Oncology Student Interest Group

Mission Statement

The Oncology Student Interest Group (OncSIG) at Duke is dedicated to providing students with the opportunity to interact with and learn from professionals in various sub-specialties of the field, including medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and clinical and basic science research. The mission of the OncSIG is to provide learning and community service opportunities for medical students interested in cancer care.



The purpose of OncSIG is:

  • To facilitate interdisciplinary interaction among students and faculty expressing interests in issues relating to oncology.
  • To provide a forum for speakers to present topics of interest to the general membership.
  • To act as an information and referral resource to members pursuing careers in areas related to oncology.
  • To participate, when appropriate, in community projects or with other campus organizations on issues relevant to oncology medicine

Past Events

  • Pancreatic Cancer Talk
  • Dinner discussion with Radiation Oncologist Dr. John Kirkpatrick
  • Life As A Radiation Oncologist with Dr. David Brizel
  • Surgical Oncology Panel
    • Featured a variety of surgeons who discussed their experiences treating cancer patients with surgical interventions
  • Reflections on Palliative Care
    • Collaborative event with Narrative Practice Group and Geriatrics Interest Group featuring two oncology palliative care specialists, Dr. Arif Kamal and Dr. Thomas LeBlanc. There was a strong showing of students from all three student groups and an animated discussion about palliative care through narrative.
  • Pediatric Oncology discussion
    • Pediatric Oncology Discussion with Raymond Barfield, MD/PhD
  • Counseling Cancer Patients
    • Collaborative event with the Geriatrics Interest Group and Psychiatry Interest Group featuring Cancer Center Therapist Tracy Berger. The discussion centered on supporting cancer patients and their families through diagnosis and treatment.
  • MedOnc/HemOnc Panel
    • Featured Dr. Kimberly Blackwell, named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in 2013, and other medical oncologists at Duke
  • Dinner Discussion with Dr. Michael Harrison
    • Dr. Harrison spoke about his career as a genitourinary oncologist
  • Life as a Radiation Oncologist with Dr. Christopher Kelsey
  • Life as an Academic Physician with Dr. Gerry Blobe, MD, PhD
    • Dr. Blobe spoke about life as an academic physician and some of the research opportunities available to medical students
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology with Drs. Daniel Wechsler and Corinne Linardic
    • Discussion of what it is like to work in pediatric oncology, focusing on some of the challenges unique to pediatric cancer care
  • History of Medicine: Breast Cancer
    • Discussion of the history of breast cancer care with Dr. Jeffrey Baker
  • Palliative Care & Oncology w/ Dr. Anthony Galanos
    • Discussion of palliative care work that occurs with cancer patients with dinner
  • CureSearch Walk for Cancer
    • Volunteers attended a walk with children’s activities at a walk benefitting pediatric oncology research
  • OncSIG Career Panel
    • A diverse oncology career panel with dinner
    • In attendance were Drs. Rebekah White (surgical oncology), Tom LeBlanc (hematology/oncology), Daniel Weschler (pediatrics hematology/oncology), Kathy Peters (neuro-oncology), and Rachel Blitzblau (radiation oncology).
  • Spring for Support 5K
    • Race held at Shops at Southpoint by a research group in support of the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program (DCPSP)
  • Advances in Hem/onc with Dr. Krish Patel, hem/onc fellow
    • Using The Emperor of All Maladies as a starting point, we discussed recent advances in cancer immunotherapy, genomics, historical transformation of the disease, and more.
  • Gyn Onc Talk featuring Dr. Fidel Valea, co-hosted with OBGIG
    • Dr. Valea spoke about Gyn-Onc and answered questions.
  • Strike Out for Sarcoma 5K Run/Walk-¬†Saturday
    • In downtown Durham starting at the Old Durham Bulls ballpark.
  • Introductory Meeting on Oncology Student Interest Group.
    • Will talk about OncSIG in years past, exec positions available, and possible topics of interest. Will seek feedback on what oncology topics interest the group for future meetings.
  • OncSIG Oncology Career Panel
    • A panel featuring radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, and medical oncologists will be coming in to speak about their respective roles in the multi-disciplinary care of a cancer patient and will be answering questions.
  • Lunch Seminar with Dr. Walter Lee
    • Dr. Lee is a Head and Neck surgeon who specializes in benign and malignant tumors. In this event, he gave an informal talk about what his day-to-day is like and some of his research interests.
  • Immune Colloquium
    • Heat Biologics (preclinical work — novel vaccines with methodology that enhances antigen presentation/release from tumor cells).
  • Pediatric Heme/Onc Fellows Panel and Welcome Meeting –8/30/16
    • We have an exciting panelist of pediatric hematology/oncology as well as bone marrow transplant fellows coming to speak about their career paths and answer questions! At this meeting we will also briefly discuss some leadership positions that will be open this year for OncSIG for those looking to get more involved.
  • Palliative Care & Oncology w/ Dr. Anthony Galanos– 11/9/16
    • Discussion of palliative care work that occurs with cancer patients with dinner
  • Faculty Speaker: Dr. Shelley Hwang — 3/9/17
  • Conversation with Dr. Yousuf Zafar — 5/3/17
    • Event held in conjunction with the Understanding Healthcare Cost student interest group
  • Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K — 5/6/17

FUTURE EVENTS (Fall 2017) 
Check back soon!

Contact our current group leaders at dukemedoncology-request@duke.edu with any questions or concerns or if you would like to join the Oncology Student Interest Group!