• Surgical Oncology Insight Banner Ad x


Global Header

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Pittsburgh, PA

Training Program Director: Melanie Ongchin, MD

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center buildingThe University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program is a Society of Surgical Oncology and ACGME approved Fellowship.  Dr. Amer Zureikat leads UPMC’s Gastrointestinal and Surgical Oncology Services. Five fellows are accepted into the program each year in August. Candidates must have completed an approved general surgery residency and be board eligible or board-certified. Though prior research experience is desirable, it is not a requirement for application. The fellowship is a two-year program.

Clinical training takes place at UPMC Presbyterian, Shadyside, Magee-Womens, and Passavant Hospitals of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The clinical rotations include: Liver, Mixed Tumor (including GI, melanoma, and regional perfusion therapies), Sarcoma, Pancreas, Breast, Colorectal, Endocrine, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and Surgical Pathology. In addition to clinical responsibilities, fellows are expected to attend, present and moderate disease-specific multidisciplinary clinical and tumor board conferences at the various institutions and attend weekly Fellow Education Conferences and monthly Division Research Conferences. Fellows are responsible for case study and evidence-based summary presentations at the weekly Education Conferences.

Research opportunities are abundant in the fellowship. Research funding is supported by over $20 million in NIH grants and Surgical Oncology is part of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Active basic research is ongoing in immunology, angiogenesis and the molecular biology of cancer and an emphasis is placed on the translation of basic research into clinical applications. Fellows are exposed to numerous on-going clinical trials and gain invaluable experience in the conceptualization, implementation, and conduct of clinical studies. All fellows are expected to be involved in the design, write-up and conduct of an outcomes study during the fellowship, and will have dedicated research time during training.

During the first year, each fellow will be assigned a mentor who will guide subspecialty clinical and research interests. One fellow may enroll in graduate coursework from the Institute for Clinical Research Education and obtain a Certificate in Clinical Research during four months during the second year (three recent fellows have received their master’s degree). He/she also becomes a member of our protocol review committee, attends weekly clinical trials meeting, including the data safety and monitoring board, and is tasked with the writing of a clinical protocol during the first few months with the goal of regulatory approval and implementation during the fellowship. Other focus areas include advanced robotics/minimally invasive training, and translational/outcomes research in pancreatic cancer, isolated liver perfusion, and intraperitoneal chemotherapy.

Please direct questions about our program to UPMCsurgoncfellows@upmc.edu.

Contact Information

Training Program Director:Melanie Ongchin, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery
Request for information packets may be made to:
Address:Dr. Melanie Ongchin
9100 Babcock Blvd, Ground Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15237


Scroll to Top