Ascension St. John Hospital Hematology Oncology Fellowship


Ascension St. John Hospital's Hematology and Oncology Sub-specialty Fellow Training Program is a three year combined Hematology and Oncology Program targeting qualified fellows each year. 

The Training program comprises of 13 months of in-hospital clinical rotations, 11 months of elective/clinical rotations, and 12 months of basic or clinical research experience, continuity clinics and planned didactic conferences and lectures throughout the 3-year program.

Each Hematology-Oncology Fellow receives support to attend one professional meeting each year, such as the American Society of Hematology or American Society of Clinical Oncology. Each fellow is nominated for professional membership in these Societies.


Zyad Kafri, MD, MS, FACP

Program Director
Amr Aref, MD
Danielle Bell, MD
Richard Berri, MD
Tarik Hadid, MD, MS, FACP
Hosam Hakim, MD
Allison Jay, MD
Elon Knoll,MD
Daniel Lebovic, MD
Adonis Lorenzana, MD
Robert Morris, MD
Jerome Seid, MD

Training is Divided as Follows

Hematology 6 months
Oncology 6 months
Bone Marrow Transplant 1 month at Karmanos
Ambulatory Malignant Hematology Clinic 2 months
Ambulatory Benign Hematology Clinic 1 month
Breast Cancer Specialty Clinic 2 months
Ambulatory Oncology/Genetics/Palliative 2 months
Laboratory Medicine/Apheresis 1 month
Radiation Oncology 1 month
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 1 month
Gynecological Oncology 1 month
Scholarly Activity 12 months

Inpatient Oncology Rotations

This Oncology Service provides consultations on patients with cancer that are hospitalized at Ascension St. John. In addition, the service provides care for patients admitted to the oncology in-patient service. The assigned fellow and resident are responsible for evaluating the patient’s history, clinical and laboratory findings and using these to make recommendations for further diagnostic evaluations, treatment and monitoring of response. The treatment plan should include management of the cancer and its related symptoms, taking into consideration co-existing clinical conditions. The Hematology-Oncology resident and fellow will present the data to the attending physician on the oncology service and will prepare the official written interpretation and recommendations for the referring physician. The resident and fellow will also continue to follow the patient and write notes when ongoing participation in the clinical care of the patient is warranted. The fellow will also work with the palliative care nurse practitioner that participates on the in-patient team to integrate aspects of palliative care into the patient’s treatment plan as appropriate. Rotation includes: 1-2 half-day continuity clinics at the Van Elslander Cancer Center each week, attendance at the weekly Hematology and Oncology Case conference, participation in the weekly fellow’s Didactic Lecture, and twice a month Journal Club.

Inpatient Hematology

This Hematology In-patient Service provides consultations on patients at Ascension St. John Hospital referred by staff physicians and surgeons. The assigned fellow is responsible for evaluating the clinical and laboratory findings, developing the appropriate interpretation of the clinical database, and formulating understanding of the relevant clinical issues with proper recommendations. The fellow presents the data to the Hematologist Consultant, and prepares the official written consultation providing interpretations and recommendations to the referring house staff and physician. Rotation includes: 1-2  half-day continuity clinics at the Van Elslander Cancer Center each week, attendance at the weekly Hematology and Oncology Case conference,  participation in the weekly fellow’s Didactic Lecture, and twice a month Journal Club. 

Bone Marrow Transplant

Fellows rotating on the BMT at Karmanos will do 2 weeks of Inpatient and 2 weeks of outpatient clinic at Karmanos. They will  experience a comprehensive in-depth exposure to the acute management of patients with hematologic and non-hematologic malignancies who are undergoing autologous or allogeneic transplantation, and patients who are undergoing salvage chemotherapy prior to initiation of the transplant maneuver. In addition, this rotation provides an opportunity for the establishment of patient-oriented clinical research.

Scholarly Activity

Fellows are allowed to have a total of 12 months scholarship with focus on clinical or basic research, usually in their third year of training. Rotation includes 1-2 half-day continuity clinic at the Van Elslander Cancer Center each week, and 1-2 half-day clinic per week in any of the outpatient specialty ambulatory clinics (selected by the Fellow).  Fellows are also required to attend the weekly Hematology and Oncology Case Conference, participation in the weekly Fellows’ Didactic Lectures, participation in research meetings, tumor boards and participation in twice monthly Journal Club.

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We accept applications only through ERAS. Interviews will take place in September and October.

Click here for the  Ascension St. John Hospital Compensation and Benefits Fact Sheet.

2021-2022 Fellows

2020 Graduating Class

“The Ascension St. John Hematology/Oncology fellowship program has helped me to become a confident community Hematologist and Oncologist. The program has a strong focus on patient care, and up-to-date medical practices, which brings the latest in cancer care directly to the bedside. Every core faculty member of this program is invested in teaching, the success of the fellows, and are eager to help in development for our careers. I am honored to have been a part of this program, and I am proud to continue to work for the community where I trained. “

Adam Biedny, DO August 2020

“My time as a fellow at Ascension Saint John Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program was nothing less than spectacular. It is really hard for me to put in words what this experience meant to me, but what I know for sure is that it is the single best experience of my lifetime. On one hand, it was a rich experience full of knowledge and education that shaped me into the Hematologist/Oncologist that I am today. On the other hand, the connections with the attendings and support staff was so special that I can only describe it as relationships between members of a strong and beautiful family. Two people that truly symbolize the soul of this program are the Program Director Dr Zyad Kafri and the Program Coordinator Mrs Kathy Clancy. Dr Kafri single handedly made my stay in this program as a memorable one: his personality, demeanor, wealth of knowledge, pleasant presence and infectious smile were an absolute joy. He is so dedicated to make the experience of every fellow as a special, educational, and unforgettable one. Mrs Kathy Clancy complements Dr Kafri’s attributes by providing unconditional support, love and care to all fellows and their wellbeing. Dr Kafri and Mrs Clancy built this program from scratch with a single goal in mind: shaping fellows into accomplished and confident Hematologists/Oncologist that can be ambassadors of this program anywhere they go. At the end of my training I was accepted into Baylor College of Medicine as a junior faculty. My new mentors and colleagues are already very impressed with my work ethics and knowledge especially that I come from a relatively newly established community program. I recommend this program to anybody who wants to become an established and bright Hematologist/Oncologist. This program will allow you to grow into your dream in an environment that is friendly and family oriented. If I can go back in time, I would choose Ascension Saint John Hospital Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program all over again.”

Jason Mouabbi, MD  August 2020

2019 Graduating Class

“My time at St. John hospital was amazing! I learned a lot about managing different Cancers and blood disorders. All of the attending physicians are interested in teaching and happy to do it. What I loved about this program was you can choose what you would like to be. If interested in being a Community General oncologist this is the place to be. If you love the academic life you will have plenty of opportunity.  You can also pursue research if that is an interest. No wonder that over three years of graduates 50% of them will be following academic settings, MD Anderson, Cornell University and Baylor for future subspecialization. the program is very close-knit  everyone is friendly. I really enjoyed my time at St John Hospital Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program.”

Hosam Hakim, MD July 2019  - Dr. Hakim joined Great Lakes Cancer Management here at St John Hospital   July 2020 Update - Dr. Hakim continues with  Great Lakes Cancer Management

“One of the strong points of our program is the strong emphasis on the ground education.  I feel that on our graduation, we are well equipped to treat bread and butter oncology cases . Our fellowship is a very busy fellowship and the patient exposure is very good.  We are trained to be good community oncologists.”

Abhishek Seth, MD July 2019   - Dr. Seth joined Prevea Health at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, WI   July 2020 Update - Dr. Seth is continuing his time at Sacred Heart Hospital

2018 Graduating Class

"My stay at St. John was one of the most important and rewarding time of my medical training. Though, I was a little uncertain about my career when I joined fellowship program considering I would be the first graduating fellow of this new program, however i was pleasantly surprised by my experience, and type of attention and close mentoring that I received by both faculty as well as the supporting staff.  Although every individual of the fellowship program helped me grow during my fellowship I would like to point out Dr. Kafri as the key person in mentoring and teaching me not only the medical aspect of oncology but also humane and ethical aspect of medicine as well.  I think he is truly a great physician and even a better mentor and teacher.  He sincerely works for the betterment of the program and invests his precious time to build careers of his fellows.  It is an amazing task to build a new program from scratch and bring it to such a level that is attracting such wonderful candidates for future fellowship positions.  Now it has been two weeks since I started working at Weill Cornell, and I have already experienced the dividends of my training at St. John.  I feel like I am ready and confident for real world oncology practice.  My new mentor and colleagues are already impressed by my work and knowledge at Weill Cornell.  I think it is due to the exceptional leadership of Dr. Kafri and his awesome team.  In a nutshell, I would recommend this program without any hesitation to anybody who is interested in learning the science and art of practicing Hematology/Oncology" 

Uqba Khan, MD  July 2018 - Dr. Khan graduated in June 2018. He joined Weill Cornell as a Junior Faculty Member in the GI department.  Starting in July 2019 Dr. Khan will continue as an Assistant Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.  July 2020 update - Dr. Khan Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine-Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University.  Attending Physician at New York-Presbyterian/Brooklyn Methodist Hospital

"Starting as the first batch in a new program was intimidating but also challenging.  On the first day I felt that I am in a different world that speaks a different language.  i still can't believe that, by the end of the first year I was sitting comfortably in tumor boards giving my opinion about the cases presented.  The energy, the enthusiasm and team spirit in my program, pushed me to give my best and be my best. It was an enjoyable journey.  We came across challenges but we got stronger going through them.  I thank my program and everyone that worked with me to be a better Hematology/Oncologist.  My plan is to pursue further education in Lymphoma at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  After that I plan to join an academic institution to be part of educating fellows and residents." 

Dahlia Sano, MD  June 2018 - Dr. Sano graduated in June 2018 and went on to further her education in Lymphoma at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.  In August 2019 Dr. Sano will be joining the Lymphoma Department at Karmanos Cancer Center as an Assistant Professor for Wayne State University. July 2020 update - Dr. Sano Assistant Professor/Lymphoma Specialist at Karmanos Cancer Institute.