Cancer Genomics and Ethics of Big Data Science Fellowship


The University of Chicago has long recognized the importance of physician scientists capable of utilizing laboratory discoveries to evolve novel therapeutic approaches and using clinical observations to inform and shape basic investigations. The University has a long tradition of excellence in cancer research and the environment is ideal for multidisciplinary training of the next generation of cancer researchers. This tradition includes: the 1941 discovery of the remarkable effects of hormone therapy on prostate and breast cancer culminating in the 1966 Nobel Prize to Dr. Charles Huggins and most recently the 2004 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research presented to Dr. Elwood Jensen, for discovery of the Estrogen Receptor which had a “rapid, direct and lasting impact on treatment and prevention of breast cancer. The interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Research training will take full advantage of the incredible scientific environment at U of C.

This training program is intended to provide the Fellow with research training in ethics and cancer genomics. This interdisciplinary training will be devoted to instruction in research techniques, experimental design and data interpretation. Details regarding the elective classroom and seminar courses that constitute the Core Curriculum will be customized to fulfill the career goals of the trainee.

Summer: Medical Ethics Summer Intensive Program

Fall, Winter, Spring: Elective Genomics/Informativs, Clinical Medical Ethics Consultation (1 day/week), Ethics Fellowship (1 day/week), Mentored Research Project, Attend Seminars, Journal Clubs, and Research in Progress sessions

The fellow will meet twice monthly with mentors to discuss the progress of his research and identify problems. S/he will attend a weekly data session and journal club as well as lecture series within the Section of Hematology/Oncology and the Department of Medicine.

In addition, the trainee will also participate in the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics’ one-year, part-time fellowship. The training program begins with a five week, full-time Summer Intensive in July and August. The MacLean Summer Intensive Program is unique and offers fellows a 5-week intensive experience that includes more than 80 lectures andseminars taught by 30 MacLean Center Faculty. The intensive program offers “mini-courses” on the following topics: clinical ethics, ethics consultation, mediation and negotiation, end-of-life care, research ethics, health policy and health disparities, surgical ethics, pediatric ethics, reproductive ethics, psychiatric ethics, and the ethics of cancer and big data. During the summer intensive, the trainee will attend 3-4 seminars daily. Following the summer intensive, the trainee will meet with other fellows one day a week (Wednesdays) for a structured ethics curriculum including Topics in Clinical Medical Ethics, Introduction to Moral Philosophy, and Research-in-Progress seminars. With faculty supervision, fellows participate actively in an ethics consultation service.

Periodically during the training period, the fellow will be asked to present the research results at a weekly Research Seminar Series. The format for these seminars is informal and this encourages questioning of the trainee.  The fellow will benefit from constructive suggestions from faculty and peers and gain experience in presenting data. Under the supervision of the faculty mentor, the fellow will prepare data for publication with the intent to place the fellow in a position to compete effectively for future academic positions.


The MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago offers the oldest, largest, and most successful clinical ethics fellowship in the world. Dr. Mark Siegler, the Founding Director of the MacLean Center, created the first clinical ethics fellowship in the nation in 1981. Since then, the MacLean Center faculty members have trained more than 410 fellows, many of whom have gone on to direct their own ethics programs in the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, China, and Australia. The ideal candidate will have an MD or PhD with an interest in medical ethics.

In 2013, the MacLean Center became the fourth program to receive the prestigious Cornerstone Award from the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities. This award is given for “outstanding contributions from an institution that has helped shape the direction of the fields of bioethics and/or medical humanities.” This year, the MacLean Center and Dr. Siegler received the prestigious Meyerhoff Award from the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. The award states “The training programs established by you, including more than 400 clinical fellows across almost 35 years, have had a greater impact than any other clinical ethics training program in the world.”


This program is designed for researchers who are interested in gaining training and experience in medical ethics. The program begins with a five week, full-time Summer Intensive course in Ethics in July and August. During the Summer Intensive, fellows attend 4 seminars daily. From September to June, fellows meet one day a week (Wednesdays) for a structured ethics curriculum including Topics in Clinical Medical Ethics, Introduction to Moral Philosophy, and Research-in-Progress seminars. With faculty supervision, fellows participate actively in an ethics consultation service. Faculty mentors assist fellows as they design and carry out a research project.

For more information about the fellowship, please contact Funmi Olopade at folopade@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu

You can also view more information at the Center for Global Health's website HERE.