Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship and Ph.D. Program

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. Emory is among the largest pediatric hematology/oncology training programs in the country and the premiere program in the Southeast.

In conjunction with the Emory Pediatric Fellowship Program, Wallace 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 Ph.D. degree during the research portion of their fellowship.

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 becoming research scholars with in-depth scientific training culminating with a Ph.D. in a biomedical discipline.

Why Choose Children’s?

The Aflac Cancer 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 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 divisions in the country, with a 80+-member faculty
  • One of the first established National Institutes of Health (NIH) K12- and K30-sponsored clinical research training facilities
  • One of the top three enrolling institutions for Children’s Oncology Group (COG) trials
  • Member of the COG Phase I consortium—one of only 21 centers in the country and one of three in the Southeast
  • Growing NIH funding
  • Modern, state-of-the-art facilities
  • Largest comprehensive pediatric sickle cell disease program in the country and among the top five hemostasis/thrombosis programs nationally
  • Largest single center experience in the country for matched-sibling transplants for sickle cell disease
  • Ranked among “Top 100 Companies to Work For” by Fortune magazine

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 400 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year and follow more than 2,500 patients with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders. In addition, we have performed more than 1,000 bone marrow transplants since our program's inception and follow more than 1,500 survivors through our Cancer Survivor Program.

About Our Program

Our goal is to train academically oriented hematologists/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 both 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 Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program brochure


Our 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 Healthcare of Atlanta is affiliated with Emory University School of Medicine, 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 Masters of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) program, are available for highly qualified candidates.

The Aflac Cancer 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.

Learn more about St. Baldrick's Foundation

Learn more about CURE Childhood Cancer


First-year fellows spend the 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 Center also guarantees a fourth year of fellowship to continue to hone research skills.

Below, is a snapshot of our fellowship program:

Clinical rotations—first year

  • Inpatient hematology/oncology (three months)
  • Blood and marrow transplant—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 total, divided into two-week blocks)
  • Research exploration (one month total, divided into two-week blocks)

Research—second/third year

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 Center and within specific divisions of the Emory University School of Medicine 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, the Emory School of Public Health, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In additional 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 within the institution. Fellows interested in clinical research are encouraged to apply for Emory's Master of Science in Clinical Research (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/mentoring committee to guide fellows through their fellowship research experience.

Research—optional fourth year

An additional year of training is strongly encouraged, and is available with funding to all fellows. The typical fourth year is approximately 90 percent 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 percent of 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 bone marrow transplantation, 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/month)
  • Second year: 46 weekday nights and 8 weekends
  • Third year: 4 weekday nights and 6 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 per 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 upon research presentations.

How to apply

In order to be considered for our fellowship program, applicants must have completed an accredited three-year pediatric residency in North America by the beginning 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 Dill with questions

Application requirements checklist
Applicants must submit:

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

Application timeline and selection procedure

Current and past fellows

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, Fairfax VA

Jonathan Ebelhar, MD

College: Millsaps College, Jackson, MS
Medical School: University of Mississippi
Residency: Emory University School of Medicine

Paul George, MD

College: Tulane University
Medical School: Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
Residency: Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital

Sharmila Raghunandan, DO
College: Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN
Medical School: University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: University of Minnesota

Justin Yoo, MD
College: Emory University
Medical School: Emory University School of Medicine
Residency: Duke University (Internal Medicine-Pediatrics)

Second year fellows

Dailia Francis, MD PhD
College: CUNY 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-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
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 Dallas

See a full list of past fellows

Testimonials from current and past fellows

“I think the biggest strength of the program is the large hematology and 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 because I know that this program is well rounded and provides excellent exposure to a wide variety of both 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 because of my interest in sickle cell disease; we serve one of the largest sickle cell 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 for 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, the 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 both Hematology and Oncology, and I have definitely found that at Emory!” – Christina Caruso, MD, Class of 2020

“I chose Emory 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 because of the people who work here. I felt like this would be a place that I could thrive 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 the 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 and Oncology training, as well as, its dedication to both excellent patient care and cutting edge research.” – Anthony Ross, MD, Class of 2020

Meet the Team

Our fellowship and PhD program leaders

Learn more about our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology team and their interests