Developmental Therapeutics Fellowship

Postgraduate, Developmental Therapeutics Fellowship

The Developmental Therapeutics clinic accelerates the continuum of pre-clinical, translational, and clinical science thus delivering more effective preventive, diagnostic, and treatment approaches of cancer and other life-threatening diseases that share therapeutic targets with cancer. A core component of DT’s mission is the nurturing of physician colleagues who will focus their work on developmental therapeutics. The Developmental Therapeutics Fellowship has a one year and two year option dedicated to training and mentoring future academic and research leaders administered through the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. DT fellows will receive mentorship in applying for and obtaining independent funding in the area of their research interest. Additional training opportunities may be available, including a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) – a degree program in clinical investigation sponsored by the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences (NUCATS) institute.

DT fellowship candidates must meet the following criteria to be considered for the program.

  1. US graduate: ACGME residency and US postgraduate fellowship
  2. FMG: Internal medicine and postgraduate medical training equivalent to US residency and fellowship. Equivalency based on: at least 2 years of post-internship internal medicine with attainment of US Board of Internal Medicine-equivalent examinations e.g. MRCPI, MRCPUK
  3. CV and Personal Statement
  4. MD Degree
  5. MD Training Transcript
  6. Two Letters of Recommendation
  7. Passed USMLE Steps 1, 2 & 3
  8. ECFMG Certificate (if applicable)

The Developmental Therapeutics Fellowship extends for a one year and two year option. The educational goals involve the development of the skills needed in a specialist in developmental therapeutics for patients with cancer. A focus is a combination of self-motivated and didactic teaching of clinical study conduct and closely supervised training in managing patients and technical procedures. Strong emphasis is placed on a commitment to academic scholarship by performing clinical research, attending and presenting at local and national educational conferences, and closely working with colleagues in the health professions. Although we emphasize the acquisition of medical knowledge, research skills and technical proficiency, we also strongly emphasize appropriate medical practice, which entails judgment, the art of medicine, values learned from mentors and role-model clinicians, and interactions with support staff. Through this learning environment, the fellow will be able to adapt to evolving scientific and technological changes over time and after completion of training. We also encourage the fellows’ participation in institutional committees involved in various aspects of continued improvement in medical practice.

The two year program will provide graduated increases in responsibilities as well as educational experiences as shown:

Year 1:

  • Clinical management of patients with advanced malignancies receiving treatment on clinical studies
  • Documentation necessary for clinical research subjects, ethical aspects and regulatory process of informed consent
  • Gain insights into clinical trial protocol writing and approval

Year 2:

  • Continue to be involved with the clinical research and projects from Year 1
  • Each Fellow will run and initiate an entire study until completion of their program, under the supervision of the staff
  • Studies will incorporate patient selection, data management, necessary decisions related to protocol adherence as well as necessary changes and amendments to improve feasibility as well as patient safety
  • Each Fellow will serve as a co-principal investigator on several other studies and sub-investigator on his or her colleagues’ protocols
  • Learn the basics of data analysis and pharmacokinetics
  • Each Fellow will assume responsibility for walk-in patients on a rotating basis, and will be responsible for this activity for two - three months each year

Irrespective of whether an individual’s past training and expertise is most relevant to a very “early” (e.g. target identification/validation) or “later” (e.g., First-in-Human, Phase I – III studies), there is a core body of knowledge about the process that should be mastered by any person aiming to become a leader in developmental therapeutics – the Developmental Therapeutics Fellowship will develop this core knowledge within its fellows.

Within the first six months, each fellow will develop an individualized progress plan, assisted by his/her assigned DT mentor. The plan will allow for two formal reviews of each trainee’s progress during the training period, in month 8 and month 20, consisting of a presentation of research progress and feedback from DT faculty for the educational benefit of the trainee.

Fellows will be offered the opportunity to obtain a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) sponsored by the Center for Education and Career Development (CECD) within NUCATS. They will also have access to all relevant RHLCC cores including Developmental Therapeutics; Flow Cytometry; High Throughput Analysis Laboratory; Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry; Molecular and Translational Imaging; Mouse Histology and Phenotyping; Pathology; Structural Biology; Transgenic and Targeted Mutagenesis, Cancer Informatics; Biostatistics; Outcomes Measurement and Clinical Research Office and shared institutional cores including Clinical Pharmacology; Comprehensive Metabolic; Genomics/Next Generation Sequencing; NU Gene; Peptide Synthesis; Proteomics; Rodent Metabolism and Behavioral Intervention Technology Development.

DT fellows are assigned 2.5 days per week in clinic. The clinic schedule is setup in accordance with a rotating principle, the main idea is for fellows to gain experience and be exposed to as many disease groups as possible. Fellows work on a three month rotation with certain physicians.

Clinical evaluations occur every 3 months with the following 3 categories:

  • fellows evaluate the program (anonymous)
  • fellows evaluate the faculty (anonymous)
  • faculty evaluate the fellows (patient care, medical knowledge, patient based learning, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, system based practice, and integrity)
  • faculty evaluate the program

The Program Director and Coordinator will review performance with the fellows after each evaluation period.

Application Process

To apply: You can apply to the Developmental Therapeutics Fellowship by emailing the required list of documents to our email:
Your application will be reviewed, and an interview may be scheduled.


  • US graduate: ACGME residency and US postgraduate fellowship
  • FMG: Internal medicine and postgraduate medical training equivalent to US residency and fellowship. Equivalency based on: at least 2 years of post-internship internal medicine with attainment of US Board of Internal Medicine-equivalent examinations e.g. MRCPI, MRCPUK
  • CV and Personal Statement
  • MD Degree 
  • MD Training Transcript
  • Two Letters of Recommendation 
  • Passed USMLE Steps 1, 2, & 3 
  • ECFMG Certificate, if applicable