Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation Fellowship Program

Image of HOT Fellowship members in conference

We will begin reviewing applications for the 2022-2023 academic year beginning July 15, 2022 and our interview period will run September-October 2022.

The Program Director for the Fellowship Training Program in Hematology, Medical Oncology, and Transplantation is Yvonne Datta, MD. The major goal of the Fellowship Training Program is to train physicians for independent and productive academic or clinical careers. We have two career tracks within the fellowship. The traditional hematology/oncology track leads to dual-board eligibility in hematology and medical oncology and emphasizes clinical training in all areas of hematology, oncology, and transplantation. The other fellowship track provides focused training in classical hematology and is supported by a grant from the American Society of Hematology. Both fellowship tracks are three years and include training to develop the skills needed for a successful academic career in basic or clinical/population outcomes research. Both tracks are also flexible and customized according to the needs and interests of the individual fellow.

  • Traditional Hematology/Oncology
  • Classical Hematology
  • Research Path
  • Clinical Path
  • Traditional Hematology/Oncology

    The Associate Program Director for the traditional hematology/oncology track is Manish Patel, DO. The goal of this track is to train fellows for careers in hematology and oncology. After the successful completion of training, each fellow will be eligible for both the hematology and oncology board exams. Within this track, fellows may choose to train broadly or to develop a more focused clinical and research expertise in any area of hematology, oncology, or stem cell transplantation. Applicants interested in classical (non-malignant) hematology are welcome to apply to both the traditional and classical hematology tracks. Applicants interested in a career in malignant hematology or stem cell transplantation/cellular therapies (e.g., CAR T-cell therapy) should apply only to the traditional track. 

    Year 1: Clinical Training
    The goal of the first year of the training program is to provide a creative clinical environment for the fellow to develop skills and experience in the comprehensive care of cancer patients and in the diagnosis and management of hematologic diseases. The fellow will rotate on a monthly basis to clinical services at the University of Minnesota Medical Center (UMMC), Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), Regions Hospital, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC). Fellows will receive a broad exposure to all aspects of hematology, oncology, and stem cell transplantation during their first year. Each fellow will be assigned a longitudinal clinic at the VAMC or HCMC.

    Year 2‐3: Research and Clinical Training
    During the first year of fellowship, each fellow will identify at least three mentors to serve on a career development committee and to assist the fellow in developing a career development plan to support their goals for the 2nd and 3rd years of training. Depending on project goals, clinical interests, and grant funding, the fellow will have 3-9 months of research time per year in their 2nd and 3rd years. There are competitive T32 research training funds in hematology, oncology, or health disparities available for which fellows can apply.  Each fellow has the flexibility to train for a career in basic science/translational research, clinical or education research, and/or clinical care. Each fellow will participate in at least one half-day continuity care clinic throughout fellowship.

  • Classical Hematology

    The Associate Program Director for the classical hematology track is Alexander Boucher, MD. The training leads to board eligibility in hematology and is supported by a Hematology-Focused Fellowship Training Program  grant awarded by the American Society of Hematology, the only academic center in the upper Midwest with this type of funding.  The overall goal of this track is to train physicians for careers in classical hematology, such as sickle cell disease and thalassemias, other congenital anemias, autoimmune hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia, bleeding and clotting disorders, and general consultative hematology. Fellows will have a unique opportunity to learn novel lifespan care models for adolescent and young adult hematologic disorders. Under the leadership of Dr. Boucher, this track will emphasize lifespan care of patients with hemoglobinopathies as well as bleeding and clotting disorders, with a particular focus in adolescent/young adult hematology transitions of care. Fellows will have opportunities to work closely with colleagues in other specialties, including interventional radiology, transfusion medicine, pediatrics/transitional care, and special coagulation laboratories, all of whom are already close collaborators for our complex hematology patients. Only applicants interested in life-long subspecialty careers focused on academic, multidisciplinary, classical (non-malignant) hematology should apply.

    While fellows will receive the necessary training in hematologic malignancies to receive hematology board certification, the primary focus of the classical hematology track is rooted in a comprehensive, innovative, and multidisciplinary curriculum in non-malignant hematological diseases. Those applicants interested in careers in hematologic malignancies or stem cell transplantation/cellular therapies (e.g., CAR T-cell therapies) should apply for the traditional hematology/oncology track.  

    Year 1: Clinical Training
    All fellows will spend their first year in general hematology. The goal of the first year of the training program is to provide a creative clinical environment for the fellow to develop skills and experience in the comprehensive care of patients with hematologic disorders. The fellow will rotate on a monthly basis to clinical services at the University of Minnesota Medical Center (UMMC), Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), and Regions Hospital. Fellows will receive a broad exposure to all aspects of hematology during their first year. This will include bleeding and clotting disorders, anemia and hemoglobinopathies, autoimmune hematologic disorders, malignant hematologic diseases, stem cell transplant, and CAR T-cell therapies. Fellows will learn to proficiently manage common disorders such as venous thromboembolism and iron deficiency anemia in an era of rapidly evolving evidence and treatment options requiring expert hematology guidance. Additionally, as one of the largest referral centers in the Midwest, fellows will gain early experience diagnosing and managing patients with rare disorders, such as paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, porphyrias, other rare hemoglobinopathies and red cell enzymopathies, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. There is also limited exposure to solid tumor oncology to familiarize fellows with anti-neoplastic agents and hematologic complications of cancer.

    Each fellow will be assigned a longitudinal clinic at HCMC or UMMC. Training includes rotations at the UMMC inpatient hematology consults, inpatient malignant hematology, inpatient stem cell transplant and cellular therapies service, and hematopathology, as well as inpatient and outpatient hematology rotations at HCMC. Fellows will also have exposure to general hematology/oncology at Regions Hospital and VAMC to understand the hematologic complications of non-hematologic malignancies. The general hematology continuity clinic will be at the M Health Clinics and Surgical Center.

    Year 2‐3: Research and Clinical Training
    During the first year of fellowship, each fellow will identify at least three mentors to serve on a career development committee to assist the fellow in developing a career development plan to support their goals for the 2nd and 3rd years of training. Depending on project goals and clinical interests, the fellow will have 3-9 months of research time per year in their 2nd and 3rd years. Each fellow has the flexibility to train for a career in basic science/translational research, clinical or education research, or clinical care. Each fellow will participate in classical hematology-focused rotations, such as hematology inpatient consults, outpatient clinic blocks at the Center for Bleeding and Clotting Disorders (CBCD), hematopathology, transfusion medicine, and vascular interventional radiology. Each fellow will participate in at least one half-day continuity care clinic throughout the 2nd and 3rd years. Fellows will be allowed a flexible schedule of research and hematology electives in two areas in lifespan hematology: 1) red cell disorders, cytopenias, and marrow failure and 2) hemostasis, thrombosis, and vascular medicine.

  • Research Path

    Fellows planning an academic career in which the majority of time is spent in research can focus on research training in clinical/population science research or laboratory/translational research. Fellows considering this option will typically have significant prior research experience. Fellows in the traditional hematology/oncology track with T32 support or individual grant support or fellows in the classical hematology track will have 18 months of dedicated research training (nine months each in years 2 and 3) and 18 months of clinical training (twelve months in year 1 and three months each in years 2 and 3). Clinical assignments will be based on the fellow’s progress in reaching required milestones. A fourth training year composed of 12 months of research training is strongly encouraged, but is contingent upon performance and obtaining funding.

    Research intensive milestones by the end of fellowship year 2 include the following:

    • Present research at division conferences
    • Submit one abstract to and attend a national scientific meeting
    • Present a poster at the annual Department of Medicine Research Day
    • Complete 3 months of clinical training in areas related to research interests


    Required milestones by the end of fellowship year 3 include the following:

    • Submit one abstract to and attend a national scientific meeting
    • Present a poster at the annual Department of Medicine Research Day
    • Write and submit two manuscripts for publication
    • Write and submit a career development grant application


    Depending on circumstances, the career development grant application may be an application for a K award, an NRSA, or a foundation grant. Mentors will help guide these efforts. The final versions will be read and critiqued by the trainee’s career development committee.

  • Clinical Path

    Fellows planning a career with the majority of time spent in clinical research and care of patients will focus on developing the skills to meet the individual fellow’s goals. The balance of time spent on research and clinical training is individualized to prepare each fellow for a career in an academic, academic-affiliated, or private practice setting as desired. Clinical skills of the trainee in the traditional hematology/oncology track are honed through broad exposure to classical hematology, hematologic malignancies, medical oncology, and stem cell transplantation. Those in the classical hematology track will be exposed to all aspects of hematology, with extra emphasis on non-malignant hematologic disorders. Training will also include education in enrolling and caring for patients on clinical trials and the completion of a scholarly activity or research project. Projects can include case reports, reviews, quality improvement projects, curriculum development, clinical outcomes research, epidemiology, and clinical trial development.

    Clinical research and care milestones by the end of fellowship year 2 include the following:

    • Present research or scholarly project at division conferences
    • Attend a regional or national research meeting
    • Present a poster presentation of research, quality improvement, or clinical case report at the annual Department of Medicine Research Day
    • Complete 6-9 months of clinical training

    Required milestones by the end of fellowship year 3 include the following:

    • Submit one abstract to and attend a regional or national research meeting
    • Present a poster presentation of research, quality improvement, or clinical case report at the annual Department of Medicine Research Day
    • Write and submit one manuscript for publication.
    • Complete 6-9 months of clinical training in areas related to clinical interests


    For those interested in an academic career, a fourth training year composed of 12 months of research training may be considered, but is contingent upon performance and obtaining funding. Mentors will help guide these efforts for an application for a K award, an NRSA, or a foundation grant.

Application Process

Timeline
We will begin accepting applications for the 2022-2023 academic year, beginning July 15, 2022. Our interview period will run from September-October 2022. 

IMPORTANT DATES STEPS IN APPLICATION PROCESS
July 7, 2022 Applications can begin being submitted electronically
July 21, 2022 Deadline for receipt of completed application
Sept.- Oct. 2022 Interviews conducted, applications evaluated
November 2022 Rank order list certification deadline
December 2022 Match results released
July 1, 2023 Start of fellowship

How to Apply
The Fellowship Training Program accepts applications only through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and offers positions through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Once your completed application has been reviewed, we will contact you regarding its status and the possibility of a visit to our institution for interviews with the program's faculty.

VISA Policy
Visa Sponsorship: The J-1 alien physician visa sponsored by ECFMG is the preferred visa status for foreign national trainees in all UMN graduate medical education programs; therefore, the Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellowship sponsors only J-1 visas. We do not sponsor H-1B visas. More information can be found on the J-1 visas.

Current Fellows

One Year

Madhuri Chengappa, MBBS

Image of Madhuri ChengappaDr. Madhuri Chengappa grew up in India, where she obtained her medical degree from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. She worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at Mayo Clinic before starting Internal Medicine residency at Trinity Health- Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia. She continued as the chief resident for the Internal Medicine program and was proactive in introducing many innovative ideas to help with better training, work life balance, and mentoring opportunities for residents. She has worked in bench research, clinical research and healthcare policy research. More recently, she has worked on gender disparity among guideline authors of major oncology guidelines, which was recognized at the ASCO 2021 meeting.
Outside of work, she likes archery, traveling and spending time with family.

Vikas Le-Kumar, MD

Image of Vikar Le-KumarDr. Vikas Le-Kumar grew up in California. He completed his B.A in Psychology at UCLA. He subsequently completed his M.D with honors at St. George's University. He went on to complete his residency in Internal Medicine at the Northwell Health System in Long Island New York where he served as one of the Chief Residents of Research. His area of focus was solid tumor Oncology and Malignant Hematology. Dr. Le-Kumar has several research publications and has presented at many major national conferences including ASCO, SCCM, ACP, and ATS. After residency Dr. Le-Kumar was a Senior Associate Consultant for Mayo Clinic in the Internal Medicine Department and looks forward to continuing his training in Hematology/Oncology. Outside of medicine he enjoys outdoor activities with his family including hiking and kayaking.

Go Nishikawa, MD

Image of Go NishikawaDr. Go Nishikawa received his MD from the University of Yamanashi Faculty of Medicine in Japan. After completing his Internal Medicine training and a transitional Internship at the US Naval Hospital Okinawa in Japan, he joined the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Internal Medicine residency in Portland, Oregon. He subsequently joined the Clinical Hospitalist service at OHSU. During his time at OHSU, Dr. Nishikawa published several research papers including systematic reviews on monoclonal antibodies and GI cancer. He also attended the Master of Clinical Research track at the OHSU School of Medicine, where he learned various research skills that he has implemented in his projects. He is interested in medical oncology and solid tumors, and looking forward to continuing his clinical and research training at the University of Minnesota. Outside of medicine, he enjoys baking French tarts and traditional galettes, and spending quality time with his family.

Quan Phung, MD

Image of Quan PhungDr. Quan Phung grew up in Northern Virginia. He completed his B.A. degree in biology and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. After college, he worked in health policy research in Washington D.C. working primarily on evaluations for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He attended medical school at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Virginia and internal medicine residency at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. His upbringing was shaped by his family’s refugee experience with the Vietnam War. This served as a call to action to work with underprivileged populations such as through a student-led free health clinic, the DC Center for LGBTQ+ advocacy, and a state-run COVID-19 homeless shelter. During residency, he collaborated with the Lifespan Cancer Institute on projects to characterize after-hour clinic needs for hematology and oncology patients, vaccines in gastrointestinal malignancies, and anticoagulation choice for patients with low-risk antiphospholipid syndrome. His interests also include racket sports, finding coffee and bubble tea shops, country music, and board games.

Nuttavut Sumransub, MD

Image of Nuttavut SumransubDr. Nuttavut Sumransub graduated from medical school from Siriraj hospital faculty of medicine in Thailand. After that, he worked with the Siriraj Center of Research Excellence for Cancer Immunotherapy, Department of Immunology as a research fellow focusing on cancer immunology and immunotherapy.
Dr. Sumransub moved to the University of Minnesota, completing his residency here, and joined the fellowship program. His research focus is currently in the field of bone marrow transplantation and cellular therapy. He has interest in the impact of immune cell pattern and reconstitution on clinical outcomes in these groups of patients.
Outside of work, Dr. Sumransub enjoys soccer (as a Liverpool fan for over 20 years), exploring national parks, and hiking.

Comfort Takang, MD, MPH

Image of Comfort TakangDr. Comfort Takang obtained her medical degree with honors from the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon. She later completed an MPH at the George Washington University with emphasis on Epidemiology and Global Health where she received the Excellent Student Achievement Scholarship Award. Her MPH thesis was focused on a mobile phone app intervention to improve medication adherence among patients (MED@PHONE). She went on to complete her residency in Internal Medicine at Manatee Memorial Hospital, Florida where she served as Journal Club Committee Leader and GME representative of the hospital’s oncology committee, executive committee and patient safety committee. Inspired by her interest in research, she engaged in COVID 19 research and scientific presentations at regional and national conferences including ACP, SMA and CHEST Conference. As part of her commitment to continuous education, she assisted in developing the hematology/oncology curriculum of her residency program. Her main interests include solid malignancies and benign hematology, with a focus in Sickle Cell Disease. Dr. Takang began her fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Minnesota in July 2022. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, engaging in medical missions, watching movies and spending time with friends and family.

Second Year

Maria Borrero, MD

Maria Borrero

 Dr. Maria Borrero received her MD from the University of Utah and completed her Internal Medicine Residency at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, GA. Originally from Colombia, Dr. Borrero has always had a strong interest in studying cancer health   disparities, survivorship, and quality of life, particularly as it relates to the Hispanic community. Over the last decade, she has spent time at Sylvester Cancer Institute at the University of Miami, Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern University, and   Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, where she has focused her efforts on developing culturally tailored interventions that improve access to cancer screening and treatments for underserved populations and developing   behavioral multilingual interventions that optimize quality of life of cancer patients. She is passionate about mentoring students from underserved backgrounds who are interested in a career in STEM and has both participated and developed  pipeline programs aimed at increasing the number of minority students pursuing medicine. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her husband and two toddlers, hike, interior design, cook, and travel. 

Amin Firoozmand, MD

Amin Firoozmand

 Dr. Amin Firoozmand completed medical school and internship training with honors from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran. He did a Post-doctoral research fellowship in stem cell research as well as GI- Oncology at Johns Hopkins. He   collaborated with Dr. Gregg Simenza (Winner of Nobel Prize in 2019) on a project to investigate the effects of Hypoxic Inducible Factor on burn wound healing of Bone Marrow Derived Angiogenic Cells. His work in solid tumors led to several   publications as well as presentations in national meetings. He later did internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Maryland Capital Region Health. He then worked as an assistant professor of Medicine and academic   Hematology- Oncology Hospitalist in Seidman Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland. During this time, he had the opportunity to be engaged in medical student, as well as resident training, and was a part of Internal Medicine residency   selection team as an interviewer. He completed a clinical fellowship in Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy at Cleveland Medical Center. During fellowship, he presented his research work in major national meetings such as ASH and ASCO.   His main area of research interests is Bone Marrow Transplant as well as malignant hematology. He joined the Hematology & Oncology Fellowship at the University of Minnesota in 2021. Outside work, he enjoys playing tennis and spending time   with family and friends.

Thuy-Hong Le Kumar, MD

Thuy-Hong Le-Kumar Dr. Thuy-Hong Le-Kumar is a California native. She completed her B.A. degree in Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley and then went on to obtain her MD at St. George's University in Grenada. Afterward, she finished her   internal medicine residency at Hofstra/Northwell School of Medicine. She is currently interested in benign and malignant heme, as well as GI solid tumors. Outside of medicine, she enjoys raising and spending time with her son and going on   challenging trail hikes with her husband.

Minnu Monu MBBS

Minnu Monu

 Dr. Minnu Monu earned her medical degree from Mahatma Gandhi University, India and completed her Internal Medicine residency from the University of North Dakota, Fargo. Subsequently, she joined the Internal Medical   Program at OHSU as an Assistant Professor. During the final year of her residency, she had the honor to serve as one of the chief residents of her program. Prior to residency, she had the opportunity to pursue research at   the University of Minnesota, Oncology department and published several research papers in oncology. She was also granted the William P. Newman research award from the University of North Dakota for her numerous   case presentations and research publications. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, biking and spending time with her family. Dr. Monu joined the hematology, oncology and transplantation fellowship in 2021. 

Miheer Pujara, MD 

Miheer Pujara

 Dr. Miheer Pujara was born and raised just north of Dallas, Texas. He studied in a combined BS/MD program at Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA and Jefferson Medical College in   Philadelphia, PA. He relocated to Denver for Internal Medicine residency at the University of Colorado, where he was able to pursue his interest in medicine, as well as exploring the Rocky Mountains.   After residency, he worked as an academic hospitalist at Brown University at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI while his wife completed her residency in Radiation Oncology. He served in an   Information Technology role on their Hospitalist COVID-19 team and attended on the COVID-19 unit during the pandemic in 2020. He has an interest in Clinical Informatics and the use of health   technology to improve the delivery of cancer care. Outside of work he is an avid snowboarder, backpacker, and triathlete.

Karan Ramankrishna, MBBS

Karan Ramakrishna

 Dr. Karan Ramakrishna received his medical degree from St. John’s Medical College in India. He went on to complete a residency in Internal Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY where he was elected to the Alpha Omega   Alpha Honor Society and was nominated for the Resident Teaching Award in the College of Medicine. He completed a year as Chief Resident in the same program during which he participated extensively in quality improvement and patient safety   endeavors. He has a strong interest in medical education and helped in residency curriculum development during his time as chief resident. He has participated in breast oncology research and has a clinical interest in leukemias/lymphomas. Dr.   Ramakrishna began his fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Minnesota in July 2021. Outside of work, he enjoys running, trivia, indie cinema and exploring coffee cultures. 

Alex Tsai, MD, PhD

Alex Tsai

 Dr. Alex Tsai is originally from the Twin Cities and completed his undergraduate degree and MS in clinical laboratory science at the University of Minnesota. He then completed his MD and PhD in the MSTP at the University   of Maryland (during which time he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society). His PhD thesis work focused on T cell-based immunotherapies for various malignancies, primarily melanoma. He joined the   Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) and completed his internal medicine training at the University of Minnesota. His clinical and research interests lie in applying and advancing immunotherapies for solid   malignancies. Outside of his career, Alex enjoys sports, cooking, baking, and spending time with family.

 

Third Year

Dr. Zalaya Ivy

Ivy

Dr. Zalaya Ivy received her MD from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. While in medical school she was awarded funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for a project centered on pulmonary complications in individuals with Sickle Cell Disease, which resulted in a presentation at the ASH annual meeting and publication. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at the University of Minnesota as a member of the Physician Scientist Training Program, during which time she received an award for her core values of clinical excellence, hard work, education, scholarship, teamwork, and leadership within the residency program. Her chief interests include benign hematology, with a focus in Sickle Cell Disease. Outside of work she enjoys roller-skating, cooking, knitting, and spending time with family. Dr. Ivy joined the Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation fellowship in July 2020. 

Dr. Aditya Jain

Jain

Dr. Aditya Jain received his MD from India. He subsequently relocated to the US and went on to complete an internal medicine residency at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore MD. He next did a nuclear medicine residency followed by PET/CT fellowship both at the University of Wisconsin, Madison WI. Influenced by his close encounter with medical oncology through the extensive oncologic applications of molecular imaging, he was drawn to the field of oncology and wanted to be more directly involved in the care of cancer patients. This led him to work as a hospitalist with the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation at the University of Minnesota. He later joined the fellowship program in 2020.

Dr. Cameron McDonald-Hyman

McDonald

Dr. Cameron McDonald-Hyman is originally from Muir Beach, California. He completed his undergraduate degrees in Biology and Biochemistry at Carleton College in 2009, and then completed his MD/PhD training at the University of Minnesota in 2018. His PhD research focused on Immunotherapy for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). As a medical student he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Society, along with the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He then completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan as part of the Physician Scientist Training Program. He is interested in hematologic malignancy and transplantation for both his research and clinical careers. Outside of the hospital, he enjoys playing with his daughter, updating his house and is an avid baseball fan. He joined the Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation Fellowship Program in July 2020.