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INFORMATION FOR

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 (meina.wang@yale.edu) or Harriet Kluger, MD (harriet.kluger@yale.edu).

Leadership

Additional Information:

2022-2023 Scholars

  • Assistant Professor

    Dr. Arnaud A. Augert hails from Institut Pasteur / Institut de Biologie de Lille in France, where he trained as a molecular and cellular biologist. His PhD work focused on the study of Cellular Senescence, a process intimately connected to a series of age-related conditions, including cancer. In his subsequent postdoctoral research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Dr. Augert devoted his efforts to the study of small cell lung cancer (SCLC), an aggressive and devastating neuroendocrine tumor. Notable highlights among his discoveries include the characterization of transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms underlying SCLC initiation and progression, and the identification of novel therapeutic strategies for this tumor type. Most strikingly, Dr. Augert and his colleagues uncovered the tumor suppressive networks of SCLC and a “tumor suppressive branch” of the MYC network. His work has been published in scientific journals such as Cancer Cell, Cancer Discovery, Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Science Signaling and EMBO. He is an avid collaborator and a co-author on numerous studies published in journals such as Cell, Nature Communication and Genes & Development. Dr. Augert was awarded several PhD fellowships, a UALC/LCRF grant, the ATIP-AVENIR program and the Yale Cancer Center (YCC) K12 Calabresi Immuno-Oncology Training Program. Mentorship is an area of great significance to Dr. Augert, mentoring trainees is a great source of pride. He has trained, supervised, and managed undergraduates, lab aids, research technicians and graduate students, many of whom have moved onto graduate programs, medical school, and roles with greater responsibility. As a newly appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology, Dr. Augert will focus his efforts on building a multidisciplinary research program that combines cell biology, human and mouse genetics and cutting-edge molecular biology to study SCLC biology and identify novel therapeutic approaches for this truly lethal form of lung cancer.
  • Assistant Professor of Therapeutic Radiology

    Dr. Robinson is a physician scientist and radiation oncologist who specializes in the treatment of hematologic and CNS malignancies, with particular expertise in CNS hematologic malignancies and the use of radiation to improve the outcomes of patients with hematologic malignancies undergoing CAR T-cell therapy.  Dr. Robinson has pioneered the use of radiation therapy to improve the outcomes of patients undergoing CAR T-cell therapy, having published the first series demonstrating the safety of bridging radiation therapy for patients with DLBCL undergoing CAR T-cell therapy, as well as a seminal patterns of failure study in DLBCL patients treated with CAR T, which showed that over a third of treatment failures in DLBCL treated with CAR T are local-only, suggesting a rationale for aggressive bridging radiation therapy in patients with relatively localized or high risk disease. Dr. Robinson currently leads the palliative inpatient consult service at Smilow Cancer Center. In addition to his clinical research and practice, Dr. Robinson has a translational research program focused on aberrant mRNA splicing in hematologic malignancies and its role in mediating resistance to immune and cellular therapeutics. His lab conducts both bioinformatic and bench-based investigations focused on identifying, validating, and exploiting aberrant mRNA splicing in cancer.

2021-2023 Scholars

  • Assistant Professor of Pathology; Co-director, Yale Legacy Tissue Donation Program, Pathology

    I am a neuropathologist and researcher in neuroimmunology. My background is in electrophysiology and biomedical engineering of neural interface and neural information processing systems. My interests are in diseases of the central nervous system, including motor system diseases and cancer. I am working on advancing the techniques of computational pathology in order to better understand and diagnose diseases. My research involves the application of machine learning, image analysis, and statistics to histology and genomic data with the goal of better characterizing and classifying tumors. I am developing software to analyze histologic images taken from the kinds of slides produced in the routine clinical evaluation of tissue.  By using statistical and machine learning techniques, these algorithms look for patterns in cell placement and morphology that correspond to the tissue genetic profiles. I believe this simultaneous genotypic and phenotypic characterization of tumors will provide a deeper understanding of neurobiology, neuropathology, and caner immunology, and identify key elements of CNS microenvironments whose interactions advance our explanations and predictions of pathologic processes affecting the brain, retina, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system.
  • Assistant Professor of Therapeutic Radiology

    Dr. Thomas Hayman has joined the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center in Guilford as an Assistant Professor of Therapeutic Radiology. He received his medical degree from the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, and his PhD in Molecular Medicine as part of the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine/ National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program mentored by Dr. Philip Tofilon. He completed his residency in Radiation Oncology at Yale New Haven Hospital. Dr. Hayman cares for patients with prostate, lung, head and neck, and GI cancers, among others. He is trained in stereotactic radiosurgery using Gamma Knife Icon, as well as IMRT for head and neck, central nervous system, prostate, thoracic, gastrointestinal, hematologic, and gynecologic malignancies, and SBRT lung, liver, pancreas, and spinal tumors. During his PhD training and time as a Holman Research Pathway Fellow, Dr. Hayman focused his research on basic and translational radiation oncology with an emphasis on the discovery of determinants of cellular radiosensitivity. As such, the overarching theme of Dr. Hayman's laboratory is to understand mechanisms of resistance to DNA-damage with the goal of developing novel approaches to neutralize the adaptive responses with the ultimate goal of clinical translation.
  • Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health Sciences)

    Caroline H. Johnson, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Yale School of Public Health. She graduated from Imperial College London in 2009 with a PhD in Analytical Chemistry. Since then she has held postdoctoral and staff appointments at the National Cancer Institute and The Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Johnson's research uses mass spectrometry-based metabolomics to understand the role of metabolites in human health. Her primary research interest is to investigate the relationship between genetic and environmental influences (diet, hormones and microbiome) in colon cancer. She is also examining exposures during pregnancy.

2020-2022 Scholars

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

    Kelly Olino, MD, FACS, Assistant Professor of Surgical Oncology, 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.  Learn more about Dr. Olino>>Dr. Olino joined the Yale School of Medicine from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, where she was recognized as a Texas Rising Star.  She is board certified in Complex Surgical Oncology and General Surgery.  While in Texas she was recognized for her melanoma research as a Provost Scholar and a recipient of the Society for Surgical Oncology’s Clinical Investigator Award to support her research in tumor immunology.   She continued this work at Yale as a Calabresi Immune-Oncology scholar combining her knowledge of tumor immunology with her clinical acumen.   She has served on national committees for the management of melanoma and currently serves on the NCCN non-melanoma cutaneous malignancy committee.She completed her surgical residency at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a fellowship in complex surgical oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Olino cares for patients at the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven and Guilford, along with strong multi-disciplinary disease specific teams.  She looks forward to partnering with colleagues in the community and providing her expertise to patients.
  • 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 three year 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 cancer immuno-oncology,  from her training at the National Cancer Institute she has a particular interest in cancer immunology and the role of immunotherapy in the treatment of breast cancer. 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.