Position Title: Advanced Histopathology Fellowship
Position Status: Limited-Term - 1 year
Position Location: Canada/US/or the Netherlands
Position Reports To: Director or above
Department/Unit Name: Medical R&D/Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Robarts Clinical Trials (RCT), established in 1986, is an academic specialty contract research organization that specializes in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and digestive disease research. The head office is in London, Ontario, Canada in close proximity to the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center led by Dr. Jairath, Dr. Feagan and Dr. Khanna), with additional offices in Amsterdam (campus of the Academic Medical Center and the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center led by Dr. Geert D’Haens) and in San Diego (adjacent to the University of California San Diego Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center led by Dr. William Sandborn). RCT has specific expertise in the design, conduct and implementation of randomized controlled trials with a predominant focus upon inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). RCT supports trials sponsored by pharmaceutical/biotech companies, academics and government agencies.
Over the past five years, several clinicians successfully completed the RCT fellowship program and worked in the theme of index development in IBD trials. These include Dr. Reena Khanna (London, Canada), Dr. Mahmoud Mosli (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), Dr. Mark Saaman (London, UK), Dr. Krisztina Gecse (Budapest Hungary), Dr. Pieter Hindryckx (Gent, Belgium), and Dr Marjolijn Duvenstein (AMC, Amsterdam), all of whom have gone on to take positions at major academic centers in IBD. Our current fellows are Dr. Chris Ma (Calgary, Canada), Dr. Robert Battat (McGill, Canada), and Dr. Parambir Dulai (San Diego, US). We continue to attract interest from international fellows who will be future leaders in IBD. Funding for fellowships has come from combinations of peer reviewed grant funding, RCT funding and industry support.
The duration and scope of the fellowship is one year with the possibility of an extension. Specific areas of research interest include: organizational aspects of clinical trials, clinical trial design, validation of central reading algorithms, development and validation of IBD scoring systems, evaluation and critical appraisal of outcome measures, index development, development and validation of prediction models and precision medicine projects.
For the first time, RCT is now offering a fellowship opportunity in histopathology to further support histopathological index development and validation, quantitative digital pathology including development and validation of artificial intelligence (AI)-tools, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence. The fellow will primarily be based at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona under the supervision of Dr. Rish K. Pai with travel to other RCT sites as needed.
Completion of a successful fellowship will lead to an advanced understanding of the application of histopathology in drug development as it relates to the field of gastroenterology. Specific topics for a histopathology fellowship can be tailored to the candidate’s interest, availability of material and industry collaborations. Possible topics include assessing the operating properties of histological scoring systems in Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC), evaluating the impact of number and location of biopsies on histological endpoints, or developing a novel histopathology index for CD. The fellowship could also focus on the role of immunohistochemistry in clinical drug development, alongside histopathology, endoscopy, patient reported outcomes and clinical pharmacology to provide better insights in the mechanism of action of small and large molecules. Robarts’ recent expansion into the fields of eosinophilic esophagitis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis provides additional areas in which to focus.
Opportunities to publish research findings and interact with an extensive network of key opinion leaders, industry sponsors and academic collaborators will lay a strong foundation for an advanced career in industry, or as an academic pathologist. Our medical research and operations teams mentor the fellows with the goal of promoting growth and sustainability in the field of clinical research.