the Chairman of the Ovarian Committee of the National Institutes of Health/Gynecologic Oncology Group and a Board Examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Joseph A. Lucci III, MD, graduated from the fellowship in 1992 and spent several years at the University of Texas-Medical Branch in Galveston where he was associate professor and director of the fellowship program. He is currently professor and director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He is the co-leader of the Gynecologic Cancer Site Disease Group at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and is the Chairman of the Vaccines Subcommittee of the National Institutes of Health/Gynecologic Oncology Group. He continues to work in the fields of cancer immunology and tumor vaccines.

Robert A. Burger, MD, graduated from the fellowship in 1996 and spent two years at Texas Tech University before returning to UC Irvine where he was appointed associate professor during his 10 years on faculty in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. While at UC Irvine, Burger ran a fully equipped angiogenesis laboratory, maintained a robust clinical practice at three sites, and was principal investigator for the National Cancer Institutes/Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) at UC Irvine, and Chairman of UC Irvine's Institutional Review Board.

A member of both the Ovarian Cancer Committee and the Developmental Therapeutics Committee, Burger ran one of three important phase II trials studying the activity and toxicity of the anti-vascular agent bevacizumab in managing heavily pre-treated women with recurrent ovarian cancer (GOG protocol 170D). For this work, he was appointed principal investigator for the Phase III, randomized, 3-arm, placebo-controlled, trial of upfront therapy employing chemotherapy plus bevacizumab for women with ovarian cancer (GOG protocol 218). During the latter half of 2008, Burger joined the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia as the associate director of research and co-director of the Ovarian Cancer Research Program in the Section of Gynecologic Oncology.

Lieutenant Colonel G. Scott Rose, MD, graduated from the fellowship in 1998 and joined the staff at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC). He is the director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology as well as the director of the Gynecologic Oncology Subspecialty Fellowship Training Program at WRAMC. Rose serves as the deputy director for the Gynecologic Disease Program at WRAMC. In addition to his extensive academic commitments, Rose provided surgical care to wounded soldiers on site in Iraq during 2005.

S. Diane Yamada, MD completed the fellowship in 1999 and is now the director of the Section of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Chicago. She is the principal investigator at the University of Chicago for the National Institutes of Health/Gynecologic Oncology Group and her research has focused on the role of signaling pathways in the modulation of ovarian cancer metastasis. Her work has been sponsored by the Department of Defense, the American Cancer Society, the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation and the Cancer Research Foundation.

Wendy R. Brewster, MD, PhD, completed the research/clinical segment of the fellowship in 1999, and earned her PhD in epidemiology in 2000. She stayed on faculty at UC Irvine where she was appointed director of the Fellowship Training Program in Gynecologic Oncology and made tenure as an associate professor in 2007. At UC Irvine, she was the co-investigator for an NCI-funded grant to study a single visit cervical cancer screening program. Brewster was also the co-principal investigator of the largest cohort of breast cancer survivors receiving hormone replacement therapy. In 2008, Brewster transitioned to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where she assumed the role of director of Women's Health Research.

John K. Chan, MD, graduated from the fellowship in 2003 and spent four years on faculty at Stanford University where he overhauled their research program. This led to the publication of nearly 30 manuscripts and innumerable national presentations. He has since joined the faculty at UC San Francisco as an assistant professor and has received the John A. Kerner Distinguished Professorship in Gynecologic Oncology. He is also the Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at UCSF.

Chan has been the recipient of numerous awards including the New Investigator Award by the Gynecologic Oncology Group/Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation Research Award. He is a member of the Ovarian Committee of the National Institutes of Health/Gynecologic Oncology Group where he has several trials under development. In 2008, he was given an RO3 by the National Institutes of Health for his ongoing work evaluating the practice patterns and outcomes of women at risk for ovarian cancer who undergo prophylactic oophorectomy. 

Learn more about the fellowship and apply ›