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Yale Cancer Center K12 Calabresi Immuno-Oncology Training Program (IOTP)

The Yale Cancer Center (YCC) K12 Calabresi Immuno-Oncology Training Program (IOTP) is a program funded by NCI to address the urgent need to train junior investigators to conduct patient-oriented cancer immunology and immunotherapy studies to accelerate the pace of these advances. IOTP trains both PhD and MD or MD/PhD junior faculty in clinically-relevant immuno-oncology and translational immunology. IOTP capitalizes on the wealth of expertise at Yale in immunobiology and immunotherapy. IOTP faculty have extensive track records of mentorship and are actively pursuing research in these areas. IOTP is supported by YCC and synergizes with the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI), which provides some foundational courses. The training program includes didactic and practical training developed specifically for IOTP. The two-year curriculum includes courses on basic immunology and cancer immunology, immunotherapy-specific clinical trial design, the Cancer Immunology Forum and an individually tailored, two-year translational immuno-oncology research project encompassing both laboratory and clinical research. A panel of mentors including both a basic and clinical faculty member will be appointed for each Scholar (junior faculty.) Junior faculty within five years of appointment as faculty will be eligible to apply to IOTP, with up to five scholars appointed at any one time. Consistent with campus-wide efforts to encourage diversity, a Recruitment & Diversity Subcommittee is charged with maximizing diversity of the Scholar population. The program is led by an Executive Committee comprised of the PI (Dr. Harriet Kluger, YCC Associate Cancer Center Director for Education, Training, and Faculty Development) and two Co-Directors with complementary expertise (Drs. Akiko Iwasaki, and Alessandro Santin, Leader of the Gynecologic Oncology Research Team.) In summary, the IOTP draws upon an area of profound institutional strength and enable Yale Cancer Center to focus specifically on cross-disciplinary training of scholars in Cancer Immunotherapy, a field in great need of well-trained basic and clinical scientists to accommodate its explosive growth.

The two-year IOTP Scholar Award is open for application from August to December of each year and training starts on March 1st of the following year. Successful applicants are required to demonstrate a strong commitment to a career in cancer immunology. Recipients will be funded for up to 75% effort. Applicants are required to identify a mentor and a provide a research and mentorship proposal.

For additional information and questions, please contact: Meina Wang, PhD ( or Harriet Kluger, MD (


Additional Information:

2019-2021 Scholars

  • Assistant Professor

    Grace Chen received her undergraduate training in the College of Chemistry at UC Berkeley. She attended Harvard University for her PhD where she worked in David Liu's laboratory to discover and characterize novel RNA modifications. Her postdoctoral research was at Stanford University in Howard Chang's group, where she investigated circular RNA immunity. Grace joined Yale University as a faculty in the Department of Immunobiology in 2019. Her research focuses on the functions and regulations of circular RNAs and RNA modifications in health and disease.
  • Assistant Professor of Surgery (Oncology); Leader, Skin Cancer Surgery, Melanoma Program; Clinical Director of the Smilow Melanoma Program, Yale Cancer Center; Co-Director Cutaneous Malignancy Tumor Board, Yale Cancer Center; Medical Student Clerkship Liaison for Division of Surgical Oncology, Surgery

    Kelly Olino, MD, FACS, is a doubly board -certified surgeon who provides patients with comprehensive surgical care including resection of skin and soft tissue tumors including melanoma, merkel cell carcinoma, sarcoma, and advanced cutaneous squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, including minimally invasive techniques for metastatic disease. Dr. Olino is a past recipient of the Society for Surgical Oncology’s Clinical Investigator Award to support her research in tumor immunology. She continues this work at Yale and has been funded through the Calabresi Immune-Oncology scholar program and the Skin Cancer SPORE career enhancement program. She continues her work in translational research combining her knowledge of tumor immunology with her clinical acumen. She currently serves on the NCCN non-melanoma cutaneous malignancy committee. Learn more about Dr. Olino>>
  • Assistant Professor of Surgery (Oncology, Breast)

    Dr. Tristen S. Park is an Assistant Professor of Surgery who is a deeply committed to outstanding and compassionate surgical care in the treatment of breast cancer and breast diseases. She offers the most advanced techniques in breast surgery, and is an advocate of nipple sparing mastectomy, hidden scar placement and oncoplastic techniques. Dr. Park earned her medical degree at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed a Surgical Oncology and Clinical Immunotherapy fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health under the world-renowned Dr. Steven A Rosenberg followed by a Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Duke University. Dr. Park's research interests include triple negative breast cancer and and the role of immunotherapy in the treatment of early breast cancer. She also leads the International Breast Surgeon Exchange Program with premiere cancer centers in South Korea and East Asia which includes an immersive, multidisciplinary clinical experience and multinational collaborative research projects combining the unique expertise of the cancer centers and respective countries. Outside of medicine, she is a classically trained pianist and had studied solo piano, chamber music and history at Cornell University, and the preparatory divisions of the Aaron Copland College of Music and the Mannes Conservatory of Music in New York City. She is currently a patron of the Yale School of Music.

2020-2022 Scholars