Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship

The Ohio State University College of Medicine Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology, established in 2008, is a three-year program that includes one year of research followed by two years of clinical training. The goal of the fellowship program, led by Ritu Salani, MD, is to train gynecologic oncologists who are exemplary physicians to care for and provide consultation and comprehensive management to patients with gynecologic cancer.

This is accomplished through training fellows to be:

  1. Surgeons, who are able to manage a full range of technical surgical issues and complex medical problems that arise in women with gynecologic cancers
  2. Teachers, who can transmit the information learned during their fellowships to the patients they manage as well as to other medical personnel (i.e. obstetrician/gynecologists)
  3. Researchers, whose investigation of the clinical and basic scientific questions will lead to improved outcomes in women with gynecologic cancers.

Current Fellows:

  • Casey Cosgrove, MD, 3rd year (clinical) from The Ohio State University
  • Monica Vetter, MD, 2nd year (clinical) from the Ohio State University
  • Brentley Smith, MD, 2nd year (clinical) from University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Antonio Castaneda, MD, 1st year (research) University of Southern California
  • Michelle Lightfoot, MD, 1st year (research) MPH Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School


The research fellow is expected to either develop an independent research focus or integrate their interests into an existing collaborative research path within the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. Current basic science research projects include:

  • Immunology and vaccine research in ovarian cancer (specifically peptide design and anti-angiogenic therapy, research by a faculty member in collaboration with PhD immunologist);
  • Molecular biology of endometrial cancer (specifically DNA mismatch repair and epigenetic gene silencing, collaboration with PhD molecular biologists)
  • Molecular profiling of ovarian cancer (specifically pharmacogenomics, collaboration with PhD molecular biologist)
  • Cervical cancer susceptibility (specifically investigation of polymorphisms in TGFBR1)

The Division also has strong clinical research interests focusing on novel therapeutics as well as outcomes research focusing on population science and health disparities (collaboration with PhD population scientists). During the research year, whether the focus is on clinical or basic science, the education of the fellow will be in the development and execution of a research plan based on the scientific method. At Ohio State and through the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Division has established extremely successful research collaborations that continue to expand. Throughout the fellowship, the fellows will perform mentored clinical research as projects evolve. Mentorship will be provided by the faculty who is supervising the research.

Clinical Training

Fellows will be operating with faculty surgeons as the primary surgeon or first assistant, or as the primary surgeon with residents as the first assistant and the faculty member as the second assistant. Since each fellow enters their clinical fellowship years with varying levels of skill and previous experience, there is no formal progression of responsibility as the fellow advances from their junior to senior clinical year. Toward the end of the junior and through the senior clinical year, it is expected that, with experience, the fellow will assume more of a primary surgical role. The primary inpatient management will be the responsibility of the clinical fellows. The level of responsibility in patient management should be constant throughout the clinical fellowship years, but the amount of input from the faculty regarding daily management may vary based on the fellows’ prior experience.

Surgical Experience

Members of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology provide comprehensive services for patients diagnosed with gynecologic malignancies, including radical pelvic surgery, pelvic and vaginal reconstruction, advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery, and care for complications of diseases and treatments. The following are some of the unique clinical services available in the Division:

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery:
    • Advanced laparoscopic surgery in gynecologic oncology has been performed at Ohio State since the 1990s, and continues to play a major role in the surgical management of gynecologic cancer patients.
    • Robotic surgery is performed by many of our physicians.
  • Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT): A dedicated linear accelerator in our cancer operating rooms makes it possible for selected patients to receive advanced radical pelvic surgeries in combination with intraoperative radiation therapy. This technique has been utilized in patients undergoing exenterative procedures, as well as those undergoing lymph node debulking for recurrent gynecologic cancers.
  • Pelvic reconstructive surgery: Members of the division of gynecologic oncology perform these procedures, including myocutaneous vaginal reconstruction.
  • Urologic and bowel surgeries: Faculty in the division of gynecologic oncology perform these procedures, which include continent urinary diversion.

Didactic Education

Formal didactic education within the Division includes:

  • Monthly Morbidity and Mortality review
  • Monthly Departmental Journal Club
  • Quarterly Divisional Journal Club
  • Weekly Gynecologic Oncology Tumor Board
  • Weekly Oncology Fellows’ Lecture Series

Other Information and Requirements

Ohio Medical License: The application process should be started immediately after you have been accepted as a fellow. It can take as long as six months for the Ohio Medical License process to be completed. You will also need a Federation Credentials Verification Service application (FCVS). Both of these websites are self-explanatory with the license requirements and application.

Fellowship Coordinator: Jan Testa (


  • Satisfactory completion of an ACGME approved OB/GYN residency program
  • Provide three years of CREOG exam scores, as well as any relevant outside rotation scoring
  • Provide 3-4 letters of recommendation

Common Dates:

Monday, April 1, 2019: Fellowship application deadline
Monday, April 22, 2019: Invitation to interview sent out to applicants

Interviews will be held on Friday, August 2 and Friday, August 16, 2019.

Additional Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship information can be found through the Society of Gynecologic Oncology.

Ritu Salani, MD

Fellowship Director



Dr. Salani is a gynecologic oncologist and associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Learn More

Contact the Division

Starling-Loving Hall
320 West 10th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210

Division Administrator: Jan Testa

Phone: 614-293-7642