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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. Our program is one of the largest pediatric hematology/oncology training programs in the country and the premier program in the Southeast. 

Additionally, our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program offers:

The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders 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 and Blood Disorders 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 programs in the country, employing more than 110 faculty members.
  • One of the first established National Institutes of Health (NIH) K12- and K30-sponsored clinical research training facilities.
  • Ranked No. 1 in the country for Children’s Oncology Group (COG) therapeutic clinical trial enrollment, with more than 400 clinical studies available to our patients.
  • A member of the COG Phase I consortium—one of only 21 centers in the country and one of three in the Southeast.
  • Generating direct costs of more than $21.3 million each year in extramural research funding, including more than $12.3 million from NIH.
  • The largest comprehensive pediatric sickle cell disease program in the country and among the top five hemostasis and thrombosis programs nationally.
  • The largest single-center experience in the country for matched-sibling transplants for sickle cell disease.

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 500 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year and follow more than 2,000 patients with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders. In addition, we have performed more than 1,000 BMTs since our program’s inception, and we follow more than 1,500 survivors through our Cancer Survivor Program.

Why choose Atlanta?

  • Cost of living is lower than in other major cities
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport
  • An abundance of museums, theaters and eclectic shopping areas
  • Professional sports teams, including the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta United
  • Vast number of restaurant options, including a wealth of ethnic cuisines
  • Seasonal climate suitable for outdoor activities year-round
  • Within driving distance to both mountains and beaches

Modern, world-class, rich in history.

Ranked among the fastest-growing metro areas in the country, Atlanta combines Southern hospitality with the amenities of any world-class city. More than 6.5 million metro Atlanta residents enjoy the city’s rich history, cultural diversity and lower cost of living.

EXPLORE ATLANTA

Our goal is to train academically oriented hematologists and 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 throughout the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta hospital system. Our program sees some of the country’s largest pediatric patient volumes, exposing fellows to more educational cases and greater research opportunities.

Download our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program brochure.

Our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 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 is affiliated with Emory University, which is ranked among the top research medical schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

There is funding for six new fellows each year to be fully supported throughout the three-year program. Tuition for the Masters of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) Program is also covered for fellows who are pursuing clinical research. Additional years of research training are available for highly qualified candidates.

The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders 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.

First-year fellows spend a 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 and Blood Disorders Center also offers an optional fourth year of fellowship to continue to hone research skills, as well as the opportunity for clinical fourth year fellowships in neuro-oncology and bone marrow transplant. Select fellows who are trained in both pediatrics and internal medicine may pursue training in adult hematology or medical oncology through the Emory University Winship Cancer Institute and will be considered on an individual basis.

Below is a snapshot of our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program:

Clinical rotations—first year

  • Inpatient oncology (three months)
  • BMT—inpatient/outpatient (two months)
  • Inpatient/outpatient hematology (three months)
  • Neuro-oncology—inpatient/outpatient (one month)
  • Subspecialty clinics rotation (one month)
  • Research exploration (one month in total, divided into two-week blocks)
  • Other experiences throughout the year, including radiation oncology, hematopathology, cytogenetics, transfusion medicine
  • Outpatient/subspecialty experiences, including hemophilia clinic, vascular anomalies clinic, stroke clinic, cancer predisposition clinic, cancer survivorship clinic, developmental therapeutics clinic, bone marrow failure clinic, immunohematology clinic and women's bleeding disorder clinic

Research—second and third years

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 and Blood Disorders Center, throughout the Emory University system and beyond.

We are devoted to training physician-scientists seeking careers in academic pediatric hematology/oncology, whether in clinical or laboratory-based research. In addition to research opportunities within the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, fellows may collaborate with faculty at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Emory School of Public Health, Georgia Institute of Technology, Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We offer a clinical research track for fellows interested in careers as clinical investigators. Fellows interested in clinical research are encouraged to apply for the Emory University MSCR Program and to gain exposure through the myriad of ongoing clinical trials available within the division.

In conjunction with the Emory University Laney Graduate School, we also offer a unique pathway for pediatric hematology/oncology fellows to pursue a PhD during the research portion of their fellowship. Opportunities for pursuing doctorate level research exist within the Cancer Biology Program of the Laney Graduate School and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology. 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 also becoming research scholars with in-depth scientific training, culminating with a PhD in a biomedical discipline.

We also create an individualized scholarship oversight and mentoring committee to guide fellows through their fellowship research experience.

Research—optional fourth year

An additional year of training is strongly encouraged and available with funding to all fellows. The typical fourth year is approximately 90% devoted to expanding on a fellow’s research and allows the fellow to increase competitiveness in garnering future career development awards or other grants for young investigators. Approximately 10% of the time is allotted for clinical exposure in the fellow’s area of interest as instructor-level faculty. Separate subspecialty fourth-year fellowships are also available in BMT, neuro-oncology and transfusion medicine.

On-call schedule

Night call takes place from home. Fellows occasionally return to the hospital to evaluate newly diagnosed or extremely ill patients. Approximate totals are listed below:

  • First year: one night per week and one weekend per month
  • Second year: two nights per month and seven to eight weekends
  • Third year: one to two nights per month and three weekends

Didactic schedule

A variety of educational meetings are offered in addition to structured teaching, ethics and research overview courses throughout the year. Fellows participate in weekly tumor boards and monthly academic half days.

Additional benefits of the program

Fellows receive three weeks of vacation each 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 on research presentations.

In order to be considered for our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, applicants must complete an accredited three-year pediatric residency in North America before the start of the program. International medical graduates are welcome and encouraged to apply.

Children’s welcomes and appreciates everyone, regardless of gender or gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion, health status or family composition. Our goal is to be a place where people feel valued for their professional and personal contributions, and to be a model for standing against discrimination, and standing for diversity and inclusion.

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 Dill, Education Coordinator, with questions.

Application requirements checklist

Applicants must submit:

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

View the application timeline and selection procedure.

First-year fellows

Sally Azer, MD
College: University of Missouri–Kansas City
Medical school: University of Missouri–Kansas City
Residency: Eastern Virginia Medical School and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters

Frank Chien, MD
College: Swarthmore College
Medical school: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Residency: Inova Children’s Hospital

Jonathan Ebelhar, MD

College: Millsaps College
Medical school: University of Mississippi
Residency: Emory University School of Medicine

Paul George, MD
College: Tulane University
Medical school: Washington University–St. Louis School of Medicine
Residency: Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital

Sharmila Raghunandan, DO
College: Macalester College
Medical school: University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: University of Minnesota

Justin Yoo, MD
College: Emory University School of Medicine
Medical school: Emory University School of Medicine
Residency: Duke University

Second-year fellows

Dailia Francis, MD, PhD
College: City University of New York–Hunter College
Medical school: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Residency: University of Pittsburgh

Sanyu Janardan, MD
College: University of Minnesota
Medical school: University of Minnesota
Residency: Yale University

Jamie Oakley, MD
College: Mercer University
Medical school: Medical College of Georgia
Residency: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Arhanti Sadanand, MD
College: New York University
Medical school: Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine
Residency: Washington University, St. Louis

Nathan Yarnall, MD, MPH
College: University of North Carolina
Medical school: University of North Carolina
Residency: Emory University School of Medicine

Third-year fellows

Holly Edington, MD
College: University of North Carolina
Medical school: University of Toledo
Residency: Eastern Virginia Medical School and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters

Diana Fridlyand, MD
College: Emory University School of Medicine
Medical school: Medical College of Georgia
Residency: Children’s Hospital of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia

Julie Gilbert, MD
College: Yeshiva University
Medical school: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Residency: Montefiore Medical Center

Juhi Jain, MD
College: University of Washington Seattle
Medical school: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Residency: Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital

Pratik “Tik” Patel, MD
College: University of Virginia
Medical school: University of Virginia
Residency: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

See a full list of past fellows.

“I think the biggest strength of the program is the large hematology/oncology populations we have access to here. The research opportunities are outstanding, and the faculty is very friendly and welcoming.”–Jonathan Metts, MD, Class of 2015

“I chose Emory University because I know that this program is well-rounded and provides excellent exposure to a wide variety of hematological and oncological problems. I love the city and am looking forward to a wonderful experience.”–Sarah Tehseen, MD, Class of 2016

“I chose to train at Emory University because of my interest in sickle cell disease; we serve one of the largest sickle cell disease populations in the country. I am an Atlanta native and was happy to have the opportunity to come back home.”–Margo Rollins, MD, Class of 2015

“I chose Emory University for my fellowship for a variety of reasons. The clinical exposure to the full breadth of hematologic and oncologic conditions is unmatched, and there are limitless opportunities for research and academic pursuits regardless of your field of interest. Additionally, program leadership truly values and prioritizes fellow development and education, and the entire department is collegial and supportive with a strong focus on providing the highest quality care to our patients.”–Megan Brown, MD, Class of 2020

“It is important to me that I train at a large academic institution that is equally dedicated to and strong in hematology/oncology, and I have definitely found that at Emory University.”–Christina Caruso, MD, Class of 2020

“I chose Emory University because I knew it was one of the best programs in the country and would offer me a wealth of learning opportunities. Equally as important, I chose Emory University because of the people who work here. I felt like this would be a place that I could thrive, while also surrounded by people who love what they do and are always striving to provide excellent patient care. Between high patient volume, a structured learning environment with commitment to fellow education and a supportive faculty with leading experts in the field, I knew this was the right program for me.”–Amanda (MacGregor) Harrington, MD, Class of 2020

“I was excited by the broad clinical opportunities and strong research program. Also, everyone was very nice.”–Rafi Kazi, MD, Class of 2020

“I chose the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center for its well-rounded hematology/oncology training, as well as its dedication to excellent patient care and cutting-edge research.”–Anthony Ross, MD, Class of 2020

Our fellowship program leaders include:

Learn more about our pediatric hematology/oncology team and their interests.

Our state-of-the-art campus is set to open in 2025

The North Druid Hills campus is designed to improve outcomes, help deliver advanced care and bring lifesaving medical research directly to patients.