The fellowship program of the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology & Stem Cell Transplant at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McGaw Medical Center is aimed at trainees who desire a career in academic medicine. Fellows receive training at the prestigious Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in an accredited program focused on developing medical knowledge, clinical skills and judgment, self-assessment and improvement skills, proficiency in communication, professional attitudes and behavior, competence performing medical procedures, research skills, teaching proficiency, humanistic qualities, and a commitment to scholarship. During the three-year training program, time is distributed to ensure that fellows develop both clinical and research expertise. The program provides approximately 12 to 18 months exclusively for clinical work followed by 18 to 24 months of protected time for hypothesis-driven research. Fellows are provided four weeks of vacation annually.
Clinical training provides experience in all aspects of diagnosis and management of hematologic and oncologic diseases and in stem cell transplantation. During the first year, fellows spend their first year on the Hematology, Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation inpatient services and in the outpatient clinics at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, and the fellows are encouraged to take lead roles in directing patient care. In addition, trainees provide consultations to the emergency department and other pediatric and surgical specialties, thereby gaining familiarity with the hematologic and oncologic manifestations of a broad spectrum of pediatric illnesses. First-year fellows also complete rotations in the clinical laboratories and with neuro-oncology teams.
Fellows develop a cohort of patients and provide continuity-care and follow up for these patients in their half-day per week hematology and half-day per week oncology clinics. Throughout the training program, fellows share night and weekend on-call responsibilities, thereby gaining experience with acute problems and emergencies.
In the second year, fellows turn their attention to individual hypothesis-driven research projects. Research projects may address clinical or basic science questions related to the field of pediatric hematology-oncology-stem cell transplant. Fellows interested in academic careers in clinical research may obtain Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI), Masters in Health Services and Outcomes Research, and other degree programs from the Feinberg School of Medicine.
Early in the program, each fellow establishes a relationship with a faculty mentor; by the end of the first year, each fellow will have identified a specific research project. Research may be conducted on Northwestern University Evanston campus or the Feinberg School of Medicine/Lurie Children's campus in downtown Chicago. A National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored Clinical Oncology Research Training Grant obtained by the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University provides a mechanism for identifying laboratories. At the beginning of the second year, fellows formally present the background, design, and methods of their research projects to the faculty and later in the second year present progress reports of results. In the third year with ongoing work, fellows prepare abstracts for presentation at scientific meetings and manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Fellow Education and Scientific Meetings
Fellows participate in a wide range of conferences throughout their training. The weekly fellow conference covers topics in the fields of pediatric hematology, oncology, and stem cell transplantation. In addition, a series of core introductory lectures are presented to the fellows early in their first year of training, covering acute and emergent problems in hematology, oncology, and stem cell transplant. All fellows complete a core departmental fellowship curriculum that includes statistical analysis and study design, bioethics, and the development of skills in scientific writing and presentation.
Throughout the three-year training program, fellows participate in Tumor Board and Hematology Grand Rounds, which include presentations of new and current cases, discussions of plans for patient management and follow up, and reviews of the literature. Other conferences include Brain Tumor Board, Clinical Research Conference, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology-Stem Cell Transplant Radiology Conference, Oncology Journal Club, Stem Cell Transplant Journal Club, Stem Cell Transplant Conference, Hematology Journal Club, and the Department of Pediatrics Grand Rounds. Fellows may also attend ongoing seminar series through the Feinberg School and the Stanley Manne Research Institute. Fellows are encouraged to attend one scientific meeting each year with funding provided by the division. Funding for travel to additional meetings may be available for fellows who are invited to present their research.
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, funded by the NCI, is committed to achieving excellence in basic and clinical research, cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and education of health professionals and the public. Located on the Feinberg School's Chicago campus, the Cancer Center provides opportunities for scientific collaboration among its members throughout the Northwestern University community. The Pediatric Oncology Program represents one of four clinical sciences programs in the Cancer Center. An NCI-funded Clinical Oncology Research Training Program brings together laboratory scientists, clinical investigators, and fellows to focus on the molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, and signal transduction pathways of normal and neoplastic cells. Collaborations are accomplished through laboratory investigation, organized meetings, journal clubs, seminars, and symposia. These activities provide opportunities for sharing the latest scientific results and promoting interdisciplinary relationships. Laboratory preceptors for fellows belong to four basic science programs of the Cancer Center, including viral carcinogenesis; tumor invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis; hormone and signal transduction in cancer; and cancer genes and molecular regulation. Recent fellows have worked on research projects with mentors at the RHLCCC focused on intracellular signaling mechanism involved in hematopoiesis, molecular mechanisms of leukemic transformation in patients with bone marrow failure syndromes, glucose metabolism in neuroblastoma, targeted therapies for Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphomas, and emergency granulopoiesis in Fanconi Anemia.
Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute
The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Research Center was recently renamed Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. Located in Lincoln Park, this state-of-the-art facility provides another campus for fellows to perform research in a facility with faculty focused of research on cancer biology and epigenomics, developmental biology, and interdisciplinary centers working in both basic science and clinical and translational projects. Divisional faculty research focuses on miRNA in retinoblastoma and brain tumors, Hedgehog-GLI signal transduction, signaling pathways pediatric brain tumors, integrative analysis of genome, epigenome and transcriptome analyses in brain tumors and development of targeted therapies, and molecular mechanisms of polarization and asymmetric cell division in blood stem cells.
Northwestern University Evanston Campus
Scientific collaborations are ongoing among members of the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology-Stem Cell Transplant and investigators on Northwestern University Evanston campus, particularly in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology (BMBCB). BMBCB comprises more than 40 faculty members with expertise in the areas of biotechnology; cell and molecular biology; hormone action and signal transduction; and structural biology, biochemistry, and biophysics. The department's broad range of research activities and expertise in the basic sciences provides additional opportunities for fellows.
John D Crispino, PhD
Joanna Weinstein, MD
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Division of Pediatric Hematology,
Oncology & Stem Cell Transplant
Ann & Robert H. Lurie
Children's Hospital of Chicago
225 E. Chicago Avenue #30
Chicago, Illinois 60611