Training

We believe that our accomplishments are due to the combined efforts of faculty, staff, and trainees excelling throughout our exceptional organization.
We Believe

We believe that our accomplishments are due to the combined efforts of faculty, staff, and trainees excelling throughout our exceptional organization.

Training

A major goal of the Neuro-Oncology Program at Duke is to train the next generation of neuro-oncologists, including MD, PhD, MD/PhD students; postdoctoral fellows; residents; and surgical, medical, and adult and pediatric clinical neuro-oncologists. This robust training program focuses on students at the high school, undergraduate, pre-doctoral, and post-doctoral levels. Most laboratory investigators in the Duke Neuro-Oncology Program train one or more students in their laboratories each year.

Fellowship in Neuro-Oncology

The fellowship in Neuro-Oncology recruits both neurology residents and medical oncology fellows and is a one- to two-year fellowship.  The fellowship is accredited by the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS). Fellows in neuro-oncology have access to all the resources of our Center and those of the Duke Cancer Institute (DCI), Duke University Medical Center, and Duke University Hospital.  In addition, fellows have opportunities for manuscript preparation and submission, protocol development, and presentations at national and international meetings. 

Fellowship Overview

We offer 1- to 2-year fellowships in adult neuro-oncology or pediatric neuro-oncology.  Fellow candidates must be board eligible in neurology, pediatric neurology, medical oncology/ hematology, or pediatric medical oncology/hematology.

The first year of the fellowship is devoted to:

  • clinical neuro-oncology with broad exposure to all aspects of neuro-oncology and different primary brain tumor types in the outpatient clinic
  • electives available for fellows include rotations in neuro-radiology, neuropathology, and radiation oncology 
  • fellows get broad exposure to both pediatric and adult neuro-oncology
  • there is no in-house call
  • home call every 3 weeks

The second year is devoted to:

  • personally directed clinical or basic research 
  • second-year fellows continue one longitudinal clinic with option for more clinical time
  • the second year is optional with full support available

UCNS Accreditation

  • The neuro-oncology fellowship at Duke is accredited by the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS).  Organization of rotations and educational activities are designed to fulfill the education needed for certification.  Our fellows are encouraged to take the certification examination for UCNS.

Research Opportunities

  • Fellows in neuro-oncology have access to all the resources of our Center and those of the Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center, and Duke University Hospital.  In addition, fellows have opportunities for manuscript preparation and submission, protocol development, and presentations at national and international meetings.

The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center

  • The basic and clinical research program of The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke has almost doubled in size since 1997.  
  • The Duke Cancer Institute’s Neuro-Oncology Research Program includes 38 researchers representing 10 departments in the Duke University School of Medicine.  This group includes basic, translational, and clinical investigators who share interest in primary malignant brain tumors of adults and children.
  • We evaluate over 800 new adult brain tumor patients per year and approximately 75 new pediatric brain tumor patients per year.  
  • We typically have over 20 clinical research protocols active or in preparation for adult patients and 10 clinical research protocols active or in preparation for pediatric patients. We also have research protocols in quality of life and supportive care.
  • We are a member of the NCI designated Duke Cancer Institute and a member of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium.

Program Director:
Katy Peters, MD, PhD,
Phone 919.684.6173,
email: katherine.peters@duke.edu 

Program Coordinator:
Sherolyn Patterson,
Phone 919.684-3053,
email: sherolyn.patterson@duke.edu  

Fellowship in Neurosurgery

The Neuro-Oncology Program at Duke is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant (NINDS R25) to train future neurosurgeons (John Sampson, MD, PhD [PI]). Emphasis is placed on training physician-scientists who spend a large portion of their training period in research laboratories under the mentorship of a senior investigator. The Duke Neurosurgery Residency Program is a seven-year program that offers three positions annually. Read more about the fellowship in neurosurgery.

Duke Medical Scientist Training Program

The Duke University Graduate School and the Duke University School of Medicine sponsor the Duke Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). This program is funded by NIH, and there are only 46 programs like this in the country. Duke’s program, which was founded in 1966, is the fourth oldest. Medical students who wish to pursue a PhD in basic science (in addition to a medical degree) will devote a full year during their medical school training (third year) in a laboratory to conduct basic research with a senior faculty member. Read more about the Duke Medical Scientist Training Program.

Prior Trainees: Where Are They Now? 

Some of today’s leading pioneers in the field of neuro-oncology received their education and training at Duke. Many chose to remain or return to Duke because its Neuro-Oncology Program is one of the best in the world. Here are just a few of the rising stars who have come through our program.

Neuro-oncologist, Duke
Neurosurgeon & Director of the Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program, Duke
Professor of Neuro-Oncology and Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Professor of Surgery and Medicine, Assistant Professor of Pathology, and Deputy Director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, Duke
Head of Neurosurgeon/Spine Service at Duke Neurosurgery of Raleigh, Duke
Amy Heimberger, MD
Amy Heimberger, MD
Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX
Shekar Kurpad, MD, PhD
Shekar Kurpad, MD, PhD
Van Wagenen Fellowship recipient, Medical College of Wisconsin
Scott Lindhorst, MD
Scott Lindhorst, MD
Assistant Professor, Medical University of South Carolina
Associate Professor of Neurology, Duke
Neuro-oncologist, Duke
Jeremy Rich, MD
Jeremy Rich, MD
Chair of the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland, OH
Neurosurgeon, Duke
Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Specialist, Pediatric Neuro-oncologist, Duke
James Schuster, MD, PhD
James Schuster, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Fotios Vrionis, MD
Fotios Vrionis, MD
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute Hospital, Tampa, FL