The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Surgical Oncology Department offers a one-year advanced training fellowship in hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) surgery that is accredited by The Fellowship Council and The Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (AHPBA).
The mission of this program is to train the next leaders of HPB surgery. MD Anderson HPB faculty members perform more than 500 pancreas, liver and biliary operations per year. Graduates will be well prepared to design and conduct clinical research, plan and execute complex operations using open and minimally invasive approaches, lead multidisciplinary HPB care teams, and have the confidence and expertise necessary to ascend to leadership positions within the field.
1. Completion of a general surgery residency in an approved U.S. or Canadian program
2. Interest in a career in academic HPB surgery
3. Citizen of United States or Canada, or J-1 VISA
How to Apply
Program Structure & Curriculum
There is one position annually for the 1-year HPB fellowship program. The HPB Surgery section is divided into 4 multi-faculty teams that cluster by subspecialty. Fellows spend 8 months on clinical rotations. Two of the 8 months are spent at Houston Methodist Hospital focusing on liver transplant and benign HPB surgery. Two months are assigned for research and rotations in GI Medical Oncology and Interventional Radiology. The remaining months are divided equally between the MD Anderson HPB Surgery teams to provide a broad but comprehensive HPB surgery experience.
The HPB services in the Department of Surgical Oncology are divided into four teaching services with 11 faculty members assigned:
HPB1: Tzeng (Liver, Pancreas), Maxwell (Pancreas, NET liver), Lee (Pancreas)
HPB2: Katz (Pancreas), Snyder (Pancreas), Kim (Pancreas)
HPB3: Vauthey (Liver), Chun (Liver), Newhook (Liver)
HPB4 (MIS focus): Tran Cao (Liver), Ikoma (Pancreas)
Each inpatient and outpatient service are supported by Advanced Practice Providers.
Monday: Liver and Biliary Education Conference and Case Review
Tuesday: Liver and Biliary Multidisciplinary Conference
Wednesday: Pancreas Education Conference and Case Review
Thursday: Pancreas Multidisciplinary Conference
Friday: Neuroendocrine Tumor Multidisciplinary Conference
In addition, the Department of Surgical Oncology holds Surgical Oncology Quality Improvement Conferences and Grand Rounds on Wednesday mornings. HPB fellows will list for review and present selected cases at the QI Conferences. Fellows will also prepare a 1-hour Grand Rounds presentation, to be given to the Department of Surgical Oncology toward the end of their tenure.
Research Opportunities & Career Development
Research excellence is a priority for the HPB section. Fellows have a wide range of research opportunities, from translational science projects to clinical research and quality improvement studies and prospective clinical trials. In 2022, the HPB section authored 63 manuscripts with trainees, had 13 active funded translational and prospective research protocols, and presented 46 abstracts at national and international conferences.
Clinical and quality improvement projects are facilitated by the prospectively maintained Liver/Biliary, Pancreas, Neuroendocrine, and Pancreatic Cyst databases. These projects are often hypothesis generating and serve as the spark for prospective protocols. Fellows are required to complete a minimum of one manuscript prior to graduation.
HPB fellows take part in the annual Surgical Oncology Fellows’ Clinical Trials Design Course. This course consists of four half-day sessions in the first few months of the year that focus on answering research questions in the world of oncology. With 30+ participating faculty and a diversity of experienced trialists hailing from multiple specialties, the didactic sessions review clinical trial logistics and design, budgeting, statistical considerations, ethics in clinical trials, alternative trial design, and other important topics. Fellows will mature a clinical research question into a clinical trial with the help of faculty-lead small group sessions.
Daniel Nelson, DO
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Education: Residency – John Wayne Cancer Institute, Santa Monica, CA, DO – Des Moines University, Undergraduate – Arizona State University
Clinical/Research Interests: Hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer clinical outcomes research, robotic surgery
Hobbies: Jiu jitsu, hiking, road trips
2022: Allison Martin, M.D., Assistant Professor, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC
2021: Bradford Kim, M.D., Assistant Professor, City of Hope, Los Angeles, CA
2019: Timothy Newhook, M.D., Assistant Professor, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
2018: Eve Beaudry Simoneau, M.D., Assistant Professor, University of Montreal
2017: Jason Denbo, M.D., Assistant Professor, Moffit Cancer Center, Tampa, FL
2016: Pragatheeshwar Thirunavukarusu, M.D., Surgeon, Cape Fear Valley Health System
2015: Hishaam Ismael, M.D., Program Director of General Surgery Residency, UT Health East Texas
2014: Amanda Cooper, M.D., Assistant Professor, Penn State Health
2013: Ching-Wei Tzeng, M.D., Associate Professor, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
For inquiries about the Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery fellowship program, contact:
Ching-Wei Tzeng, M.D.
Department of Surgical Oncology
MD Anderson Cancer Center is committed to encouraging good health and staying true to our mission to end cancer. If you are applying for a GME fellowship or residency program starting on or after July 1, 2016, please be advised that MD Anderson will have instituted a tobacco-free hiring process as part of its efforts to achieve these goals. If you are offered an appointment, you will be subject to a Pre-Employment Drug Screen for tobacco compounds in compliance with applicable state laws. If you do not pass the urine drug screening which includes testing for tobacco compounds, you CANNOT be appointed at MD Anderson. Should you fail to meet this contingency, MD Anderson will withdraw your offer of appointment for the academic year. You may reapply for the following academic year, but there are no guarantees that you will be offered a position as many of our programs are already filled for several years out.