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Academics | Research | Faculty | Administration

Division of Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship

The UCI Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center has been training physician scientists in the subspecialty of gynecologic oncology since 1977.

The program provides multiple levels of interaction between basic and clinical scientists to facilitate the transfer and exchange of information. The fellowship program provides trainees with opportunities for the practical application of skills in the design and testing of scientific hypotheses. Trainees receive a year of research training with the goal of thesis publication followed by two years of focused clinical and surgical training.

Fellowship Director

BristowJill Tseng MD
Assistant Professor and Fellowship Director

Faculty mentors have research concentrations in the following areas:

  • Structural molecular biology
  • Growth factors and signaling
  • Cell transformation and carcinogenesis
  • Cancer epidemiology and cancer genetics
  • Cancer screening and prevention
  • Experimental therapeutics
  • Healthcare disparities
  • Global health

Training features of the program include didactic coursework in the areas of responsible conduct of research, biostatistics and epidemiology, and cancer-related electives, national scientific meetings and numerous other multi-disciplinary seminars, lectures and symposia.

Mission Statement

The training programs of the UCI School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology are united in their support of our institutional mission to Discover, Teach, Heal. Our fellowship mission is to heal women with gynecologic cancer by training, mentoring, and inspiring our fellows to: be life-long learners, reach their full potential as clinicians and surgeons, advance the science of gynecologic cancer research in a meaningful way, and perpetuate our tradition of excellence in education through teaching.

Program Aims

The mission of the UC Irvine Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program is to train academic gynecologic oncologists to organize and direct academic research-oriented units in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology throughout the country. This mission is aligned with the School of Medicine’s tripartite mission of Discover, Teach, Heal. The central objective is for each fellowship graduate to not only attain sufficient competency but to excel in patient care, medical knowledge, professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice to provide safe and effective care to women with gynecologic cancers. Comprehensive program goals and objectives provide a structure of graduated responsibility across multiple practice settings that serve culturally diverse populations with a spectrum of health conditions and variable access to care. Our program distinguishes itself by employing nationally and internationally renowned faculty in addition to offering extensive clinical research experience, robust clinical and surgical training, and leadership in national and international professional organizations.

Program Strengths »

The UC Irvine Division of Gynecologic Oncology fellowship training program has been successful in several areas:

  • The division has continually nurtured basic research collaborative work for its gynecologic oncology fellows through its ties with the strong basic research on the main UC Irvine campus and at UC Irvine Medical Center.
  • The research lines have been focused with each fellow building upon the work of previous fellows, current and past faculty, leading to significant results with clinical relevance. The division encourages the exposure of new fellows to the research interests of the training mentors.
  • The fellows have not only been successful in producing basic research results, they have served as translational agents in bringing these basic research efforts into the clinical component of their training.
  • The research experience of these physician scientists has made major contributions to the treatment options available to women with gynecologic cancers.
  • As the foundation for a strong training program in gynecologic oncology requires a large source of patient referral, the high esteem with which the program's faculties are held in the community is, perhaps, one of its greatest strengths. All of the physicians based at UC Irvine Medical Center are recognized within the area for their clinical skills and research accomplishments. Each attracts a large number of referrals to the system, helping to support fellow training.
  • Our program has a close affiliation with the Departments of Radiotherapy, Pathology and Interventional Radiology at all facilities participating in the fellowship training program. The collegial working relationship with members of these departments has ensured that patients receive optimum care and fellows receive comprehensive training.
  • Finally, the high quality of residents in our department programs which is generally acknowledged to be among the best in the country  attracts high-quality applicants for the fellowship program while providing superior support for the day-to-day management of patients with complex medical and surgical problems. 
Fellowship Structure »

The Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship at UC Irvine Medical Center is a three-year fellowship program which includes 12-month period of research investigation and 24 months of patient care, as described by the Division of Gynecologic Oncology of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  • Year 1: 11 months research rotation including time in assigned lab; 1 month clinical
  • Year 2: 12 months of clinical rotations
  • Year 3: 11 months of clinical rotations; 1 month research
Clinical Sites »
  • St. Joseph Hospital: Higher volume and acuity community setting, no residents, large nursing team with navigators and chemotherapy nurses, some clinical trials, strong pathology, large multidisciplinary tumor boards, integrated ICU, radiation oncology, genetics, pathology, palliative care
  • Long Beach Memorial: Moderate volume and acuity community setting, one resident team, Todd Cancer Institute, active clinical trials, integrated ICU, radiation oncology, genetics, pathology, palliative care
  • UC Irvine Medical Center: Highest volume and acuity, three-resident team, National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, active clinical trials, integrated ICU, radiation oncology, genetics, pathology, palliative care
How to Apply »

Interested physicians are encouraged to apply for fellowship positions through the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) ERAS Program website

All of the following required documents must be received through ERAS to be considered for an interview:

  • A completed application
  • Medical School Transcript
  • MSPE
  • At least three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Photo
  • USMLE scores

An interview will be necessary for consideration. Do not send official transcripts, CREOG scores, or any other additional documents via email.

We will begin accepting applications for fellowship positions on December 1st.

There will be two interview sessions: July 26, 2024 (an AM session and a PM session).

Our program will adhere to the common program dates set forth by SGO.

For more information, please visit

Current and Graduated Fellows »

Current fellows


Anjali Hari, MD (2020-2024)

Hometown: Diamond Bar, California

Medical School: University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine

Residency: University of California, Los Angeles

Research Interests: I am passionate about global health research especially in cervical cancer as well as disparities research in the United States. I’ve also enjoyed working on translational research during fellowship and HIPEC outcomes.

Hobbies: I love cooking and reading when I have free time. Repotting my plants while watching Great British Bake Off is the best way to destress. I enjoy lifting weights, hiking, and traveling!


Marisa Liu, MD (2020-2024)

Hometown: Reno, Nevada

Medical School: Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine at the University of Vermont

Residency: University of California, Irvine

Research Interests: Marisa is currently completing research on tumor associated carbohydrate antigens. Additionally, her research interests include ERAS and curricula development.

Hobbies: She enjoys travelling, getting lost and spending time with her husband and daughter.


Eduardo Garcia, MD (2021-2025)

Hometown: El Paso, Texas

Medical School: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine

Residency: University of California, San Francisco

Research Interests: My research interests focus on cervical cancer screening inequities and social vulnerability as a predictor of cancer care outcomes in the Latinx community.

Hobbies: I enjoy running and participating in monthly races (10K and half-marathons). I used to be a varsity swimmer and continue to swim recreationally. I also love to travel and explore the outdoors with


Alyssa Bujnak, MD (2022-2025)

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

Medical School: University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine

Residency: University of California, Irvine

Research Interests: Epithelial ovarian cancer tumorigenesis, cancer survivorship, quality improvement

Hobbies: Outdoor activities, kayaking, hiking, gardening, National Parks, tide pooling, mixology, Foodie,


Virginia Fontenot, MD (2023-2026)

Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA

Medical School: Louisiana State University School of Medicine- New Orleans

Residency: Baylor University Medical Center

Research Interests: Effects of obesity on the tumor microenvironment, specifically, as it relates to endometrial cancer.

Hobbies: weightlifting, reading fantasy novels, outdoor activities, cooking and baking


Alex Francoeur, MD (2023-2026)

Hometown: Cupertino, California

Medical School: Boston University School of Medicine

Residency: UC Los Angeles

Research Interests: She is currently performing research in the development of a vascularized microtumor model for epithelial ovarian cancer. She is also interested in health disparities and clinical trials.

Hobbies: Outside of work Alex enjoys being active outdoors, reading, eating sushi and spending time with her Bernedoodle, Zoe.

Recently Graduated fellows

  • Krista Pfaendler, MD (2018): Assistant Professor, West Virginia University
  • Jill Alldredge, MD (2019): Assistant Professor, University of Colorado
  • Lindsey Minion, MD (2020): Assistant Professor, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Juliet Wolford, MD (2020): Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati
  • Diana Pearre, MD (2021): Providence Medical Institute
  • Kiran Clair, MD (2022): Assistant Professor, UC Irvine
  • Carolyn Haunschild, MD (2022): Assistant Professor, UCLA
  • Travis Korenaga, MD (2023): Kaiser Hawaii
Program Alumni »

The following serve as just a few examples of what has been accomplished by some of the graduates of the UC Irvine Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Training Program.

Robert S. Mannel, MD, completed the fellowship in 1989 and joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma where he is currently professor and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Mannel also holds the Rainbolt Family Chair in Cancer and is the director of the Oklahoma University Cancer Institute. He is the Chairman of the Ovarian Committee of the National Institutes of Health/Gynecologic Oncology Group and a Board Examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Joseph A. Lucci III, MD, graduated from the fellowship in 1992 and spent several years at the University of Texas-Medical Branch in Galveston where he was associate professor and director of the fellowship program. He is currently professor and director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He is the co-leader of the Gynecologic Cancer Site Disease Group at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and is the Chairman of the Vaccines Subcommittee of the National Institutes of Health/Gynecologic Oncology Group. He continues to work in the fields of cancer immunology and tumor vaccines.

Robert A. Burger, MD, graduated from the fellowship in 1996 and spent two years at Texas Tech University before returning to UC Irvine where he was appointed associate professor during his 10 years on faculty in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. While at UC Irvine, Burger ran a fully equipped angiogenesis laboratory, maintained a robust clinical practice at three sites, and was principal investigator for the National Cancer Institutes/Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) at UC Irvine, and Chairman of UC Irvine's Institutional Review Board.

A member of both the Ovarian Cancer Committee and the Developmental Therapeutics Committee, Burger ran one of three important phase II trials studying the activity and toxicity of the anti-vascular agent bevacizumab in managing heavily pre-treated women with recurrent ovarian cancer (GOG protocol 170D). For this work, he was appointed principal investigator for the Phase III, randomized, 3-arm, placebo-controlled, trial of upfront therapy employing chemotherapy plus bevacizumab for women with ovarian cancer (GOG protocol 218). During the latter half of 2008, Burger joined the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia as the associate director of research and co-director of the Ovarian Cancer Research Program in the Section of Gynecologic Oncology.

Lieutenant Colonel G. Scott Rose, MD, graduated from the fellowship in 1998 and joined the staff at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC). He is the director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology as well as the director of the Gynecologic Oncology Subspecialty Fellowship Training Program at WRAMC. Rose serves as the deputy director for the Gynecologic Disease Program at WRAMC. In addition to his extensive academic commitments, Rose provided surgical care to wounded soldiers on site in Iraq during 2005.

S. Diane Yamada, MD completed the fellowship in 1999 and is now the director of the Section of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Chicago. She is the principal investigator at the University of Chicago for the National Institutes of Health/Gynecologic Oncology Group and her research has focused on the role of signaling pathways in the modulation of ovarian cancer metastasis. Her work has been sponsored by the Department of Defense, the American Cancer Society, the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation and the Cancer Research Foundation.

Wendy R. Brewster, MD, PhD, completed the research/clinical segment of the fellowship in 1999, and earned her PhD in epidemiology in 2000. She stayed on faculty at UC Irvine where she was appointed director of the Fellowship Training Program in Gynecologic Oncology and made tenure as an associate professor in 2007. At UC Irvine, she was the co-investigator for an NCI-funded grant to study a single visit cervical cancer screening program. Brewster was also the co-principal investigator of the largest cohort of breast cancer survivors receiving hormone replacement therapy. In 2008, Brewster transitioned to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where she assumed the role of director of Women's Health Research.

John K. Chan, MD, graduated from the fellowship in 2003 and spent four years on faculty at Stanford University where he overhauled their research program. This led to the publication of nearly 30 manuscripts and innumerable national presentations. He has since joined the faculty at UC San Francisco as an assistant professor and has received the John A. Kerner Distinguished Professorship in Gynecologic Oncology. He is also the Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at UCSF.

Chan has been the recipient of numerous awards including the New Investigator Award by the Gynecologic Oncology Group/Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation Research Award. He is a member of the Ovarian Committee of the National Institutes of Health/Gynecologic Oncology Group where he has several trials under development. In 2008, he was given an RO3 by the National Institutes of Health for his ongoing work evaluating the practice patterns and outcomes of women at risk for ovarian cancer who undergo prophylactic oophorectomy. 

Questions? Contact

Katie Bacca
OB-GYN Medical Education Manager
UCI Medical Center
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology