Urologic Oncology Fellowship

Fellowship in Urologic Oncology and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Virginia Mason's Urologic Oncology Fellowship Program provides the fellow with extraordinary resources, available at both Virginia Mason and the Benaroya Research Institute (BRI), to become a surgeon scientist and a leader in the field of urologic oncology. 

About the Urology Fellowship Program

The urology fellowship at Virginia Mason was created by Robert Gibbons, MD, and Roy Correa, MD, to provide training to individuals who have completed their urology residency in complex urologic oncology and transplant procedures. The original fellowship, started in 1989, preceded the 2002 fellowship which combined minimally invasive techniques with urologic oncology.

This two year, SUO approved fellowship program has one year dedicated to research through Benaroya Research Institute and the second year on clinical experience at Virginia Mason.

The first year is based at the Benaroya Research Institute. It is based in the laboratory of Eric Wambre, PhD. Dr. Wambre’s laboratory has focused on the immunobiology of bladder and renal cancer. The clinical year includes a firm foundation in genitourinary oncology patient care, open complex oncologic procedures, laparoscopic and robotic surgery.

The fellowship has a rich resource of clinical databases, including formal databases in prostate cancer treatment, prostate cancer diagnosis, testicular cancer treatment, testicular cancer diagnosis and renal malignancies. These databases provide a valuable tool for the fellow to conduct clinically-based, research-based projects. Fellows will be expected to participate in the writing and coordination of clinical trials and primary research manuscripts.

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Meet the Faculty Team

The Clinical Program at Virginia Mason

The clinical program in urologic oncology provides the fellow the necessary resources to learn and to experience a hands-on educational approach to the care of the urologic oncology patient. Fundamental to the program is the team modality approach. Throughout the clinical year the fellow has formal time set aside to work directly with the medical oncology team (John Paul Flores, MD), the pathology team (Semra Olgac, MD, principally) and the radiation oncology team (Andrew Suen, MD). Beyond the time that has been set aside for one-on-one work with members of the multi-modality team, there is a multi-modality prostate cancer clinic (Comprehensive Prostate Cancer Clinic) in which the fellow is expected to be involved with on a weekly basis.

The fellow has the opportunity to work with six genitourinary oncologic surgeons, two of which have considerable expertise in renal surgery, including transplantation. The extremely high volume of cases at Virginia Mason, which encompass the entire spectrum of urologic oncology, provides the fellow with the required exposure to complex oncologic cases that will serve as the keystone to their development as a genitourinary oncologic surgeon.

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Research Program at Virginia Mason

Translational Research

The translational research program at Virginia Mason is based in the laboratory of Eric Wambre, PhD, at the Benaroya Research Institute. The program provides the fellow with the platform to pursue a career in academic medicine. Dr. Wambre's laboratory has focused, as one of its main targets of research, on the immunbiology bladder and renal cancer. Dr. Wambre has been involved in the isolation of activated peripheral T cells as well as the isolation of Tumor infiltration T cells. Current projects for the fellow include the evaluation of tumor antigen activated T cells in the peripheral circulation in comparison to TIL’s.

Clinical Research

Beyond the translational research opportunities at the Benaroya Research Institute, our clinical databases offer the fellow the opportunity to be involved in a number of clinical research projects in bladder, kidney, testicular and prostate cancer. The faculty at Virginia Mason has research-related interests in urologic oncology and minimally invasive surgery, and extensive experience developing and utilizing long-term patient outcome datasets. Virginia Mason currently maintains numerous databases for research purposes, such as:

  • Quality of life in bladder cancer patients and their partners following cystectomy and urinary diversion
  • Partial nephrectomy surgical outcomes
  • Testicular cancer surgical outcomes
  • Prostate needle biopsy surgical outcomes
  • Long-term radical prostatectomy outcomes

In addition, Virginia Mason is the only civilian site for the Center for Outcomes, the Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR) multi-center national database of longitudinal demographic, clinical, treatment, and quality of life outcomes and current projects for the fellow include assessing quality of life of men screened for prostate cancer, on active surveillance, or treated for prostate cancer. Also, Virginia Mason has obtained access to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) Participant User File for testicular and prostate cancer. Current projects for the fellow include epidemiologic and therapeutic trends for testicular cancer in the U.S. from 1998 to 2018. Finally, the fellow has access to the resources of our department. These resources include a database manager, grant/medical writer, statistician, and clinical research coordinator. With all of these resources the fellow is able to recruit patients and collect data, analyze data and publish findings.

Research Didactic Program

In addition to the hands-on educational approach to urologic oncology research, the program provides the fellow with structured research training. The Urologic Oncology clinical research group meets weekly to provide guidance and support to the fellow. There is also an intensive research didactic program that covers topics including developing a research project, critically reviewing the literature, designing a study, presenting data, publishing manuscripts, and an in-depth review of statistical methods and their applications.

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How To Apply

  • Applicants should apply with SUO application, letter of intent, and three letters of recommendation.
  • Applications for 2021-2023 should be received by March 15 for June match. Late applications will be accepted until April 15.
  • For more information about the match and application process, please visit the Society of Urologic Oncology.

Interview Dates

  • Monday, March 16
  • Monday, April 20


  • All applicants must have completed a US residency in urology (or equivalent) and be able to obtain a Washington State Medical License.

Applications or requests for additional information should be directed to:

Christopher Porter, MD                            
Director of the Fellowship Program
(206) 223-6772

Joy Mala, BSHA
Research & Academic Specialist
(206) 583-6430

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