Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship
For more than six decades, the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute (CBDI) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has been saving children’s lives and working to increase cure rates through innovative clinical care and research, academic excellence and global leadership. The CBDI is the largest pediatric hematology-oncology program of its kind in the western United States. In 2022, U.S. News and World Report ranked the CBDI the top pediatric hematology-oncology program in California and the Pacific region and No. 14 in the nation. The Institute has been continuously ranked in the top 15 every year since the rankings were launched in 2008. The Institute is proud of its affiliation with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), a relationship that was established in 1932. The CBDI is the pediatric arm of the USC-Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is one of the original eight National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated centers.
The Institute’s Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program provides trainees with the knowledge, skills, experience and mentorship to develop into leading physician-investigators who will determine the future of our field. The first year of training focuses on clinical skills, followed by two years of intensive training in basic, translational, clinical or population research. Fellows work closely with distinguished faculty, who are advancing the care of patients through bench-to-bedside research. Qualified fellows have the option for additional years of research training. Opportunities are available for further specialization and career development with nationally renowned advanced training programs in the following areas:
- Transplantation and Cellular Therapy
- Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology
The Program is dedicated to training the next generation of leaders in pediatric hematology-oncology. This will be achieved through excellence in:
- Academics and clinical care
- Early career mentorship
The CBDI welcomes applications and inquiries from qualified candidates. On behalf of everyone in the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, we look forward to hearing from you and we wish you great success in your career.
Cancer and Blood Disease Institute Leadership
Alan S. Wayne, MD
Head, Division of Hematology-Oncology
Director, Cancer and Blood Disease Institute
Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Department of Pediatrics
Associate Director for Pediatric Oncology, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine
Alfred E. Mann Family Foundation Chair in Cancer Research
Jamie Stokke, MD
Director of Medical Education
Director, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Yves DeClerck, MD
Director of Research Training
Associate Director for Cancer Research Training and Education, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Professor of Pediatrics
Message from the Fellowship Program Director
Welcome to the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program’s website! My name is Jamie Stokke, and as the Program Director, I am thrilled that you are interested in our program. At Children’s Hospital Los Angeles we have one of the largest and most comprehensive training programs in North America, and I am exceptionally proud of our graduates who have gone on to successful careers as expert clinicians and academic researchers at CHLA and at other great institutions, such as the National Cancer Institute, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
As you learn more about the program and our fellows, I hope that you get the sense that our division is very invested in the education and career development of our fellows. Our mission is to train the next generation of leaders in the field of pediatric hematology-oncology. We achieve this mission by fostering a culture that emphasizes three main pillars:
- Academics and clinical care
- Early career mentorship
Just as important, I hope that you also get a sense that we foster a culture of family within our program—a group that takes care of one another, is inclusive, and celebrates the diversity of our backgrounds, goals and opinions.
If you have any questions about our program, do not hesitate to reach out to our office. Thank you again for your interest.
Expert program leadership and faculty
The Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is led by Jamie Stokke, MD. The Training Program leadership also includes Yves DeClerck, MD, Research Training Director in the CBDI and Associate Director of Training and Education at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our nationally and internationally renowned faculty share the Program’s commitment to the success of each of our trainees.
Our programmatic goal is to prepare you clinically and academically to be a leader in the field and to meet the challenges of rapid advances in science and changes in health care. Our program includes extensive clinical and research training under the supervision and mentorship of program faculty. Training begins with a two-week comprehensive orientation focusing on core subjects in pediatric hematology-oncology and practical instruction in clinical procedures and their interpretation. Fellows then participate in a core curriculum that is tailored over all three years of training. Faculty members lead specialized teams in the following areas: Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology; Benign Hematology; Blood and Marrow Transplantation; Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcomas; Coagulation; Hemoglobinopathies; Leukemia and Lymphoma; Neuro-oncology; Neuroblastoma; Retinoblastoma; and Survivorship and Cancer Control. All fellows work with each of these teams during training. There is a one-week orientation to laboratory techniques at the beginning of the second year to facilitate the transition into laboratory research. This orientation provides technical competency, statistical training and an introduction to laboratory personnel.
Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
CHLA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee is committed to promoting a culture of inclusion and an appreciation for diversity. The Committee supports residents, fellows and faculty across all areas of diversity including, but not limited to race and ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and gender in order to expand cultural awareness and sensitivity to enrich the services CHLA provides to its diverse patient populations. Tom Belle Davidson, MD, serves as the CBDI’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer and helps guide the division to meet the mission of CHLA’s DEI committee.
Fellowship Program leadership will provide one-on-one mentoring throughout your fellowship and will assist you during the final stages of training to optimize your successful transition to an academic appointment. Meetings with prospective research mentors start in the winter of year one, a process that culminates in the selection of a primary mentor in the spring. This individual will supervise your research training and provide mentorship towards scientific independence.
Each trainee will have an individually assembled Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) to provide specific and structured review of research progress and scholarly activity throughout training. The SOC consists of internal and external clinical and research faculty who are dedicated to helping fellows achieve the highest success in research training and career development.
In addition to Program leadership and research mentors, each fellow will also select a clinical faculty advisor for the three years of training. Faculty advisors provide additional advice and assistance with career planning and professional development, as do other faculty members on an ad hoc basis.
Unparalleled clinical exposure
As one of the largest pediatric hematology-oncology programs in the U.S. located in one of our nation’s most populous regions, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles provides trainees with the benefit of exposure to a vast and diverse patient population. Fellows participate in the diagnosis and management of the full spectrum of conditions in our subspecialty, from the common to the rare. CHLA is a tertiary and quaternary center for the most medically complex children, adolescents and young adults. We are also a referral center for second opinions for routine and unusual cancers, blood disorders and their complications. Fellows have the opportunity to provide continuity of care for patients with a wide variety of hematologic and oncologic diagnoses throughout their training. Such broad clinical exposure under the supervision of faculty specialists with vast expertise leads our trainees to develop knowledge and comfort in the management of the most common and the rarest of cancer and blood disorders.
Our Institute is dedicated to accelerating the pace of laboratory discoveries and to rapidly translating these to improvements in diagnosis, treatment and prevention at the bedside. The institutional environment provides abundant resources and a rich intellectual milieu for research training. We have prominent and highly productive basic, translational and clinical research programs in hematology, oncology and blood and marrow transplantation that serve as the training ground for our fellows. Fellows have opportunities to conduct laboratory research under the mentorship of faculty members located at The Saban Research Institute or at the USC-Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center on the Health Science Campus. There are robust laboratory research opportunities in multiple areas including cancer biology, cancer genetics and DNA repair, gene regulation and epigenetics, tumor microenvironment, immunology and immunotherapy, cell therapy, drug resistance, coagulation and pathophysiology of iron overload. There is also unsurpassed exposure and access to clinical cases, samples and trials, which serve to catalyze laboratory research efforts and provide unique translational opportunities for both physician-scientist and clinical-research trainees. Importantly, we train our fellows within the context of scientific teams that include laboratory and clinical investigators. Our faculty members develop and lead investigator-initiated trials as well as limited institution and cooperative group clinical trials in hematology, oncology, blood and marrow transplantation, cancer control and survivorship. The Institute’s Clinical Trials Program manages more than 1,500 enrollments annually and we are leaders in pediatric research designed to improve cure rates and reduce side effects from therapies for cancer and blood diseases. These trials provide tremendous training opportunities for our fellows.
Additional training opportunities
Trainees have the opportunity to take relevant courses and obtain additional degrees and certificates at USC during their fellowship. This includes the USC Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars Program for Clinical Residents and Fellows. Under this signature program, fellows receive tuition reimbursement for courses useful for their professional development. Fellows dedicated to a career in clinical research may apply for The Masters of Science in Clinical, Biomedical and Translational Investigations. This program offers an MS degree or a Certificate in Clinical Biomedical, and Translational Investigations and provides advanced training in clinical research methods to translate clinical, biomedical and technological discoveries into advances in population-based, clinical or basic science research.
The George Donnell Society is dedicated to training pediatric physician-scientists to perform innovative and high quality research. The Society includes pediatric residents, subspecialty fellows, graduate students, research post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty at CHLA.
To improve overall wellness within the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute and amongst our trainees, a dedicated Wellness Committee was established in 2020. The Committee consists of dedicated faculty members and fellows who meet monthly to design a holistic approach to addressing wellness. We have an award winning fellow-designed Art in Medicine curriculum focused on providing art activities monthly. We have an annual fellows’ retreat focused on humanism in medicine, team building and wellness activities. We have social outings including guided wine tasting, happy hours and an annual trip to a Dodgers game. We have a structured debriefing program following challenging patient encounters, free in house or outpatient mental health services, and dedicated wellness hours guided by CHLA’s Chief Wellness Officer. We provide formal training with the help of our palliative care faculty in communication techniques and end of life issues. We also volunteer as a group to provide services to various local organizations.
Meet our fellows
Class of 2023
Emma Cantor, MD
Med School: Oregon Health & Science University
Residency: Seattle Children’s Hospital/University of Washington
Research Interests: Sarcoma lab/translational research
Research Mentor: David Cobrinik, MD PhD
Research Project: Creating cellular models to investigate repetitive element DNA production in osteosarcoma
Dardan Demaliaj, MD, MPH
Med School: New York Medical College
Residency: NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Research Interests: Neuro-oncology translational research
Research Mentor: Steve Kay, PhD
Research Project: Circadian rhythm and pediatric high-grade gliomas
Christopher Kuo, MD
Med School: Rush University
Residency: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Research Interests: Osteosarcoma lab/translational research
Research Mentor: James Amatruda, MD PhD
Research Project: The tumor microenvironment (TME) in Ewing sarcoma
Sara-Jane Onyeama, MD
Med School: Medical College of Wisconsin
Residency: Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital
Research Interests: Oncology translational research
Research Mentor: Rong Lu, PhD
Research Project: The impact of genetic ancestry and childhood leukemia risk alleles on hematopoiesis in Hispanic/Latino newborns
Class of 2024
Aaron Goldberg, MD, MS
Med School: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Residency: Children’s Hospital Orange County/University of California, Irvine
Research Interests: Brain tumor microenvironment and immunotherapy basic/translational research
Research Mentor: Shahab Asgharzadeh, MD
Research Project: Evaluation of enhanced B7H3 CAR T-cells targeting do-not-eat me signals in GD2 positive CNS tumors
Julie Ma, MD
Med School: Creighton University School of Medicine
Residency: UT Southwestern
Research Interests: Leukemic microenvironment and T-cell dysfunction
Research Mentor: Chintan Parekh, MD
Research Project: Effects of tumor microenvironment and blinatumomab on T-cell function
Jayme Ogino, DO
Med School: A.T. Still University of Health Sciences School of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: LAC+USC Medical Center
Research Mentor: Yali Dou, PhD
Research Project: Cytogenetic characterization of KMT2A amplified AML
Cassandra Wang, MD
Class of 2025
Xue “Rachel” Bito, MD
Med School: Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine
Residency: Valley Children’s Hospital
Rachel Friedmann, DO
Med School: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Westchester Medical Center
Michael Migotsky, MD
Med School: NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Residency: Lurie Children’s Hospital
Brittany Van Remortel, MD MPH
Med School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
Residency: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Learn More about the Training Program
Year 1: Clinical Activities
The first year consists of 2 weeks of orientation and 12 one month clinical rotations, ending mid-July of the second year. During this year the fellow acquires training and experience in the following areas:
- Leukemia and Lymphoma
- Solid Tumors
- Blood and Marrow Transplantation
- Hematology and Coagulation
- Radiation Oncology (1 week)
- Hematology Lab / Stem Cell Processing Lab / Blood Bank (2 weeks)
- Ambulatory Care
First year fellows share at home night call with second and third-year fellows under the supervision of the attending faculty. There are three weeks of vacation in the first year.
Description of Clinical Services:
Newly diagnosed and relapsed leukemia and lymphoma patients and those with complications are admitted to this service. The fellow works with the supervising attending physician and a team of pediatric house staff and nurse practitioners to evaluate, diagnose, treat and educate patients. The fellow also performs all inpatient consultations for children with known or suspected hematologic malignancies. Fellows also participate in the weekly leukemia-lymphoma team meeting.
Solid Tumor Oncology Service
All solid tumor patients (including neuro-oncology) are admitted to this service. The duties of the fellow are the same as on the Leukemia-Lymphoma service. The fellow works with the medical care team under the supervision of the attending, and is responsible for in-house consults on solid tumor patients.
Patients with hematologic conditions are admitted to this service. The duties of the fellow are the same as on the above services. The fellow works with the hematology attending and pediatric resident team in the care of hematology admissions and performs all in-house hematology consultations under the supervision of the attending. Once a week the fellow attends the comprehensive hemophilia clinic. In addition, the fellow reviews new patient referrals to the hematology program and assists in triaging patients, seeing some of these in the Hematology New Referral Clinic under the supervision of attending hematologists.
Blood and Marrow Transplantation Service
This rotation on a 14-bed service provides the fellow with exposure to the clinical and laboratory aspects of allogeneic and autologous blood and marrow transplantation and cellular therapy. Fellows learn peripheral blood stem cell collection, bone marrow harvesting, cellular therapy and stem cell infusion during this rotation.
Ambulatory Care/Continuity Clinic
Fellows participate in the outpatient clinics one half-day per week, providing care to their own patients under the supervision of attending faculty. The Ambulatory Care rotation allows fellows to see a large number of patients referred for diagnostic evaluation of malignant and non-malignant hematological diseases.
Fellows spend a one-week rotation in Radiation Oncology, becoming familiar with the basic principles of radiation therapy.
Fellows are encouraged to actively participate in the teaching activities for medical students, pediatric house staff and nurses, and to present at designated conferences as detailed below.
Year 2 & 3: Research
80 percent of the second and third years of the fellowship are protected time for research training. During the third year, fellows may also opt to spend two weeks on service as a co-attending physician supervising fellows, residents and medical students under the direction of the service attending.
The CHLA Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program offers many research opportunities at CHLA and in laboratories at the USC-Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. The research mentor and primary focus area are determined during the first year. Fellows are expected to conduct their own project(s) and to actively participate in research seminars, lab meetings and other research activities of the Program.
Second and third year fellows participate in one half day of clinic per week, continuing to care for a selected group of patients accrued in the first year and picking up new patients in other specialty clinics. Additionally, fellows participate in night and weekend calls from home.
Survivorship Ambulatory Experience
Fellows attend three half-day clinics in each of their second and third year of fellowship. They join a multidisciplinary team made up of a faculty member, nurse practitioners, and a social worker who staff the comprehensive survivorship clinic. Fellows complete a thorough chart review and late effects assessment of assigned patients. They then present their patients to the team and make recommendations for evaluation and follow-up based on relevant survivorship guidelines.
Fellows are expected to participate in and present their research at lab meetings and the Center’s Research Seminar. Fellows also actively participate in Tumor Board, Journal Club, and Morbidity and Mortality conference as detailed below.
It is expected that by the end of the three-year training program that fellows will be familiar and comfortable with all diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of pediatric hematology-oncology, and will also understand the importance of social and behavioral support needed by patients and families. Each fellow’s clinical competency is evaluated twice a year by the Clinical Competency Committee using the Milestones evaluation format. It is also expected that the fellow will develop talent as a teacher. After two years of active research experience, the trainee should develop the skills necessary to conduct independent research. Specifically, it is expected that fellows will be first author of at least one publication in a peer reviewed journal, will give a minimum of one presentation at a national or international scientific meeting.
Hematology/Oncology/BMT Research Seminar: This series covers clinical and research topics relevant to hematology, oncology, and blood and marrow transplantation. The speakers are invited from within or from outside institutions. Trainees are expected to attend these lectures and to present their own research during the second or third year of training.
Tumor Board: This interdisciplinary colloquium discusses in detail one or more challenging clinical cases. Fellows are expected to attend as well as to present.
Journal Club: This activity covers high quality recently published research articles relevant to hematology/oncology and is designed to provide fellows the skills to critically review studies. Trainees are expected to routinely present such articles to their peers and faculty.
Fellows’ Curriculum Lecture: This weekly meeting involves faculty presentations reviewing materials relevant to the American Board of Pediatric Subspecialty Board Exam in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.
Hematology Conference: During this weekly meeting, patients with hematologic disorders are discussed in depth by faculty and fellows. Fellows will be asked to present patients seen both in the inpatient and outpatient setting.
Pediatric Subspecialty Fellow Education Core Curriculum: This year-long course introduces subspecialty fellows at CHLA to methods in research in addition to a broad range of topics including teaching, professionalism and ethics, leadership, team management, and the business of medicine.
Saban Research Institute Seminar Series: These seminars host well-established scientists from local, regional and national universities and research institutions. The invited speakers cover a wide range of biomedical research topics of importance to the research community at CHLA. The speakers generally spend the entire day at CHLA and trainees have an opportunity to meet with the guest speaker.
Distinguished Lecturer Series: This lecture series hosts highly selected speakers whose research is related to the research endeavors of specific research programs and initiatives of the Saban Research Institute. A specific time slot is reserved for the lecturer to “Meet the CHLA Trainees” where clinical and laboratory trainees discuss their own research with the distinguished guest.
Annual Poster Session: This annual event features laboratory-based research, clinical research, and population-based research performed at CHLA. The event offers a unique opportunity for trainees to learn about the broad spectrum of ongoing research at CHLA. Fellows are expected to present a poster in their second and/or third year of training.
Symposia and Mini-Symposia: Various symposia and other events are organized by research faculty and programs on a regular basis. Trainees are encouraged to attend these events.
Education Series: Several lectures are presented at CHLA covering important educational aspects of research. These topics cover areas such as “How to write an NIH grant Application”, “How to prepare and present a research presentation”, “Ethics in Research”,” How to prepare your academic career”, and “Patents and Intellectual Property”. Trainees are strongly encouraged to attend these.
Presentation at a national meeting: As part of their research training, fellows will be sponsored to attend a national scientific meeting relevant to his/her research and career interests.
How to Apply
Application start date: July 2023
- Must have completed an ACGME-accredited pediatric residency program or a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada accredited program
- Satisfactory completion of the USMLE Step 1, 2 and 3
- For international graduates, must have an ECFMG certificate
- Have a CA medical or DO l license
The CHLA Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training 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 the ERAS application process.
Program Fast Facts
AGME Accredited: Yes
Fellows per year: 4
Application Timeline: Applications will be accepted via ERAS beginning July 2023
Duration: 3 years
Postgraduate Training Required: Pediatric Residency
U.S. Citizenship: U.S. citizens, permanent residents, J1 and H1 visa applicants eligible to apply
Post Graduate Year 4: $78,531 minimum
Post Graduate Year 5: $81,677 minimum
Post Graduate Year 6: $84,712 minimum
Post Graduate Year 7: $87,652 minimum
Post Graduate Year 8: $90,952 minimum
Post Graduate Year 9+: Please contact email@example.com
Benefits Include: Health and dental insurance, 14 days paid vacation+ 6 protected sick days, annual educational stipend, annual housing stipend, monthly meal stipend, and 401(k) matching up to 3%
Children's Hospital Los Angeles is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our Program follows the recruitment guidelines of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Pediatric Hematology-Oncology match.