The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellowship program is an ACGME accredited training program that provides training in state of the art clinical care, and cutting edge clinical and basic science research. Our program was designed to train fellows for careers in academic medicine and accepts four fellows yearly through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Our goal is for our fellows to have not only exceptional training in the clinical care of patients, but also be prepared to make substantial contribution to our field through leadership and clinical, basic science and translational research. Upon completion of our program, our fellows will meet the eligibility requirements for the subspecialty certification requirements of the American Board of Pediatrics. Our fellows have gone on to varied careers throughout the world.
The Children’s Cancer Hospital at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is home to one of the largest multidisciplinary pediatric cancer care programs in the nation, caring for approximately 1,700 children a year. Because our primary focus is cancer, we see more types of cancer than any other children’s hospital in Houston or in the state of Texas. More than 450 new pediatric patients per year are seen. Of these are 150 new patients with cancer, approximately 40 patients with hematological diseases, 60 children with neurofibromatosis, and 100 benign conditions simulating cancer. In addition we have a stem cell transplant and cell therapy program that treated more than 40 patients in the past year. Over 800 patients who are long-term survivors of childhood cancer up to 35 years of age are followed by our cancer survivors clinic.
The fellowship is a three-year program with an optional additional one year component for fellows interested in advanced training. The first year is dedicated to an in-depth clinical training experience. Fellows gain inpatient and outpatient experiences on:
- hematological diseases
- solid tumor
- bone marrow transplant
- long term follow-up services
- radiation oncology
- blood banking
- palliative care
During the second and third years of fellowship, the trainee participates in research training that results in a scholarly work product, which is a requirement for board eligibility by the American Board of Pediatrics. Fellows are welcome to participate in laboratory research with pediatric researchers or with any of the research labs at MD Anderson. For those fellows interested in clinical research, we have created a pathway towards obtaining a Master's in Clinical Research, which is described below.
The fellowship includes an optional component for a fourth year of advanced clinical research training in pediatric hematology/oncology specifically designed for outstanding fellows who are pursuing a career in academic medicine. This philanthropically-funded program will provide advanced clinical research training for pediatric hematology-oncology fellows and prepare them to be highly competitive for faculty positions. The advanced training program will:
(1) Provide extended protected research time under the mentorship of a senior, independent investigator at MD Anderson. The goal is to allow the fellow to develop nationally recognized expertise in an area of research in pediatric hematology-oncology and to develop adequate experience and preliminary data to allow them to establish independent research programs with extramural funding.
(2) Providing the fellow the opportunity to experience intense clinical activity in one area of pediatric hematology-oncology and equip them to be national experts one of the following areas:
- hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
- non-neural pediatric solid tumors
- Pediatric neuro-oncology.
The advanced training component lasts one year. During this time advanced fellows participate in patient care, education and research activities.
Fellows with exceptional potential for research career development or those that require additional research training time to complete their research work can be extended an additional year on a case by case basis.
The advanced trainee is expected to participate in several research courses administered by the Graduate School of UT Houston. These courses include Biostatistics and Clinical Trial Design.
An in-depth training course in clinical research, called the clinical research curriculum, is offered by UT Houston. This is an extensive two-year research training program designed specifically for the fellow or junior faculty. For those interested in developing an academic career in clinical research, UT Houston also sponsors a Master’s in Clinical Research. Fellows must complete the first year of the clinical research curriculum and then apply for the master’s program which will be an additional two years of study.
The Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program is an ACGME accredited program and is under the governance of the Graduate Medical Education committees of both MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston. In keeping with ACGME requirements, the fellowship program has a Clinical Competency Committee which meets twice a year and reviews multidisciplinary evaluations of the trainees using the Milestones evaluation tool. The program also has a Program Evaluation Committee which meets twice a year to review program evaluations, the resident survey, the faculty survey, and develop program improvements.
- The program has averaged 75 applicants per year for the past three years
- Past graduates include faculty at the following academic institutions:
- Mercy Children’s Hospital, Kansas City
- Miami Children’s Hospital
- Seattle Children’s Hospital
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
- University of Miami School of Medicine
- Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine
- University of Arizona Medical Center
- The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Four new physicians arrived on campus in July to begin their three-year odyssey to become pediatric hematology/oncology specialists. These fellows will see patients on our inpatient unit at the Children’s Cancer Hospital and outpatients at the Child & Adolescent Center.
Priti Tewari, M.D., associate professor in Pediatrics, is the director of the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program. Under her direction, the 2022 incoming class is learning from leaders of the field how to provide care for patients with malignant blood diseases, such as leukemia and lymphoma, as well as solid tumors, such as neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, and osteosarcoma. Our fellows will also gain exposure to integrative medicine and palliative care approaches, have opportunities to pursue interests in research topics, and receive support to obtain additional education to become part of the next generation of laboratory leaders.
Elysia Cohen, M.D., earned her medical degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, California. She did her pediatric residency at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York.
Ariel Nash, M.D., earned her medical degree at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. She did her pediatric residency at Albany Medical Center-Albany in New York, where she also served as a chief resident.
Olayinka Okeleji, M.D., earned her medical degree the University of Ibadan College of Medicine in Ibadan, Nigeria. She did her pediatric residency Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she also served as a chief resident.
Ramya Ramakrishnan, M.D., earned medical degree at Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Secunderabad, Telangana, India. She did her pediatric residency at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama.
For inquiries and questions, contact:
Priti Tewari, M.D.
Associate Professor, Pediatrics-Patient Care
Program Director, Pediatrics
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Children’s Cancer Hospital
1515 Holcombe Blvd., Unit 0087
Houston, TX 77030
MD Anderson Cancer Center is committed to encouraging good health and staying true to our mission to end cancer. If you are applying for a GME fellowship or residency program starting on or after July 1, 2016, please be advised that MD Anderson will have instituted a tobacco-free hiring process as part of its efforts to achieve these goals. If you are offered an appointment, you will be subject to a Pre-Employment Drug Screen for tobacco compounds in compliance with applicable state laws. If you do not pass the urine drug screening which includes testing for tobacco compounds, you CANNOT be appointed at MD Anderson. Should you fail to meet this contingency, MD Anderson will withdraw your offer of appointment for the academic year. You may reapply for the following academic year, but there are no guarantees that you will be offered a position as many of our programs are already filled for several years out.