Research Training

The second and third years are optional but strongly encouraged. Funding for the research years is guaranteed. These years are devoted to laboratory-based, translational, or clinical research. During the autumn of the first year of fellowship, trainees begin exploring options for investigative efforts around their individual interests. Each trainee selects a research mentor who is responsible for specific projects and the educational development of the trainee. Research mentors may be selected from any DF/HCC affiliated institution including MGH, BWH, DFCI, Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Harvard Medical School.

Research fellows are supported by intramural funding sources, but are also encouraged as part of the training process to apply for extramural sources of funding. Those interested in a basic or translational science project may apply for a two-year K12 training grant.

DFCI/BWH and MGH staff members are also very active in brain tumor clinical trial research and are recognized leaders within the field. We participate in all the major consortia for brain tumor clinical trials (including ABTC, Alliance, NRG, and ETCTN). Supervised by faculty and research staff, trainees will care for patients enrolled on clinical trials during their fellowship. Research fellows will also have the opportunity to write and develop new protocols for review by the Institutional Review Board.

Below are examples of research projects by current and recent trainees:

Fellow Project Advisor
Albert Kim

Noninvasive Tools to Study Brain Metastasis Resistance to Immunotherapy

Priscilla Brastianos & Elizabeth Gerstner
L. Nicolas Gonzalez Castro

Concurrent Epigenomic and Genomic Characterization of IDH-mutant Gliomas at Single Cell Resolution

Mario Suva & Tracy Batchelor
Mary Jane Lim-Fat

Correlation of Tumor Genomics with Adverse Clinical Outcomes in Glioblastoma

Patrick Wen
J. Ricardo McFaline-Figueroa

CDK4/6 inhibition in the treatment of high-grade glioma

Jean Zhao
Michael White

Whole-exome sequencing of PCNSL tumors to characterize the genetic attributes and drivers of disease, Whole-exome sequencing of cell-free DNA in brain mets to identify biomarkers, drivers of disease, and new avenues for targeted therapies

Priscilla Brastianos
Deborah Forst

Quality of Life, Symptom Burden, and Prognostic Awareness: A Supportive Care Needs Assessment in Malignant Glioma Patients and Their Caregivers

Jennifer Temel
Sylvia Eisele

Identification of negative regulators of CAR T-cell function within the tumor microenvironment in glioblastoma

Kai Wucherpfennig
Martha Neagu

Elucidating and Overcoming Immune Evasion by Glioblastoma

Arlene Sharpe
Ugo Chukwueke

Sequencing of brain metastases from women's cancers

Priscilla Brastianos
Nancy Wang

Effects of Wnt inhibition on glioblastoma vasculature

Rakesh Jain
Ina Ly

Characterization of cellular architecture and microenvironment of IDH1-mutant and IDH1-wild-type gliomas with ultra-high gradient diffusion MRI on the Human Connectome MRI scanner

Elizabeth Gerstner
Julie Miller

metabolism in IDH mutant glioma

Daniel Cahill