Endocrinology Fellowship

About the Fellowship

The fellowship is a three-year program intended to prepare trainees for a career in academic pediatric endocrinology. The program combines clinical endocrinology and diabetes care with excellent opportunities for clinical and laboratory-based research within the division and through close liaisons within the Department of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, The Saban Research Institute and the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. The fellowship program has a rich history of excellence in endocrinology and diabetes extending back almost 30 years

Learn More About the Program

The Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism has been named one of the top seven programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report for the last six years in a row. With 13 full-time and three part-time attending physicians, two PhD research faculty, two full-time nurse practitioners, as well as many nurse educators, the fellows are exposed to a wealth of expertise in various aspects of pediatric endocrinology. In addition, fellows have the opportunity to interact with other highly regarded and productive divisions in the hospital that care for patients with diverse pediatric issues. It is the intent of the program that fellows will be well-trained in diagnosis and management of endocrine disorders of childhood, be able to teach and lecture on endocrinology and diabetes, and be familiar with the methodology and interpretation of routine endocrine and relevant genetic laboratory studies. Another critical component of the fellowship is to be able to design and carry out clinical and laboratory investigations.

  • Inpatient Service
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Call
  • Research
  • Our Research Projects
  • Publications (last 10 years)
  • Other Educational Experience
  • Meet Our Current Fellows

The fellow will spend 12 months during the fellowship as the "on-service fellow." The service time is generally allocated as follows:

  • six months in year one
  • four months in year two
  • two months in year three

On-service fellows will manage the inpatient endocrine and diabetes service, under the supervision of attending faculty. They will round with pediatric residents and see all consults and primary endocrine and diabetes patients. On-service fellows will also see urgent outpatient consultations, and triage urgent patient phone calls.

When off service, fellows will attend two clinics per week including their own continuity clinic. The continuity clinic will carry on through all 3 years of fellowship and will be staffed by a dedicated attending physician. Non-continuity teaching clinics are preceded by a one-hour conference with the attending, which is spent discussing cases to be seen and endocrine/diabetes topics of interest. Incorporated in teaching clinic schedule are our multidisciplinary clinics including comprehensive CAH and hyperandrogenism clinic, Turner syndrome clinic, EMPOWER weight management clinic, type 1  and type 2 diabetes clinics, rare bone disorder clinic, neuro-oncology Clinic, and thyroid nodule clinic.  In addition, fellows have the opportunity to do rotations in other CHLA divisions, including but not limited to Lipid clinic (Cardiology), Transgender clinic (Adolescent Medicine) and Genetics clinic.

Fellows cover the service on weeknights and weekends all 3 years, in rotation with one another, resulting in being “on call” one in every five or six nights and weekends. Call is primarily from home, though weekend call involves morning inpatient rounds, and fellows are expected to be available to come into the hospital for rare emergencies.

Fellows engage in research throughout their training (for a total of 22 months while "off service"). In their first year, fellows will choose their research project and mentors, in coordination with the fellowship director. They will lay the groundwork for their project(s), and choose their Scholarship Oversight Committee, which will monitor their scholarly progress throughout their fellowship. During the second and third years, fellows will focus primarily on their research project(s). Clinical research projects are expected to be hypothesis-driven and rigorously performed. Bench research should involve a discrete project in which the fellow does the majority of the hands-on work. Both types of research should lead to one or more first-authored publications for the fellow. Fellows are encouraged to attend and present their research at institutional, local, and national scientific meetings, and the division provides clinical coverage and financial support for these activities. Fellows are required to apply for at least one grant during their fellowship.

Endocrinology fellows have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of clinical and laboratory-based research projects. Fellows develop their own projects, building on one of a number of ongoing projects within the division, or with one of collaborators in other divisions at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles or in the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

Below is a list of recent fellow research projects at CHLA:

Endocrinology Research

  • RANK ligand assay: A novel approach to patients with metabolic bone disease
  • Longitudinal assessment of adrenomedullary function from infancy through early childhood
  • Evaluation of abdominal obesity and carotid initmal medial thickness in youth with CAH
  • The role of lymphocytes in the accumulation and activation of adipose tissue macrophages
  • Effect of GnRH agonists on height in transgender patients
  • Pubertal disorders in patients with optic nerve hypoplasia
  • Endocrinopathies and vision outcomes in patients with optic nerve hypoplasia
  • Serum prolactin concentrations in relation to hypopituitarism and obesity in children with optic nerve hypoplasia
  • Early detection of central hypothyroidism and its impact on vision in children with optic nerve hypoplasia
  • Use of dynamic testing to identify adrenal insufficiency in patients with thalassemia major
  • Pharmacodynamics of c-type natriurietic peptide during growth hormone treatment

Diabetes and Obesity Research

  • Diabetes telehealth care beyond high school
  • Barriers to Technology Use in Type 1 Diabetes
  • Food choices in youth with type 1 diabetes
  • Retrospective continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system use in type 1 diabetes patients transitioning to pump therapy
  • Food choice behavior in youth
  • The use of CGM in poorly controlled type 1 diabetes patients on multiple daily injections
  • The effects of vitamin D supplementation on glycemic control and pro-inflammatory markers involved in microvascular complications in adolescents with type 1 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome and diabetes in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Use of exenetide, a GLP-1 agonist, in children with Prader Willi Syndrome

2018

Vidmar AP, Weber JF, Monzavi R, Koppin CM, Kim MS. Improved medical-alert ID ownership and utilization in youth with congenital adrenal hyperplasia following a parent educational intervention.  J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2018;31:213-219.

2017

Ferris JA, Geffner ME. Are aromatase inhibitors in boys with predicted short stature and/or rapidly advancing bone age effective and safe? J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2017; 30:311-317.

Vidmar AP, Miyazaki B, Sanchez-Lara PA, Pitukcheewanont P. X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets, del(2)(q37.1;q37.3) deletion syndrome and mosaic Turner syndrome, mos 45,X/46,X, del(2)(q37.1;q37.3) in a 3-year-old female. J Bone Metab 2017;24:257-261.

Wongsaengsak S, Vidmar AP, Addala A, Kamil ES, Sequeira P, Fass B, Pitukcheewanont P. A novel SLC12A1 gene mutation associated with hyperparathyroidism, hypercalcemia, nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, and nephrocalcinosis in four patients. Bone. 2017;97:121-125.

Salehi PHsu I, Azen CG, Mittelman SD, Geffner ME, Jeandron D. Effects of exenatide on weight and appetite in overweight adolescents and young adults with Prader-Willi syndrome. Pediatr Obes. 2017;12:221-228.

2016

Serrano-Gonzalez M, Shay S, Austin J, Maceri D, Pitukcheewanont P. A germ-line mutation of CDC73/HRPT2 (70 G>T) in an adolescent female with parathyroid carcinoma: first case report and review of the literature. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2016;29:1005-1012.

Ryabets-Lienhard A, Stewart C, Borchert M, Geffner ME. The optic nerve hypoplasia spectrum: review of the literature and clinical guidelines. Adv Pediatr. 2016 Aug;63:127-146.

Stewart C, Garcia-Filion P, Fink C, Ryabets-Lienhard A, Geffner ME, Borchert M. Efficacy of growth hormone replacement on anthropometric outcomes, obesity, and lipids in children with optic nerve hypoplasia and growth hormone deficiency. Int J Pediatr Endocrinol. 2016;2016:5.

Kim MS1, Dao-Tran A, Davidowitz E, Tseng T, Gilsanz V, Ryabets-Lienhard A, Nguyen E, Geffner ME. Carotid intima-media thickness is associated with increased androgens in adolescents and young adults with classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia Horm Res Paediatr. 2016;85:242-249.

Shih EM, Mittelman S, Pitukcheewanont P, Azen CG, Monzavi R. Effects of vitamin D repletion on glycemic control and inflammatory cytokines in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Pediatr Diabetes. 2016;17:36-43.

Olney RC, Salehi P, Prickett TC, Lima JJ, Espiner EA, Sikes KM, Geffner ME. Dynamic response of C-type natriuretic peptide and its aminoterminal propeptide (NTproCNP) to growth hormone treatment in children with short stature. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2016; 2016;85:561-568.

2015

Lin MH, Numbenjapon N, Germain-Lee EL, Pitukcheewanont P. Progressive osseous heteroplasia, as an isolated entity or overlapping with Albright hereditary osteodystrophy. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2015;28:911-918.

Kim MS, Ryabets-Lienhard A, Dao-Tran A, Mittelman SD, Gilsanz V, Schrager SM, Geffner ME. Increased abdominal adiposity in adolescents and young adults With classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-Hydroxylase deficiency. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015;100:E1153-1159.

Lin MH, Wood JR, Mittelman SD, Freyer DR. Institutional adherence to cardiovascular risk factor screening guidelines for young survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2015;37:e253-257.

2014

Shih EM, Mittelman S, Pitukcheewanont P, Azen CG, Monzavi R. Effects of vitamin D repletion on glycemic control and inflammatory cytokines in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Pediatr Diabetes 2016:36-43.

Shih EM, Graham JM Jr. Review of genetic and environmental factors leading to hypospadias.Eur J Med Genet. 2014;5):453-463.

Ryabets-Lienhard A, Kim MS, Bali B, Lane CJ, Park AH, Hall S, Geffner ME. Decreased adrenomedullary function in infants with classical adrenal hyperplasia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014;99:E1597-1601.

2013

Lin MH, Connor CG, Ruedy KJ, Beck RW, Kollman C, Buckingham B, Redondo MJ, Schatz D, Haro H, Lee JM, Tamborlane WV, Wood JR, For The Pediatric Diabetes Consortium. Race, socioeconomic status, and treatment center are associated with insulin pump therapy in youth in the first year following diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2013;5)929-934

Huang K, Malloy P, Feldman D, Pitukcheewanont P. Enteral calcium infusion used successfully as treatment for a patient with hereditary vitamin d resistant rickets (HVDRR) without Alopecia: A novel mutation gene. Gene. 2013;512:554-559.

Salehi P, Koh CJ, Pitukcheewanont P, Trinh L, Daniels M, Geffner M. Persistent Müllerian duct syndrome: 8 new cases in Southern California and a review of the literature. Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2012;10:227-233.

2012

Kim MS, Ryabets-Lienhard A, Geffner ME. Management of congenital adrenal hyperplasia in childhood. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2012;19:483-488.

Lin MH, Pitukcheewanont P. Mucolipidosis type II (I-cell disease) masquerading as rickets: two case reports and review of literature. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2012;25:191-195.

Lin MH, Pitukcheewanont, P. Sertoli cell tumor and intratubular germ cell neoplasia located in separate gonads in an adolescent patient with complete androgen  insensitivity: A case report and review of literature. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2012;25:547-551.

Lin MH, Punyasavatsut N, Pitukcheewanont P. Bone health in children and adolescents. Cur Trends Endocrinol 2012;p:29-38.

Vedin AM, Garcia-Filion P, Fink C, Borchert M, Geffner ME. Serum prolactin concentrations in relation to hypopituitarism and obesity in children with optic nerve hypoplasia. Horm Res Paediatr. 2012;77:277-280.

Fink C, Vedin AM, Garcia-Filion P, Ma NS, Geffner ME, Borchert M.  JAAPOS.  2012 ;16:418-423.

Reh CS, Olney RC, Azen C, Prickett TC, Espiner EA, Geffner ME. Plasma C-type natriuretic peptide forms and thyroid status in prepubertal children with acquired thyroid disease. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2012;76:228-235.

2011

Vedin AM, Karlsson H, Fink C, Borchert M, Geffner ME. Presenting features and long-term effects of growth hormone treatment of children with optic nerve hypoplasia/septo-optic dysplasia. Int J Pediatr Endocrinol. 2011;2011:17.

Pitukcheewanont P, Bali B, Somanunt S, Reiff A. Scleroderma-like skin changes not involving the hand in a prepubertal male with type I diabetes mellitus: A case report. Dermatoendocrinol. 2011;3:230-232.

Reh CS, Hendy GN, Cole DE, Jeandron DD. Neonatal hyperparathyroidism with a heterozygous calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) R185Q mutation: clinical benefit from cinacalcet. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96:E707-712.

Reh CS, Mittelman SD, Wee CP, Shah AC, Kaufman FR, Wood JR. A longitudinal assessment of lipids in youth with type 1 diabetes. Pediatr Diabetes. 2011;12(4 Pt 2):365-371.

Venkatramani R, Ma NS, Pitukcheewanont P, Malogolowkin MH, Mascarenhas L. Gorham's disease and diffuse lymphangiomatosis in children and adolescents. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 ;56:667-670.

Ahmad T, Geffner M, Parks J, Brown M, Fisher L, Costin G. Short stature and metabolic abnormalities in two sisters with a 7.6-kb GH1 gene deletion. Growth Horm IGF Res. 2011;21:37-43.

2010

Reh CS, Geffner ME.  Somatotropin in the treatment of growth hormone deficiency and Turner syndrome in pediatric patients:  a review. Clin Pharmacol Adv Appl 2010;2:111-122.

Ma NS, Shah AJ, Geffner ME, Kapoor N. IGF-I stimulates in vivo thymopoiesis after stem cell transplantation in a child with Omenn syndrome. J Clin Immunol 2010;30:114-120.

Ma NS, Fink C, Geffner ME, Borchert MD. Evolving central hypothyroidism in children with optic nerve hypoplasia. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 2010;23:53-58.

Mittelman SD, Klier K, Braun S, Azen C, Geffner ME, Buchanan TA. Obese adolescents show impaired meal responses of the appetite-regulating hormones ghrelin and PYY. Obesity 2010; 18:918-925.

2009

Ma N, Malloy JP, Pitukcheewanont P, Dreimane D, Geffner ME, Feldman D. Hereditary vitamin D resistant rickets: Identification of a novel splice site mutation in the vitamin d receptor gene and successful treatment with oral calcium therapy. Bone. 2009;45:743-746.

Marathe C, Bradley MN, Hong C, Chao L, Wilpitz D, Salazar J, Tontonoz P. Preserved glucose tolerance in high fat diet-fed C57BL/6 mice transplanted with PPARgamma -/-, PPARdelta -/-, PPARgamma delta -/- or LXRalpha beta -/- bone marrow. J Lipid Res. 2009;50:214-224.

Chao LC, Wroblewski K, Zhang Z, Pei L, Vergnes L, Ilkayeva OR, Ding S, Reue K, Watt MJ, Newgard CB, Pilch PF, Hevener AL, Tontonoz P.  Insulin resistance and altered systemic glucose metabolism in mice lacking Nur77. Diabetes. 2009;58:2788-2796.

2008

Ma NS, Geffner ME.  Gynecomastia in prepubertal and pubertal boys. Curr Opin Pediatr  2008;20:465-470.

Chao LC, Bensinger SJ, Villanueva CJ, Wroblewski K, Tontonoz P. Inhibition of adipocyte differentiation by Nur77, Nurr1 and Nor1. Mol Endocrinol 2008, 22:2596-2608.

Ahmad T, Borchert MD, Geffner ME. Optic nerve hypoplasia and hypopituitarism. Pediatr Endocrinol Rev  2008;5:789-796.

Karantza M, Mittelman SD, Dorey F, Samie S, Kaiserman K, Halvorson M, Kaufman FR. Relationship of highly-sensitive c-reactive protein and lipid levels in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Pediatr Diabetes 2008;9:122-126.

Fellows have access to a variety of educational experiences during their fellowship, including, but not limited to:

  • Thursday morning divisional educational conference (invited speakers, case presentations, journal club)
  • Endocrine brown bag lecture series (monthly)
  • Pediatric endocrinology board review (bi-weekly)
  • Research meetings with fellowship director (bi-monthly)
  • Fellows’ core curriculum (covers general education, research and professionalism for all Children’s Hospital Los Angeles subspecialty fellows)
  • Responsible conduct of research
  • Bone conference (bi-monthly)
  • Endo-Urology, Endo-Radiology, and Endo-Genetics joint conferences
  • Thyroid tumor board (quarterly)
  • Clinical & Translational Research Study Design Course (8 weeks long)
  • Divisional research updates
  • Diabetes camp
  • Pediatric grand rounds
  • The Saban Research Institute chalk talks
  • Patient education conference participation, e.g., the annual meeting of the MAGIC Foundation
  • Access to graduate courses and masters programs at USC with tuition remission
  • "Pre-tending" Week

Class of 2018

Alaina Vidmar photo.jpg

Alaina Vidmar, MD

Medical School:
Medical College of Wisconsin

Pediatrics Residency:
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Having a sister with type 1 diabetes and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, I was always amazed at what an impact the loss or gain of one hormone could be on how a body functions. During medical school and residency I became fascinated with the pediatric obesity epidemic and interested in exploring ways to create innovative strategies for weight management. Mobile health technologies allow young people to interact with their health in a way they understand. My research in fellowship has focused on studying the effectiveness of an addiction based mobile health weight management intervention for adolescents. Through my research and clinical experiences in fellowship, I have developed a passion for findings creative solutions to the problems our patients face to improve their health and quality of life.

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Jonathan Weber, MD

Medical School:
Temple University School of Medicine

Pediatrics Residency:
Rush University Medical Center

During my Pediatrics rotation in my 3rd year of medical school, I had to opportunity to participate in the care of a newborn baby with congenital adrenal hyperplasia.  This case sparked my interest in pediatric endocrinology.  I have carried this threat through my training, and my current research focus is on newborns and infants with classic CAH, looking into adrenomedullary function and how this relates to clinical outcomes.  

Class of 2019

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Sara Akhtar MD

Medical School:
St. George’s University School of Medicine

Pediatrics Residency:
Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, I moved west after falling in love with the program at CHLA. I always loved pediatrics, but my passion for endocrinology really came during residency where I got to experience new onset diabetes and endocrine mysteries first-hand. It is the intricacies of feed-back loops as well as checks and balances in Endocrinology that drew to me the field. After seeing my first few patients with debilitating bone disease at CHLA, I decided to pursue research in pediatric metabolic bone disorders with a focus on neuromuscular diseases. It is my hope to help pioneer better treatment options for these spirited and resilient patients.

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Marwan Bakhach MD

Medical School:
American University of Beirut, School of Medicine

Pediatrics Residency:
Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Endocrinology has always been a very interesting topic for me since I started pursuing my medical career. During residency, I was influenced by mentors in the Pediatric Endocrine division which, in turn, prompted me to be involved in endocrine-related research projects and confirmed my desire to pursue a career in pediatric endocrinology. Currently, my fellowship research project involves studying home telemedicine appointments (CoYoT1 Clinic) designed to respect the multiple demands of young adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D), and its impact and efficacy in T1D care.

Class of 2020

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Amy Seagrove, MD

Medical School:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Pediatrics Residency:
University of California Irvine/ Children’s Hospital Orange County

I grew up in Concord, NH and then went to college at Fordham University in Bronx, NY. During college I double majored in biology and history and developed a passion for working with children so I decided to go to medical school and become a pediatrician. I stayed in the Bronx for medical school and went to Albert Einstein College of Medicine. While studying medicine in the Bronx, I encountered many patients with diabetes and obesity and become interested in the field of endocrinology. I got tired of the cold, dreary winters of the Northeast and decided to go to Southern California for residency where I trained at UC Irvine/Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Residency confirmed my love of endocrinology and I decided to stay in sunny Southern California for fellowship. I continue to be interested in diabetes and obesity and I am currently doing research looking at food choices in patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.

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David Tsai MD

Medical School:
Albany Medical College

Pediatrics Residency:
Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles

I studied neurobiology during my undergraduate years and always had an interest in psychology. Combined with a love for technology, I pursued pediatric endocrinology to explore better ways of helping children and their families overcome psychological barriers associated with type 1 diabetes and other chronic endocrine disorders.

How to Apply

The CHLA Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship Program is a part of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Our program takes applications via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). If you are interested in applying for our fellowship program, you will need to apply through ERAS application process.

  • Program Fast Facts
  • Where Do Fellows Go When They Graduate?
  • AGME Accredited: Yes
  • Fellows per year: 2
  • Application Deadline: October
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Postgraduate Training Required: 3 years
  • U.S. Citizenship requirement: accept citizenship, green card, and J1 Visa
  • Salary Minimums
    PGY4: $63,344 minimum
    PGY5: $65,018 minimum
    PGY6: $67,225 minimum
    PGY7: $69,506 minimum
    PGY8+:Compensation will be at the discretion of each division
  • Benefits Include: Health and dental insurance, 14 days paid vacation + 6 personal days, and yearly educational stipend

Fellows who have graduated our program in the last 10 years obtained faculty positions at:

  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Brown University
  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Children’s Hospital Oakland
  • Children’s Hospital Orange County
  • Kaiser, Santa Clara
  • Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles
  • Seattle Children's Hospital
  • Stanford University
  • UCSF Fresno
  • University of Athens
  • University of Virginia
  • White Memorial Medical Center, Los Angeles

Support

In 2018, The CHLA Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship was the recipient of the three-year Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation Award, which will support fellows and their research mentors who are performing research in areas of diabetes and/or obesity.

The Fellowship has also been supported in part by generous donations from Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth and Sherry Corday, Mr. and Mrs. David and Meredith Kaplan, Ms. Monica Lester, Mr. Paul Lester, The Francine Kaufman Endowment, The Marcled Foundation, the Hurlbut-Johnson Charitable Trust, and a grant from Genentech.