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Graduate Medical Education (GME): Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

Ido Paz-Priel, MD
Crystal Mackall, MD
Jeffrey Keefer, MD

Johns Hopkins University/National Cancer Institute
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Training Program

Information for Applicants

Thank you for your interest in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The fellowship programs at the two institutions were merged in July of 2000. This has resulted in combined clinical training during the first year of fellowship at both Johns Hopkins and the National Institutes of Health, with an unparalleled exposure to clinical issues in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. Patients seen at both institutions are largely non-overlapping, giving trainees a unique exposure to the gamut of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology diagnoses and management strategies. Fellowship trainees have access to the wide range of basic science and translational research opportunities available at both campuses during the subsequent years of fellowship. In addition, select fellows may continue to pursue clinical research training with the expectation of receiving an advanced degree (PhD) at the JHU School of Public Health. All fellows may also apply for an Advanced Fellowship Award during their 3rd year of training. If successful, this award provides funding including salary and travel for an additional 1-3 years of training (years 4-6). Selected fellows (based on financial need) are eligible to apply for loan repayment from the NIH. Detailed information regarding the fellowship is available on our Fellowship Program Overview and Information for Applicants Web pages.

Beginning with the group starting in July 2006, seven fellows per year are selected via the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) to train each year in the program. The fellowship is designed to provide clinical and research exposure that allows for the development of subspecialist academicians adept in laboratory and/or clinical research, coupled with superior patient management skills. Training in Pediatric Oncology at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is under the supervision of Dr. Ido Paz-Priel, Director of Fellowship Training and Clinical Director of Pediatric Oncology. Training in Pediatric Hematology is under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Keefer, Co-Director of Fellowship Training at JHU. Training in Pediatric Oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) is under the direction of Dr. Crystal Mackall, Co-Director of Fellowship Training and Clinical Director of the Pediatric Oncology Branch (POB). The first year of the fellowship is largely clinical with inpatient and outpatient exposure at JHU and the NIH. The second and third years are focused research years allowing for training in laboratory and/or clinical research.

Clinical Training

The first year fellowship will include:

  • JHU Hematology Inpatient Service
  • JHU Hematology Outpatient Service
  • JHU Hematology and Clinical Laboratory Training
  • JHU Oncology Service (Oncology and BMT)
  • NIH Leukemia, Lymphoma and BMT
  • NIH Solid Tumor and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Continuity Clinic (weekly during selected rotations)
  • Vacation

JHU Hematology Inpatient Service: This rotation is designed to educate fellows in the treatment of a wide range of hematologic conditions including patients with hemoglobinopathies, coagulopathies, ITP, anemias, and patients requiring chronic transfusions. Fellows are responsible for supervising the care of all inpatients on the hematology service. Additional exposures include teaching in the preparation and interpretation of blood smears and bone marrows.

JHU Hematology Outpatient Service: Exposures during this rotation in hematology includes the evaluation of outside referrals for a wide range of hematologic conditions, and participation in the longitudinal management of children with defined hematologic disorders. Fellows will also have specific responsibilities for the management of patients undergoing erythrocytopheresis.

JHU Hematology Laboratory Training: Rotations are spent in hematology laboratories exposure to Coagulation Lab, Hemoglobinopathies/Routine Hematology, and Blood Bank. The purpose of these laboratory exposures are designed to familiarize the fellow with the gamut of laboratory studies required for hematologic interpretation and diagnoses. Fellows participate in supporting conferences (e.g. coagulation conference).

JHU Oncology Service: Fellows work on the Oncology Team followed by the BMT Team. The Oncology Team fellow supervises the care of newly diagnosed patients, patients with therapy-associated complications, and patients receiving inpatient chemotherapy. Exposure to the broad range of oncologic diagnoses is anticipated. Outpatient exposures during this time include the evaluation of outpatient referrals, assessment of neuro-oncology patients, and evaluation of patients with late-effects related to prior cancer treatment. During the BMT Team rotation, fellows are responsible for the oversight of patients undergoing BMT, as well as patients admitted for complications related to prior transplantation. Outpatient exposures include the evaluation of patients being considered for BMT as well as some participation in the ongoing management of established BMT patients. Fellows have responsibility for the supervision of houseofficers who rotate on the service each month. Newly diagnosed patients are assigned to the fellow for ongoing continuity in the outpatient setting.

NIH Inpatient/Outpatient "Team A": Fellows care for patients with Leukemia, Lymphoma, Stem Cell Transplant and Genetic Tumor Predisposition Syndromes.

NIH Inpatient/Outpatient "Team B": Fellows are responsible for clinical care of patients with solid tumors, Neuro-oncologic conditions, and Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics patients.

The NIH "Team" model allows fellows to care for patients in both the outpatient and inpatient setting. Fellows evaluate all new referrals and provide comprehensive care for patients undergoing treatment or evaluation. In addition, the Pediatric Oncology Branch (POB) offers a consult and second-opinion service and fellows are responsible for the initial evaluation of these patients. Finally, the fellows are responsible for organizing and presenting complicated patients at weekly branch rounds, tumor boards and case conferences.

The advantage of the team model is to provide fellows with a more comprehensive experience in clinical research. Fellows follow patients for an extended period of time, participate in protocol meetings and learn NCI clinical trials in depth. Fellows are directly supervised by the attending physician and have extensive interactions with research protocol principal investigators. This interaction emphasizes the important connection between research, education and patient care.

Continuity Clinic: Fellows are required by the subspecialty board to maintain a continuity exposure during their fellowship. All fellows have continuity clinic at JHU, which is composed of oncology and hematology patients acquired during their inpatient and outpatient rotations at JHU. During the first year of fellowship, continuity clinic is integrated into the various rotations. In subsequent years of training, the fellow individually tailors their continuity experience which occurs at JHU regardless of research locale.

Vacation: Approximately four weeks of vacation are provided per year.

Training in the Second and Third Years

The second and third years of fellowship are designed to be focused research years. To ensure maximum productivity, clinical responsibilities are limited to one-half day of continuity clinic each week and periodic weekend call on the hematology service. The remainder of this protected time is spent pursuing a research initiative tailored to the specific interests of the fellow. Decisions regarding the appropriate locale for research training are made in concert with faculty advisors and fellowship directors. Many fellows focus on basic science research, either in the laboratories of faculty members in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at either institution or in other appropriate laboratory settings. Fellows are free to choose among the many laboratories at JHU and throughout the intramural NIH community. Selected fellows who have chosen to focus on clinical research may apply to the clinical research program at the JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health where formal training and a clinical research experience is provided in the expectation of fellows obtaining a PhD in Clinical Investigation. Fellows may also apply for advanced studies in clinical research through an NIH/POB program providing up to three years of additional research training following the completion initial three years of fellowship training.


Effective mentoring is critical to the success of fellows both during training and to successfully meet the career goals following the completion of training. Each fellow has multiple mentors to assist in professional development:

  1. Fellowship leadership has broad overview responsibilities for being certain that you have a successful fellowship experience. They are available at all times.
  2. Faculty Advisors: Each fellow selects two faculty advisors (one each at JHU and NIH) during the first year of fellowship.
  3. Research Mentors: Once a year a fellow has made a decision regarding research training during the 2nd and 3rd years of training, the person overseeing that research will obviously play the major role in research mentorship.
  4. Scholarship Oversight Committee: All fellows have a committee (much like a thesis committee) that is responsible for research oversight, and eventually, to certify that the fellow has achieved a "meaningful accomplishment in research".

Among the many advantages of the merger is the wide range of research opportunities available to each fellow. Laboratory and clinical research at both institutions are unparalleled and the merger allows the fellow to choose among almost unlimited research options.

Primary Clinical Faculty and Research Interests:

Kenneth J. Cohen, MD (JHU)

Clinical Director, Head, Neuro-oncology Program

Terry Fry, MD (NIH)

Head, Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation Section

Lee J. Helman, MD (NIH)

Head, Molecular Oncology Section and Solid Tumor Program

Javed Khan, MD (NIH)

Head, Genomics Section

Chand Khanna, DVM, PhD (NIH)

Head, Comparative Oncology and Metastasis Biology Section

Jason Levine, MD (NIH)

Bioinformatic Systems

David Loeb, MD, PhD (JHU)

Head, Sarcoma and Neuroblastoma Program

Crystal Mackall, MD (NIH)

Head, Immunology Section

Melinda Merchant, MD (NIH)

Staff Clinician, Solid Tumor Program

Ido Paz-Priel, MD (JHU)

Training Co-Director

Christoph Rader, PhD (NIH)

Head, Antibody Technology Section, Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch

Carol J. Thiele, PhD (NIH)

Head, Cell and Molecular Biology Section

Brigitte Widemann, MD (NIH)

Head, Developmental Therapeutics Section

Lori Wiener, PhD (NIH)

Head, Psychosocial Section

Application Procedure

Applicants who wish to apply to the combined fellowship will need to provide/complete:

  1. Online Application via ERAS [disclaimer]


Upon receipt of all application material (online application, CV and personal statement) and letters of recommendations, selected candidates will be contacted to arrange interviews. Applicants will be required to interview at both JHU and the NIH on subsequent days. No candidate will be offered a position without an interview. In general, interviews will be scheduled between December and March. All applicants will be accepted via the National Residency Matching Program.

Qualifications for Acceptance

  1. Applicants whose supporting documentation and letters of reference are exemplary will be invited to interview. No applicant will be accepted without an interview.
  2. Accepted applicants must successfully complete training in an ACGME accredited pediatric residency or combined med/peds trainingprogram.
  3. Applicants trained in foreign countries must have an ECFMG certificate if they have not subsequently trained in an ACGME accredited pediatric residency program.
  4. An applicant who is not a citizen of the United States or a Permanent Resident must be eligible for an appropriate visa (e.g. J1 or H1B)


All correspondence should be sent to:
Ido Paz-Priel, M.D.
Director, Fellowship Training
c/o Gladys Valencia Novak
600 N. Wolfe St., CMSC-800
Baltimore, MD 21287-5001

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can provide further information.

This page last reviewed on 04/18/14

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