Fellowships train the next generation of cancer specialists

Dr. Khalil Hetou and Dr. Shiva Nair

With new discoveries made in health care every day, the practice of medicine is constantly evolving. It is therefore essential that physicians continue to hone and refine their skills long after receiving their MDs.

At the London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP), fellowships give physicians the opportunity to become experts in a specific area of cancer care. Fellowship training may involve both clinical and research activities. Donor support provided the necessary funding for the following fellowships:


The prestigious Urologic Oncology Fellowship is one of just two fellowships in Canada accredited by the Society of Urologic Oncology, and has attracted talented individuals from Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Israel, Italy, New Zealand and the United States, to name a few.

This two-year intensive program was initiated by Drs Joseph Chin and Jonathan Izawa, and is currently under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Power. It consists of one-on-one patient care, surgical care, research and mentorship. The fellowship fosters a new generation of specialists while improving the health of patients with urologic cancers like prostate, bladder and kidney cancers.

The 2017 and 2018 fellowships were awarded to Dr. Khalil Hetou and Dr. Shiva Nair (pictured above). Dr. Hetou pursued his Master’s degree concurrently with his fellowship, and has worked on projects aimed at mitigating some of the discomfort associated with common procedures like cystoscopies (bladder exams through a urethral scope). Dr. Nair has been researching non-invasive genetic interventions that may eliminate the need for cystoscopies for some patients. Both Fellows are contributing to research and care at LHSC, and will also be able to share best practices when they return to their communities in Germany and New Zealand.

“The fellowship has made me a better researcher and surgeon,” Dr. Hetou says. “My knowledge has developed exponentially and the people here encourage me to pursue my own projects, facilitated by excellent access to data and a wonderful team of research coordinators.”


As cancer care becomes more personalized, this timely fellowship takes a genetics-based approach to researching ways of treating patients who have a wide range of cancers.

Dr. Veera Panuganty, Karamountzos Family Fellow in Medical Oncology, is working with a multidisciplinary team to ensure patients receive treatment and care that is suitable for them. Her unique research focuses on determining how breast cancer treatments can be better tailored to patients’ genetics, based on simple blood work.

“I am grateful for the donors of my fellowship and feel blessed to be doing research that’s not being performed anywhere else in the province – and that has the potential to save lives,” Dr. Panuganty says.

Donor funding is critical to the fellowship program at LHSC – your support is helping train tomorrow’s specialists.