Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program

Meet the Fellows

 
 
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    Our fellows are a lively, close-knit group with diverse professional and personal passions. Although each has achieved great things before entering our doors, our fellows graduate from the program with a deeper reservoir of knowledge and experience to pursue their dreams.

    St. Jude is a great place to work. We hope you’ll consider joining our team.

    Chief Fellow

    • Lindsay Blazin, MD

      Lindsay Blazin, MD

      Blazin

      I grew up in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, then moved to the big city to earn my undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. I've always wanted to be a pediatrician, and after volunteering on the oncology floor at Children's Hospital, I knew I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist. I completed my pediatrics residency at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and had every intention of sticking around for fellowship. (You may have gathered, correctly, that I really like Pittsburgh.) But after one day at St. Jude, I knew this was the place for me.

      I love St. Jude for the incredible clinical and research experiences available here, but more importantly for their obvious commitment to making life a little easier for kids with cancer and their families. I am looking forward to joining this amazing team and hope to spend some of my time here studying the psychosocial impact of cancer diagnoses on children and their families. And, of course, on becoming an excellent clinical oncologist.

    Current Fellows

    • Taylor Aglio, MD

      Taylor Aglio, MD

      Aglio

      After spending my childhood growing up in a small town in Connecticut, I ventured to Baltimore, Maryland to attend Loyola College. I then returned to Connecticut to work as a research assistant in pediatric type 1 diabetes at Yale School of Medicine. After this year, I attended the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. It was during this time that I fell in love with the field of pediatric oncology and knew that I wanted to care for this special population of children. I then headed to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to complete my pediatric residency training and stayed for an additional year as a hospitalist in the oncology department. Along the way I met my husband Ryan, an Emergency Medicine physician, and we are looking forward to escaping the cold North East and heading South to be surrounded by sunshine and BBQ! I am incredibly excited and humbled to be joining the St. Jude community and look forward to pursuing my interests in palliative oncology.

    • Maggie Besler, MD

      Maggie Besler, MD

      Besler

      I was born and raised in central Illinois. I earned my undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before attending medical school.  I called Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin Medical University home for five years where I completed my MS in Healthcare Administration and my MD. I was excited to head south to Memphis (where it wouldn’t snow in April) to complete my pediatric residency at University of Tennessee. It was during my residency rotations at St. Jude that I fell in love with pediatric hematology and oncology and the St. Jude family. I am so excited to continue my career at this tremendous institution that stretches the existing limits of medicine through outstanding research and clinical care.

      I was lucky to meet my husband during my time in Memphis. We currently live on Mud Island with our dog, Mr. Feeny. I enjoy running, cooking, watching the Grizzlies play, and seeing shows at the Orpheum.

    • Senthil Bhoopalan, MBBS

      Senthil Bhoopalan, MBBS

      Bhoopalan

      I grew up in India and went to medical school in Chennai where I met my wife. Having my spent entire life in Chennai, I decided to move out to purse graduate education in molecular genetics at the University of Maryland, College Park. Other than being in the lab, most of my time was spent playing racquetball while in Maryland. My wife and I got married and couples-matched into pediatrics in Las Vegas. As residency was not tiring enough (sic), we also had our baby boy Liam in Vegas. We are both excited about our move to Memphis and explore the Southern culture! My wife will be pursuing a NICU fellowship at La Bonheur, Memphis and running after Liam during her downtime. I enjoy playing soccer, cricket, racquetball and planning DIY projects that never get started.

    • Jessica Bodea, MD

      Jessica Bodea, MD

      Bodea

      Although originally from southern California, I predominantly grew up in and call Scottsdale, Arizona home after my family relocated when I was young. I attended Arizona State University where I completed my undergraduate education in Psychology. While I had always been involved with children as a pre-school teacher, instructor with the Boys and Girls Club, and youth girls’ basketball coach, I discovered my interest in medicine and pediatrics specifically after spending time as a child life volunteer at Phoenix Children's Hospital. I left Arizona to complete my medical education at New York Medical College where I first discovered my interest in pediatric hematology & oncology. After spending my last 3 years back in Arizona completing my residency at Phoenix Children's Hospital, I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to be relocating to Memphis to join the St. Jude family for fellowship. Outside of the hospital I enjoy spending time with my dog Teddy, cooking, running and road biking.

    • Kenneth Caldwell, MD

      Kenneth Caldwell, MD

      Caldwell

      I was born and raised in Ft. Myers, Florida. I went to the University of Florida for undergraduate and medical school. My interest in pediatrics grew out of experiences teaching a summer tennis camp and working at Camp Boggy Creek, a camp for seriously ill children. I completed pediatric residency at Boston Medical Center and Boston Children's Hospital where I developed an interest in medical education and experimental therapeutics. 

      My wife, Kelsey, is an occupational therapist. We recently got a puppy, Finn, and all 3 of us are excited to move back to warmer weather.  We love college sports (Go Gators!), running, hiking, camping, and look forward to the BBQ of Memphis. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn and work at St. Jude.

    • Caitlyn Duffy, MD

      Caitlyn Duffy, MD

      Duffy

      I was born in North Carolina and raised in Peachtree City, Georgia. I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia where I became a lifelong bulldog fan-Go Dawgs! I attended the Medical College of Georgia where I developed an interest in global health and clinical research and had to the opportunity to work with families and children in Peru and Ireland. I relocated to the great city of Nashville for my pediatrics residency at Vanderbilt. While there, I was able to combine my passions for pediatric oncology, global health, and psychosocial support and traveled to Southeast Asia to work on health systems strengthening for children with cancer. I have a sweet puppy named Guinness and we are excited to trade Broadway for Beale Street and start exploring Memphis!

    • Rebecca Epperly, MD

      Rebecca Epperly, MD

      Epperly

      I grew up in the Quad Cities area of western Illinois, a few hours north along the Mississippi River. I went to the University of Iowa for undergraduate and medical school, where I studied bassoon performance in addition to medicine. Not only did I develop a passion for Hawkeye sports, but also found an incredible bond with our Pediatric Oncology patients and families through the Dance Marathon program. Our next adventure led my husband Ren and I to Pittsburgh, where I completed my pediatrics residency training. We have loved our time in the city of bridges and sports, which is also the hometown to our son Elijah. When not at work I enjoy yoga, Crossfit, and playing outside with my boys.

      St. Jude stands out for it's amazing clinical and research opportunities, but even more because of the shared sense of mission and commitment to families battling pediatric cancer. We are so excited that our journey has led us south to Memphis and I can't wait to join the St. Jude team!

    • Kayla Foster, MD

      Kayla Foster, MD

      Foster

      I was born & raised in Texas. I grew up in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, prior to studying biomedical sciences at Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas. There I cultivated my interest in medicine & after graduation continued my studies at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in Lubbock, Texas, completing my clinical rotations in Amarillo, Texas. I just completed Medicine-Pediatrics residency training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, & am incredibly excited to be starting fellowship training at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. I have a miniature dachshund named Zach who keeps me busy at home. I love to travel & take photos & whenever I can I try to spend my time with family & friends. My clinical interest is in improving the quality of life in our pediatric cancer survivors & I plan to pursue a clinical research career in survivorship.

    • Dylan Graetz, MD

      I grew up in Milford, Connecticut and am a true New Englander at heart. I completed my undergraduate degree at Middlebury College in Vermont where I majored in English Literature and spent most of my time hiking/ running/ biking/ snowboarding/ playing in the gorgeous Green Mountains. After college I lived in San Francisco for a year working on a political campaign and for an LGBT clinic. I returned to the great state of Connecticut for medical school at UConn and stayed an extra year to complete my MPH. Since then, I have been in Philadelphia - soaking in city life and great food while trying to avoid the sports fans. Somewhere along the way I managed to live on 5 continents and hike Kilimanjaro! I am passionate about working globally in under-served settings and cannot wait to join St. Jude and continue this pursuit.

    • Joshua Hess, MD

      Joshua Hess, MD

      Hess

      I can remember wanting to be a doctor as far back as elementary school. I was born and raised in Charleston, WV and after high school I attended WV State University and met my wife the first week of classes. My plans to carry on through medical school changed when I was hired into a research chemist internship with Bayer CropScience. I completed degrees in Biology and Chemistry and continued my career in the chemical industry for several years but frequently felt something missing.

      It wasn't until my wife and I were expecting our first child that I began to reconsider a career in medicine. Shortly before our daughter was born I began studying and was accepted to medical school later that year. While returning to school was no easy task (now with two children), I soon felt I was in the right place. It was in my fourth year of medical school that I spent a month in the pediatric oncology clinic and knew I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist. I am both humbled and excited by the opportunity to further pursue my education and research at St. Jude.

      My time outside of work is spent with my wife, Alicia, and children, Anessa and Abram.

    • Camille Keenan, MD

      Camille Keenan, MD

      Keenan

      I grew up in Houston, Texas prior to venturing up to the University of Pittsburgh where I pursued an undergraduate degree in Bioengineering, with my sights already set on medical school. I moved back to Houston to attend McGovern Medial School (previously University of Texas Health Medical School) as well as obtain a Master’s in Public Health at the UT School of Public Health just down the street. I then moved to Dallas for a residency in Pediatrics at UT Southwestern, during which I solidified my interest in Pediatric Oncology. Now, I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to train as a clinical fellow at St. Jude.

    • Harry “Adrian” Lesmana, MD

      I embody the typical characteristic of a Pisces man; powerfully emotional, strongly intuitive, deeply sensitive and a long life dreamer. I was born, raised and received my early education in a small city in Indonesia. After completing high school, I moved to a much bigger city, Jakarta, where I received my medical training at University of Indonesia. Not satisfied with what I could accomplish in my home country, I decided to move to US to pursue further clinical training. I completed a combined pediatrics and medical genetics residency training at Cincinnati Children's Hospital where I found my true passion for hematology genetics. I am so privileged to be part of St. Jude Children's big family where people with diverse background and interest have unified intention to help children afflicted with cancer and other blood related disorders. Personally, I am hoping to bridge the gap between medical genetics and hematology/ oncology. My clinical interest is mainly in inherited anemias, bone marrow failure syndromes and pediatrics cancer predisposition syndrome. When I am not at work, I spend majority of my time with my two dogs, Albert and Einstein, either in dog parks, hiking trails or just at home binge watching Netflix TV series. I am also a movie buff and love going to see broadway shows, plays and other performing arts. I can't wait to explore what Memphis could offer!

    • Jonathan Miller, MD, PhD

      Jonathan Miller, MD, PhD

      Miller

      Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, I grew up an avid sports fan (Go Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins!) and later developed my love of science and research. I moved to Washington DC after college to work full time in an NIH lab where I cemented my interest in medicine and scientific research. I stayed in the Nation's capital for a total of 8 years to complete medical training at Georgetown and found the love of my life, Miranda, before heading to California to enjoy the sun, nature, and life at Stanford. There I learned to become a pediatrician, in part because of my residency and in part because I became a father to my son, Abraham. I have long been interested in the complexity and acuity of pediatric cancer as well as the opportunity to enter the vulnerable, sacred space of caring for a family with a child battling cancer. I am so grateful and can think of no better place than St. Jude to complete my training and further contribute to advancing therapy and improving outcomes. Our family is also looking forward to the Southern hospitality, Memphis BBQ, and owning a home for the first time!

    • Marta Salek, MD

      Marta Salek, MD

      Salek

      I am originally from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada - a city not too far from Toronto. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario in Biology and Comparative Literature and Culture. I then fulfilled a lifelong dream of living in Krakow (a beautiful and history city in southern Poland - it is my favourite place!), where I studied medicine. I completed my Pediatrics Residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical School - Baystate. This was followed by a Pediatric Palliative Care fellowship at the University of Washington. I am so excited to start the next phase of my training in Hematology/Oncology at St. Jude! In addition to the outstanding caliber of the institution, I was drawn to the warmth of the people I met at St. Jude who were so clearly committed to their patients, their families, and colleagues.

    • Richa Sharma, MD

      Richa Sharma, MD

      Sharma

      I moved from a small village named Sujanpur Tira in Himachel Pardesh, India to Indianapolis, Indiana, USA when I was 11 years of age. In addition to learning English and becoming accustomed to a new culture, I was exposed to the world of medicine and research as a high school student. My interest in hematology oncology was inspired by children that I worked with on the hematology/oncology and transplant patient wards as a college and medical student at Indiana University. This, in combination with research seminars highlighting the diverse challenges faced by cancer researchers in discovering targeted drug therapy, served as the catalyst to my pursuit of a career as a physician-scientist in pediatric hematology-oncology. I hope to critically evaluate challenging hematological and oncological disease processes through applications of basic science and clinical research in order to translate innovative and effective therapy to a most deserved population.

    • Michael Terao, MD

      Michael Terao, MD

      Terao

      I'm originally from the Washington DC area and a huge Washington Nationals fan. I attended Allegheny College (Meadville, PA) where I majored in English before starting at Eastern Virginia Medical School (Norfolk, VA). After medical school I completed my pediatric residency at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland (Oakland, CA) where I completed research on the use of concept mapping in undergraduate medical education. After residency, I spent one year as chief resident at the Morehouse School of Medicine Pediatric Residency (Atlanta, GA) prior to starting at St. Jude.

      I'm mainly interested in survivorship and adolescent/young adult oncology research.

    • Ruth Wang'ondu, MD, PhD

      Ruth Wang'ondu, MD, PhD

      Wang'ondu

      I was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. For most of my life in the US, I have lived in the Northeast. After obtaining my undergraduate degree at Wellesley College I moved to Connecticut where I completed medical school, graduate school, and finally a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency, all at Yale. My interests in basic science, internal medicine, pediatrics, oncology and global health have been motivated by the hope of extending the benefit of scientific and medical discoveries to low- and middle-income countries and, in patient-care, facilitating transition from childhood to adulthood, in spite of life-threatening illnesses. It is an honor to be part of the St. Jude community together with other dedicated individuals who have shared interests in translational research, patient care, and global oncology. As I embark on my journey in the South, I am very excited to enjoy theater, live music events, and everything Memphis has to offer!

    Our Alumni: Where are they now?

     

    Albany Medical Center
    All Children’s Hospital
    Amgen
    Baylor College of Medicine
    Children’s Hospital of Alabama
    Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
    Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
    Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters
    Children’s Hospital of Vanderbilt
    Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
    Cleveland Clinic
    Cook Children’s Medical Center
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Duke University
    Emory University
    Essentia Health Cancer Center
    Genentech
    Helen Devos Children’s Hospital
    Johns Hopkins Hospital
    Mahidol University

    Maine Children’s Cancer Program
    Memorial Sloan Kettering
    Nationwide Children’s Hospital
    New York Medical College
    Niswonger Children’s Hospital
    Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital
    Queen Mary Hospital
    Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    St. Vincent Children’s Hospital
    Scott and White Healthcare
    Stanford University
    The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
    University of North Carolina
    University of Oklahoma
    University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
    University of Utah Primary Children’s Medical Center
    Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University