UNC Lineberger honors five clinical fellows

UNC Lineberger honored five clinical fellows for their research accomplishments and clinical excellence.

Drs. Satish Gopal, Emily Ko, Yueh Lee, Nathan Sheets, and Angela Smith were recognized at a special reception on June 27 when they received an award of $3,000 and a plaque. This is the second year of the clinical fellows award program, which is funded through the generosity of private donors.

Dr. Shelley Earp, UNC Lineberger director, said, “This year we gave five awards because the quality of the candidates as caring physicians and future clinician-scientists was outstanding. Their excellence reflects the attractiveness of our clinical programs for the best candidates and the quality of training given by our faculty mentors.”

At UNC, Dr. Gopal has completed dual fellowships in infectious diseases and hematology/oncology and will have a joint appointment in both divisions as an assistant professor of medicine. In August, he will travel to Africa to work with cancer-related activities in Malawi where UNC has a number of efforts underway.

Dr. Gopal earned his BA and MPH degrees from UNC and his MD from Duke. He completed an internship and residency at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Ko just completed her gynecologic oncology fellowship and will join the UNC division of gynecologic oncology while completing a master’s degree of clinical research through the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She recently received one of 42 American Society of Clinical Oncology 2012 Young Investigators Awards that will fund her research in “Metformin for the treatment of endometrial hyperplasia.”

Dr. Ko earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and her MD degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School where she also completed a post-sophomore pathology fellowship in 2003. She completed her residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Lee just completed a fellowship in neuroradiology at UNC and holds joint appointments in the departments of radiology where he is an assistant professor and physics and astronomy where he is an adjunct assistant professor.  Dr. Lee has been a key member of the research team led by Dr. Otto Zhou who invented a carbon nanotube-based x-ray source array technology. Dr. Lee led an initiative to develop a pre-clinical imaging system, and for his efforts was awarded the Radiologic Society of North America Trainee Award.  He has several issued US patents and journal publications.

Dr. Lee earned his undergraduate degree from MIT, and a master’s degree from the University of California at San Diego. He earned his MD degree from the UNC School of Medicine and completed a residency in radiology. He also earned a doctoral degree from UNC.

Dr. Sheets is chief resident in the UNC Department of Radiation Oncology.  He was first author of a recent paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association on the comparative effectiveness of IMRT radiation therapy for prostate cancer with proton beam therapy.

Dr. Sheets earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan College of Engineering. He earned his MD degree from the University of Michigan. He completed a transitional residency program at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois and came to UNC in 2009 to complete the residency program in radiation oncology.

Dr. Smith just completed a residency in urologic oncology where she served as chief resident and will join the faculty in that division.  She has conducted important research in bladder cancer, including the evaluation of post-operative complication following radical cystectomy in bladder cancer patients and of the utility of functional assessment and p16INK4a to better outline risk factors in the geriatric bladder cancer population.

Dr. Smith is a Phi Beta Kappa UNC graduate and earned her MD degree from the UNC School of Medicine.

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