Skip to main content
An official website of the United States government

Current and Alumni Fellows

Get to know our current fellows, and learn how IOTF is helping them achieve their professional goals in oncology product research and regulatory review. A list of all alumni fellows can be found below.

Current Fellows

Learn more about the experiences and research interests of our current fellows.

Kun Dong, Ph.D.

The IOTF program is an excellent program which provides fellows the chance to be involved in FDA mission-related bioassay development and allows you to learn more product related challenges. More important, it provides a unique chance for trainees to get exposed to regulatory work process and performs hands-on review of product application during the fellowship. 

Dr. Dong received her Ph.D. in Integrative Physiology & Pharmacology at the University of Georgia in 2017. She then went on to perform 3 years of post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. David Roberts in the Laboratory of Pathology at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Dong joined the NCI-FDA Interagency Oncology Task Force (IOTF) Fellowship in September 2021 as a product quality research/review fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Wendy Weinberg.

Dr. Dong's Career Goals

My career goal is to become a full-time scientific reviewer at the FDA after familiarizing myself with the regulatory work process at CDER during my IOTF fellowship.

Katherine Elfer, Ph.D., MPH

As a CPFP-IOTF fellow, I have access to training in the full scope of medical device development, from ideation through regulatory approval. This unique vantage point provides better understanding of the avenues and gaps in translating novel technology from the laboratory to the hands of medical doctors and communities. 

Dr. Elfer was awarded her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University in 2018 as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. She then earned her Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health through the NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP). Following her MPH, Dr. Elfer joined Track 4 of the NCI-FDA Interagency Oncology Task Force Fellowship (IOTF) in October 2020 under the mentorship of Dr. Brandon Gallas of CDRH/OSEL/Division of Imaging, Diagnostics, and Software Reliability.

Brian Kwee, Ph.D.

My experience as an IOTF fellow has provided me valuable regulatory insights for cell and tissue therapies. In particular, I have learned significantly about regulatory review for the manufacturing of cell therapies, as well as the importance of critical quality attributes and potency assays. Furthermore, I’ve developed proficiency in conducting regulatory science research focused on evaluating cellular functional heterogeneity.

Dr. Kwee received his Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences (Bioengineering Concentration) at Harvard University. He then went on to perform three years of post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Kyung Sung in the Cell and Tissue Therapy Branch at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Kwee joined the NCI-FDA Interagency Oncology Task Force Fellowship in September 2021 as a research/review fellow and continued to work in the laboratory of Dr. Kyung Sung.

Dr. Kwee's Career Goals

I will be starting as an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware in January 2023. I will be developing a laboratory that focuses on leveraging my expertise in immunoengineering and cell manufacturing to enhance the efficacy of tissue engineering therapies for musculoskeletal tissues. My experiences as an IOTF fellow will be invaluable for developing my research interests in cell manufacturing and developing courses at the University of Delaware that focus on biologics and medical device regulation.

Samuel Troy Pellom, Ph.D.

Participating in the IOTF fellowship has been an immersive learning experience. Receiving training and gaining knowledge on the total product life cycle of medical devices and how they are regulated for safety and effectiveness, marketing, sale, and distribution has been invaluable. Performing hands-on review of regulatory applications with highly experienced team members is one of the greatest benefits of this program. Everyone is so collegial and supportive. It makes the experience even more enjoyable.

Dr. Pellom received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences (Concentration: Microbiology & Immunology) from Meharry Medical College. He then went on to perform 4 years of post-doctoral training in the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology with Dr. Jeffrey Schlom at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Pellom joined the NCI-FDA Interagency Oncology Task Force Fellowship in September 2021 as a medical device review fellow in the radiation therapy devices team, a part of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Dr. Pellom's Career Goals

My career goal is to use the training from the IOTF fellowship to contribute to public health by ensuring safe and efficacious devices reach the patients that need them. I would like to be a benefit to the FDA and the general public as a full-time reviewer. 

Alumni Fellows

Here is a list of IOTF fellows, listed by cohort year.

Jessica Eisenstatt, Ph.D.

Dr. Eisenstatt received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She went on to perform her postdoctoral work in the Genetics Branch at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Dr. Eisenstatt joined the NCI-FDA Interagency Oncology Task Force Fellowship in September 2020 and is working as a product quality reviewer and regulatory researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Deborah Hursh. 

Catherine Fischer, Ph.D., MPH

Dr. Fischer received her Ph.D. in Pathobiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She then joined the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute in 2019 and went on to receive her MPH at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Dr. Fischer joined the NCI-FDA Interagency Oncology Task Force Fellowship in September 2020 in the laboratory of Dr. Rosalie Elespuru.

Nina Kim, M.D.

I have had the unique opportunity to learn the inner-workings of the FDA and learn how the FDA evaluates new protocols and drug applications.  Learning to perform comprehensive reviews of regulatory applications with a highly experienced mentor has been a unique benefit of this program.  I participated in the inaugural FDA-AACR fellowship, which was an incredible learning experience.
Dr. Kim received her M.D. at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  She completed 3 years of residency training in internal medicine at the Mount Sinai Hospital, Icahn School of Medicine campus in New York City.  She is now completing her clinical fellowship I hematology and medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.  She joined the NCI-FDA Interagency Oncology Task Force fellowship in October 2020 as a clinical reviewer in CDER, Office of Oncologic Diseases with Dr. Kelly Norsworthy as her primary mentor.


  • Emine Guven-Maiorov, Ph.D.


  • Qiong Fu, Ph.D.
  • Michael Moses, Ph.D.
  • Ancy Nalli, Ph.D.


  • Danielle Brooks, Ph.D.
  • Andrew Harmon, Ph.D.
  • Elizabeth Lessey Morillon, Ph.D.
  • Jun Zhao, Ph.D.


  • Andrea George, Ph.D.
  • Karol Szczepanek, Ph.D.
  • Mayumi Takahashi, Ph.D.


  • Ekaterina Allen, Ph.D.
  • Aysegul Ergen, Ph.D.
  • Anna Kwilas, Ph.D.
  • Sandhya Sanduja, Ph.D.
  • Nailing Zhang

See more IOTF Alumni from 2009-2014.


  • Updated:

If you would like to reproduce some or all of this content, see Reuse of NCI Information for guidance about copyright and permissions. In the case of permitted digital reproduction, please credit the National Cancer Institute as the source and link to the original NCI product using the original product's title; e.g., “Current and Alumni Fellows was originally published by the National Cancer Institute.”