Neuro-oncology Fellowship

​About the Fellowship

The Pediatric Neuro-oncology Fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is a rigorous one-year clinical training program. Fellows gain expertise in care and decision-making across the full range of pediatric central nervous system malignancies, including management of rare tumors and recurrent or treatment-refractory disease, as well as in current clinical and translational research.  The fellowship was established in 2004, and has graduated eleven pediatric neuro-oncologists.

The Neuro-oncology Program is a major component of the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases (CCCBD) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Each year our program evaluates 150 new patients, and the average census for the inpatient solid tumor service is 30 patients. Our fellows benefit from the role the program plays in the administration, clinical research, and patient care at the CCCBD and at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the nation. Our program sees an incredibly diverse range of patients, and graduates will become experts in the field of pediatric neuro-oncology. They will acquire further expertise in multi-disciplinary diagnostic and diverse treatment approaches for pediatric neuro-oncology patients. Our program is a leading collaborator with North American multi-center clinical treatment groups. Participation in these consortia and other collaborations gives our fellows the opportunity to learn from the latest innovative clinical trials and treatments for children with CNS tumors. Our fellows will become proficient in interpreting neuro-imaging and neuropathology, as well as devising treatment plans inclusive of chemotherapy, autologous stem cell transplant, and radiation therapy. They will also have the opportunity to conduct clinical research.

Learn More About the Program

  • Research
  • Education
  • Core Conferences
  • How to Apply

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has an active clinical and translational pediatric neuro-oncology research program.

The neuro-oncology fellow is involved in multiple aspects of clinical research conducted at CHLA, including the conduct of multiple early phase clinical trials. The fellow will benefit from CHLA’s active role in the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-oncology Consortium, and the NF Clinical Trials Consortium, among others.

The fellowship does not include a laboratory component; however, through translational Team Science conferences and direct interaction with laboratory investigators, the fellows gain familiarity with the major current topics and problems in translational pediatric brain tumor research. 

The fellow is expected to produce at least one first-author manuscript from a focused clinical research project selected at the beginning of the year.

The fellows’ curriculum consists of multiple formal and informal didactic sessions, core clinical and educational conferences (see below), independent guided reading, and mentored clinical care of a diverse array of neuro-oncology patients in both the outpatient and inpatient setting, as well as consults and second opinions from outside institutions. The fellow has the opportunity for focused cross-disciplinary activities; including, for example, time in the neurosurgery operating room, the radiation oncology suite, the neurofibromatosis clinic, as well as at the newly established Center for Personalized Medicine.

The fellow benefits from additional educational opportunities offered through Saban Research Institute, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Neuro-oncology Tumor Board
This is a weekly multidisciplinary conference to review and discuss current patients. Participants include neuro-oncology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neuropathology, neurology, and translational research staff.

Neuro-oncology Program Team Conference
This is a weekly conference to discuss patients being cared for in the outpatient setting. Participants include neuro-oncology physicians, radiation oncology physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse care mangers, social workers, clinical and translational research staff, psychologists and hospice representatives.

Neuropathology Conference
This is a weekly session with the neuropathologist in order to review the pathologic specimens for all new cases, as well as additional teaching cases.

Radiation Oncology Treatment Planning Review
This conference is held every two weeks in conjunction with the radiation oncologists to review and discuss treatment plans for patients requiring radiation therapy.

Neuroscience Seminar
This is a monthly presentation of a relevant topic by a visiting professor or a member of the neuro-oncology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neuropathology or neurology departments.

Neuro-oncology Research Meeting
This is a weekly meeting to discuss patients on phase I and phase II clinical trials.

Additional Conferences
Hematology/Oncology Tumor Board
Hematology/Oncology Grand Rounds
Hematology/Oncology Journal Club
Hematology/Oncology Fellows Core Curriculum Series

Application eligibility:

  • Applicants should have completed training in an ACGME-accredited Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellowship.
  • Foreign medical graduates (including J1 visa holders) with equivalent qualifications are also eligible to apply and must have completed all three of the USMLE examinations, a CSA exam, and hold a valid ECFMG certificate.
  • Applicants must be eligible to obtain a California medical license.

Application requirements:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement (300 to 500 words)
  • Copy of medical school diploma
  • ECFMG certificate (if applicable)

For additional questions, please contact:

Girish Dhall, MD
Director, Neuro-oncology Program
Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Chair, COG Young Investigator’s Committee
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California
4650 Sunset Boulevard, MS #54
Los Angeles, CA 90027-6016
Phone 323-361-8147
Fax: 323-361-8165
gdhall@chla.usc.edu