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At the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, we offer three-year pediatric hematology/oncology fellowships in collaboration with Emory University School of Medicine. Our program is one of the largest pediatric hematology/oncology training programs in the country and the premier program in the Southeast.

In conjunction with the Emory Pediatric Fellowship ProgramWallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology, we also offer a unique pathway for pediatric hematology/oncology fellows to pursue a PhD during the research portion of their fellowships.

The goal of this unique program is to train academically oriented pediatric hematologists and oncologists to be involved in a lifetime of excellence in patient care and teaching while also becoming research scholars with in-depth scientific training, culminating with a PhD in a biomedical discipline.

Our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program includes:

Our goal is to train academically oriented hematologists and oncologists who will be involved in a lifetime of excellence in pediatric patient care, teaching and research.

Our dual-campus model allows fellows to interact with physicians and subspecialty colleagues in private and academic settings. Our model contributes to some of the country’s largest pediatric patient volumes, exposing fellows to more educational cases and greater research opportunities.

Download our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program brochure.

Our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program has received full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s is affiliated with Emory University, which is ranked among the top research medical schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

There is funding for five new fellows each year to be fully supported throughout the three-year program. Additional years of research training, including application for the Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) Program, are available for highly qualified candidates.

The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center receives funding for its fellowship program from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and CURE Childhood Cancer. These organizations encourage promising new medical professionals to pursue pediatric cancer research as a specialty.

First-year fellows spend a majority of their time in clinical rotations. Second- and third-year fellows primarily spend their time in various research and educational activities. Each fellow maintains a continuity clinic one day a week for the entire three years. The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center also guarantees an optional fourth year of fellowship to continue to hone research skills.

Below is a snapshot of our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program:

Clinical rotations—first year

  • Inpatient hematology/oncology (three months)
  • BMT—inpatient/outpatient (two months)
  • Clinic/consult (two months)
  • Outpatient hematology (two months)
  • Neuro-oncology—inpatient/outpatient (one month)
  • Laboratory rotation: radiation oncology, hematopathology, flow cytometry, cytogenetics, blood banking and special coagulation (one month in total, divided into two-week blocks)
  • Research exploration (one month in total, divided into two-week blocks)

Research—second and third years

Second- and third-year fellows are offered a variety of opportunities in clinical, translational and basic research. These opportunities are available at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and within specific divisions of the Emory University Department of Pediatrics.

We are devoted to training physician-scientists seeking careers in laboratory-based academic pediatric hematology/oncology. Research opportunities are performed in collaboration with faculty at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Emory School of Public Health, Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition to the laboratory-based research track, we offer a clinical research track for fellows interested in careers as clinical investigators. Formal training in clinical research can be obtained through early involvement in several ongoing clinical trials in the institution. Fellows interested in clinical research are encouraged to apply for the Emory University MSCR Program. We are in a unique position to offer special resources for laboratory and clinical training, such as the MSCR Program, for the entire fellowship period and for extended periods of research time, if required.

We have an individualized scholarship oversight and mentoring committee to guide fellows through their fellowship research experience.

Research—optional fourth year

An additional year of training is strongly encouraged and available with funding to all fellows. The typical fourth year is approximately 90% devoted to expanding on a fellow’s research and allows the fellow to increase competitiveness in garnering future K-type grants or other grants for young investigators. Approximately 10% of the time is allotted for clinical exposure in the fellow’s area of interest as instructor-level faculty. Separate subspecialty fourth-year fellowships are also available in BMT, neuro-oncology and transfusion medicine.

On-call schedule

Night call takes place from home. Fellows occasionally return to the hospital to evaluate extremely ill or newly diagnosed patients.

  • First year: 53 weekday nights and 12 weekends (one each month)
  • Second year: 46 weekday nights and eight weekends
  • Third year: four weekday nights and six weekends

Didactic schedule

A variety of educational meetings are offered in addition to structured teaching, ethics and research overview courses throughout the year.

Additional benefits of the program

Fellows receive three weeks of vacation each year. Each fellow has an educational stipend, which may be used for meetings, journals or other educational expenses. Senior fellows attend additional scientific meetings based on research presentations.

In order to be considered for our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, applicants must complete an accredited three-year pediatric residency in North America before the start of the program.

To apply

We use the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) to process all fellowship applications.

How to apply:

  • Visit the ERAS website.
  • Select “MyERAS.”
  • Note your Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) ID and self-created password for future access.

Contact Angie Graves, Education Coordinator, with questions.

Application requirements checklist

Applicants must submit:

  • Curriculum vitae (including academic honors, membership in organizations, research experience and extracurricular activities)
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Faculty member from a division of hematology/oncology
    • Faculty resident advisor or residency program director
    • A professional of your choosing (if significant research involvement, letter from research mentor)
  • Copy of dean’s letter and evaluation
  • Medical school transcript
  • Personal statement (including a description of previous research and clinical experience, reason for interest in a career in pediatric hematology/oncology, and career goals for the next five years)
  • Copies of United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores, Step 1 and Step 2 only
  • Immigration visa copy (if applicable)
  • Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certificate (if applicable)
  • Passport-style photograph

View the application timeline and selection procedure.

First-year fellows

Sally Azer, MD
College: University of Missouri–Kansas City
Medical school: University of Missouri–Kansas City
Residency: Eastern Virginia Medical School and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters

Frank Chien, MD
College: Swarthmore College
Medical school: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Residency: Inova Children’s Hospital

Jonathan Ebelhar, MD

College: Millsaps College
Medical school: University of Mississippi
Residency: Emory University School of Medicine

Paul George, MD
College: Tulane University
Medical school: Washington University–St. Louis School of Medicine
Residency: Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital

Sharmila Raghunandan, DO
College: Macalester College
Medical school: University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: University of Minnesota

Justin Yoo, MD
College: Emory University School of Medicine
Medical school: Emory University School of Medicine
Residency: Duke University

Second-year fellows

Dailia Francis, MD, PhD
College: City University of New York–Hunter College
Medical school: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Residency: University of Pittsburgh

Sanyu Janardan, MD
College: University of Minnesota
Medical school: University of Minnesota
Residency: Yale University

Jamie Oakley, MD
College: Mercer University
Medical school: Medical College of Georgia
Residency: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Arhanti Sadanand, MD
College: New York University
Medical school: Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine
Residency: Washington University, St. Louis

Nathan Yarnall, MD, MPH
College: University of North Carolina
Medical school: University of North Carolina
Residency: Emory University School of Medicine

Third-year fellows

Holly Edington, MD
College: University of North Carolina
Medical school: University of Toledo
Residency: Eastern Virginia Medical School and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters

Diana Fridlyand, MD
College: Emory University School of Medicine
Medical school: Medical College of Georgia
Residency: Children’s Hospital of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia

Julie Gilbert, MD
College: Yeshiva University
Medical school: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Residency: Montefiore Medical Center

Juhi Jain, MD
College: University of Washington Seattle
Medical school: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Residency: Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital

Pratik “Tik” Patel, MD
College: University of Virginia
Medical school: University of Virginia
Residency: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

See a full list of past fellows.

“I think the biggest strength of the program is the large hematology/oncology populations we have access to here. The research opportunities are outstanding, and the faculty is very friendly and welcoming.”–Jonathan Metts, MD, Class of 2015

“I chose Emory University because I know that this program is well-rounded and provides excellent exposure to a wide variety of hematological and oncological problems. I love the city and am looking forward to a wonderful experience.”–Sarah Tehseen, MD, Class of 2016

“I chose to train at Emory University because of my interest in sickle cell disease; we serve one of the largest sickle cell disease populations in the country. I am an Atlanta native and was happy to have the opportunity to come back home.”–Margo Rollins, MD, Class of 2015

“I chose Emory University for my fellowship for a variety of reasons. The clinical exposure to the full breadth of hematologic and oncologic conditions is unmatched, and there are limitless opportunities for research and academic pursuits regardless of your field of interest. Additionally, program leadership truly values and prioritizes fellow development and education, and the entire department is collegial and supportive with a strong focus on providing the highest quality care to our patients.”–Megan Brown, MD, Class of 2020

“It is important to me that I train at a large academic institution that is equally dedicated to and strong in hematology/oncology, and I have definitely found that at Emory University.”–Christina Caruso, MD, Class of 2020

“I chose Emory University because I knew it was one of the best programs in the country and would offer me a wealth of learning opportunities. Equally as important, I chose Emory University because of the people who work here. I felt like this would be a place that I could thrive, while also surrounded by people who love what they do and are always striving to provide excellent patient care. Between high patient volume, a structured learning environment with commitment to fellow education and a supportive faculty with leading experts in the field, I knew this was the right program for me.”–Amanda (MacGregor) Harrington, MD, Class of 2020

“I was excited by the broad clinical opportunities and strong research program. Also, everyone was very nice.”–Rafi Kazi, MD, Class of 2020

“I chose the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center for its well-rounded hematology/oncology training, as well as its dedication to excellent patient care and cutting-edge research.”–Anthony Ross, MD, Class of 2020

The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center provides advanced diagnostic and clinical care, educational programs, psychosocial support, and innovative treatment and research options for children and young adults.

The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is:

  • One of the leading childhood cancer centers in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.
  • Among the largest pediatric hematology/oncology programs in the country, employing more than 110 faculty members.
  • One of the first established National Institutes of Health (NIH) K12- and K30-sponsored clinical research training facilities.
  • Ranked No. 1 in the country for Children’s Oncology Group (COG) therapeutic clinical trial enrollment, with more than 400 clinical studies available to our patients.
  • A member of the COG Phase I consortium—one of only 21 centers in the country and one of three in the Southeast.
  • Generating direct costs of more than $21.3 million each year in extramural research funding, including more than $12.3 million from NIH.
  • The largest comprehensive pediatric sickle cell disease program in the country and among the top five hemostasis and thrombosis programs nationally.
  • The largest single-center experience in the country for matched-sibling transplants for sickle cell disease.

Population served

As one of the largest childhood cancer and blood disorders centers in the country, you’ll gain exposure to a high volume and variety of cases. We care for more than 475 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year and follow more than 2,000 patients with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders. In addition, we have performed more than 1,000 BMTs since our program’s inception, and we follow more than 1,500 survivors through our Cancer Survivor Program.

Our state-of-the-art campus is set to open in 2025

The North Druid Hills campus is designed to improve outcomes, help deliver advanced care and bring lifesaving medical research directly to patients.

Our fellowship program leaders include:

Learn more about our pediatric hematology/oncology team and their interests.