Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship and Ph.D. Program

At the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, we offer three-year pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellowships in collaboration with Emory University School of Medicine. Emory is among the largest pediatric hematology/oncology training programs in the country and the premiere program in the Southeast.

In conjunction with the Emory Pediatric Fellowship Program, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology, we also offer a unique pathway for pediatric hematology/ oncology fellows to pursue a Ph.D. degree during the research portion of their fellowship.

The goal of this unique program is to train academically oriented pediatric hematologists and oncologists to be involved in a lifetime of excellence in patient care and teaching while becoming research scholars with in-depth scientific training culminating with a Ph.D. in a biomedical discipline.

Why Choose Children’s?

The Aflac Cancer Center provides advanced diagnostic and clinical care, educational programs, psychosocial support and innovative treatment and research options for children and young adults.

The Aflac Cancer Center is:

  • One of the leading childhood cancer centers in the country according to U.S. News & World Report
  • Among the largest pediatric hematology/oncology divisions in the country, with a 80+-member faculty
  • One of the first established National Institutes of Health (NIH) K12- and K30-sponsored clinical research training facilities
  • One of the top three enrolling institutions for Children’s Oncology Group (COG) trials
  • Member of the COG Phase I consortium—one of only 21 centers in the country and one of three in the Southeast
  • Growing NIH funding
  • Modern, state-of-the-art facilities
  • Largest comprehensive pediatric sickle cell disease program in the country and among the top five hemostasis/thrombosis programs nationally
  • Largest single center experience in the country for matched-sibling transplants for sickle cell disease
  • Ranked among “Top 100 Companies to Work For” by Fortune magazine

Population served

As one of the largest childhood cancer and blood disorders centers in the country, you’ll gain exposure to a high volume and variety of cases. We care for more than 400 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year and follow more than 2,500 patients with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders. In addition, we have performed more than 1,000 bone marrow transplants since our program's inception and follow more than 1,500 survivors through our Cancer Survivor Program.

About Our Program

Our goal is to train academically oriented hematologists/oncologists who will be involved in a lifetime of excellence in pediatric patient care, teaching and research.

Our dual campus model allows fellows to interact with physicians and subspecialty colleagues in both private and academic settings. Our model contributes to some of the country's largest pediatric patient volumes, exposing fellows to more educational cases and greater research opportunities.

Download our Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program brochure

Accreditation

Our fellowship program has received full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is affiliated with Emory University School of Medicine, which is ranked among the top research medical schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Funding

There is funding for five new fellows each year to be fully supported throughout the three-year program. Additional years of research training, including application for the Masters of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) program, are available for highly qualified candidates.

The Aflac Cancer Center receives funding for its fellowship program from the St. Baldrick's Foundation and CURE Childhood Cancer. These organizations encourage promising new medical professionals to pursue pediatric cancer research as a specialty.

Learn more about St. Baldrick's Foundation

Learn more about CURE Childhood Cancer

Curriculum

First-year fellows spend the majority of their time in clinical rotations. Second- and third-year fellows primarily spend their time in various research and educational activities. Each fellow maintains a continuity clinic one day a week for the entire three years. The Aflac Cancer Center also guarantees a fourth year of fellowship to continue to hone research skills.

Below, is a snapshot of our fellowship program:

Clinical rotations—first year

  • Inpatient hematology/oncology (three months)
  • Blood and marrow transplant—inpatient/outpatient (two months)
  • Clinic/consult (two months)
  • Outpatient hematology (two months)
  • Neuro-oncology—inpatient/outpatient (one month)
  • Laboratory rotation: radiation oncology, hematopathology, flow cytometry, cytogenetics, blood banking and special coagulation (one month total, divided into two-week blocks)
  • Research exploration (one month total, divided into two-week blocks)

Research—second/third year

Second- and third-year fellows are offered a variety of opportunities in clinical, translational and basic research. These opportunities are available at the Aflac Cancer Center and within specific divisions of the Emory University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics.

We are devoted to training physician-scientists seeking careers in laboratory-based academic pediatric hematology/oncology. Research opportunities are performed in collaboration with faculty at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, the Emory School of Public Health, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In additional to the laboratory-based research track, we offer a clinical research track for fellows interested in careers as clinical investigators. Formal training in clinical research can be obtained through early involvement in several ongoing clinical trials within the institution. Fellows interested in clinical research are encouraged to apply for Emory's Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) program. We are in a unique position to offer special resources for laboratory and clinical training, such as the MSCR program, for the entire fellowship period and for extended periods of research time, if required.

We have an individualized scholarship oversight/mentoring committee to guide fellows through their fellowship research experience.

Research—optional fourth year

The fourth year of fellowship is almost exclusively devoted to research. It is available with funding to all fellows. This additional year allows fellows to increase skills for competitiveness in garnering future K-type or other awards for young investigators.

On-call schedule

Night call takes place from home. Fellows occasionally return to the hospital to evaluate extremely ill or newly diagnosed patients.

  • First year: 53 weekday nights and 12 weekends (one/month)
  • Second year: 46 weekday nights and 8 weekends
  • Third year: 4 weekday nights and 6 weekends

Didactic schedule

A variety of educational meetings are offered in addition to structured teaching, ethics and research overview courses throughout the year.

Additional benefits of the program

Fellows receive three weeks of vacation per year. Each fellow has an educational stipend, which may be used for meetings, journals or other educational expenses. Senior fellows attend additional scientific meetings, based upon research presentations.

How to apply

In order to be considered for our fellowship program, applicants must have completed an accredited three-year pediatric residency in North America by the beginning of the program.

To apply
We use the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) to process all fellowship applications.

How to apply:

  • Visit the ERAS website
  • Select "MyERAS"
  • Note your Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) ID and self-created password for future access

Contact Angie Graves with questions
Email: Angie.Graves@emory.edu

Application requirements checklist
Applicants must submit:

  1. Curriculum vitae (including academic honors, membership in organizations, research experience and extracurricular activities)
  2. Three letters of recommendation
    1. Faculty member from Division of Hematology/Oncology
    2. Faculty resident advisor or residency program director
    3. A professional of your choosing (if significant research involvement, letter from research mentor)
  3. Copy of dean’s letter and evaluation
  4. Medical school transcript
  5. Personal statement (including a description of previous research and clinical experience, reason for interest in a career in pediatric hematology/oncology, and your career goals for the next five years)
  6. Copies of United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores, Step 1 and Step 2 only
  7. Immigration visa copy (if applicable)
  8. Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certificate (if applicable)
  9. Passport style photograph

Application timeline and selection procedure
July 1 – ERAS website opens to residents to begin building their applications
Dec. 1 – Fellowship programs can begin downloading applications via ERAS
Early Jan. – Interviews begin for the four positions into the July fellowship class
Early April – Interviews end
Mid April – National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) rank list closes
May 1 – Match day

Current and past fellows

First year 

Megan Brown, MD
College: Michigan State University
Medical School: Michigan State University
Residency: Children's Hospital Colorado

Christina Caruso, MD
College: Boston College
Medical School: Creighton University
Residency: North Shore-Long Island

Amanda MacGregor Harrington, MD
College: University of Georgia
Medical School: Medical College of Georgia
Residency: Tufts Medical Center

Rafi Kazi, MD
College: Harvard University
Medical School: University of Arkansas
Residency: University of Rochester

Anthony Ross, MD
College: Duquesne University
Medical School: University of Pittsburgh
Residency: Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Second year

Ashley Eason, MD
College: University of Georgia
Medical School: Mercer University
Residency: University of Virginia

Dan Runco, MD
College: Creighton University
Medical School: Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
Residency: Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University

Jenny Shim, MD
College: Siena College
Medical School: Albany Medical College
Residency: University of Texas Southwestern Dallas

Sherri Smart, MD, PhD
sheri.smart@choa.org
College: University of Central Arkansas
Medical School: University of Arkansas
Residency: University of Cincinnati (Medicine-Pediatrics)

Michael White, MD
michael.white@choa.org
College: Harding University
Medical School: University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Residency: Vanderbilt University

Third year

Ashley Lanzel, MD
College: University of Georgia
Medical School: Medical College of Georgia
Residency: Johns Hopkins University

Lane Miller, MD
College: Emory University
Medical School: Medical College of Georgia
Residency: Oregon Health & Science University 

Ryan Summers, MD
College: University of Georgia
Medical School: Emory University
Residency: Emory University

Karen Zimowski, MD
College: Clemson University
Medical School: Medical College of Georgia
Residency: Johns Hopkins University

A list of past fellows

Testimonials

“I think the biggest strength of the program is the large hematology and oncology populations we have access to here. The research opportunities are outstanding and the faculty is very friendly and welcoming.”

Jonathan Metts, M.D.
Second Year Fellow

“I chose Emory because I know that this program is well rounded and provides excellent exposure to a wide variety of both hematological and oncological problems. I love the city and am looking forward to a wonderful experience.”

Sarah Tehseen, M.D.
First Year Fellow

“I chose to train at Emory because of my interest in sickle cell disease; we serve one of the largest sickle cell populations in the country. I am an Atlanta native and was happy to have the opportunity to come back home.”

Margo Rollins, M.D.
Second Year Fellowp