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.
Kari Bjornard, MD
After spending most of my childhood growing up in Northfield, Minnesota, I attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. After college, I returned to the Twin Cities to work as a research assistant for the Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology department. After that year, I again headed east to attend medical school at New York Medical College in Valhalla.
While there, I developed an interest in public health and also pursued a Master of Public Health (MPH) in epidemiology. My studies in epidemiology led me to take a year off between my third and fourth years to participate in “The CDC Experience,” a fellowship in applied epidemiology, where I conducted research on racial and congenital trends in congenital heart defects at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. After returning to finish my MD and MPH degrees, I attended residency at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland.
After residency, I stayed in the Baltimore area to work as an attending physician for one year in a combined pediatric emergency/inpatient unit at a nearby community hospital. When not at work, I enjoy running and both playing and watching other sports, as well as spending time with my dog, Chalupa, and significant other, Artour.
Steven Carey, MD, PhD
I grew up and received the majority of my training in Tucson, Arizona. I earned a BS in Biochemistry/ Molecular & Cellular Biology, PhD in Cancer Biology, and MD all at the University of Arizona, Tucson. During medical school, I participated in the Pediatric Oncology Education Program at St. Jude performing neuro-oncology research. I completed my pediatric residency at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital where my research focused on neuroblastoma. I am excited to work at St. Jude due to its diverse population, research opportunities and critical-care training. Away from work, I am an avid runner and run at least two half-marathons per year.
David Cervi, DO, PhD
I was born and raised in a lovely, quaint town in rural Ontario. After completing my undergraduate training and obtaining a Master's Degree at the University of Windsor, I moved to the big city where I obtained my doctoral degree in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Toronto. While there, I was inspired by many fine scientists and oncologists, adult and pediatric alike, which encouraged me to pursue medical education. After my post-doctoral training at Children's Hospital of Boston in the field of tumor angiogenesis and platelet biology, I entered Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine and obtained my medical degree and subsequently completed my residency training at Children's Hospital of Michigan. Education and training have occupied the better part of my life, although I still try to find some time to spend with family and friends and if possible attend an opera or the symphony. It is truly a privilege to continue my training in pediatric hematology/oncology at an institution as great as St. Jude. I first became aware of the hospital as a teenager (many, many years ago). I hope to be able to continue applying my research knowledge to better understand the onset and progression of various tumors with the goal of optimizing treatment modalities for children with refractory disease.
David Claassen, MD
I'm originally a small-town Nebraska boy, undergrad in Minnesota (too cold), residency in Texas (too hot), hoping Tennessee will be just right. I have a beautiful musician wife and two mischievous boys ages 6 and 3. My science background is in DNA repair mostly and a bit of pluripotency regulation. I'm a big child; I love playing with my boys and Legos. I love good food and the symphony, and my guilty pleasures are college football (Go Huskers!) and SciFi/Fantasy novels. I'm thrilled my calling has brought us to a place like St. Jude.
Stephanie Dixon, MD
I’m originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan and stayed in-state to complete both college and medical school at the University of Michigan, Go Blue! During this time I was able to become involved with a variety of research and volunteer opportunities after being a camp counselor at both pediatric oncology and hemophilia camps. I became interested in needs surrounding transition, late effects and survivorship in medical school which led me to my residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in Cincinnati. I am excited to train at St. Jude due to its reputation for excellent clinical care, opportunities in survivorship research and training, and the felling of an energetic community.
My husband, Griffin, works for Medtronic and enjoys golf and brewing beer. When not at work, we enjoy traveling, spending time with our dog (Ruby), college football, running and pretty much any other outdoor sports or activities! We are looking forward to moving to the South and exploring Memphis!
Lisa Force, MD
I grew up just outside of Portland, Oregon, where my appreciation for family, exploring the outdoors, delicious coffee and vegetarian food began. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Oregon and my medical training at Boston University School of Medicine. During my twenties I spent time in Belize, Peru, Ethiopia and Kenya, experiences that shaped my desire to improve child healthcare in international settings and sparked an interest in pediatric oncology. I completed my residency in pediatrics at the University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital and following residency worked for a year in Botswana as part of Baylor’s Global Health Corps providing clinical care to children with cancer, blood disorders and HIV.
My hope is to focus my career on improving pediatric oncology care in resource-‐limited settings, and I’m excited to join St. Jude, where there is a collective recognition of the importance of improving pediatric hematology-‐oncology care globally and an inspiring passion for this work. On my interview day I felt drawn to becoming a part of the St. Jude team, where there seemed to be a shared focus on providing excellent and compassionate patient-‐centered care and a genuine warmth in staff interactions. I’m looking forward to living in the South and exploring the Memphis music, art, hiking and food scenes!
Jessica Gartrell, MD
I grew up in a small town just outside Kansas City and then moved to Nebraska to complete my undergraduate and medical school training. I then decided it was time to move down to Memphis to complete my pediatric residency, where I was fortunate enough to witness the amazing things done at St. Jude first hand. I have two adorable boys and a wonderful husband. We could not be more excited to stay in Memphis where I feel that the training is unsurpassed.
Caitlin E. Hurley, MD
I am a life-long New Englander. I grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, attended undergraduate at Boston College, medical school at the University of Massachusetts and completed my residency at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. St. Jude drew me to the South by the end of my interview day. I was captivated by the energy on campus, the immense opportunities for research and the commitment to clinical care. I look forward to exploring Memphis, especially the vibrant culinary and music scenes!
Jennifer Kamens, MD
I grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a pediatrician. I then broke with family tradition by attending the University of Virginia where I studied biomedical engineering and discovered my love for research. I continued my schooling at Temple University School of Medicine and then went on to complete residency in the Harriet Lane Program at Johns Hopkins. I am excited about moving to Memphis and the opportunity to do my fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at St. Jude. When not at work, I enjoy running, biking, traveling, and spending time with my sisters and friends.
Erica Kaye, MD
I was born in New York and raised in Maryland. I studied English literature in college at Yale, and then took a year to travel/work in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Southern India. Then I went to Harvard Medical School, and again took an extra year to work in Guatemala and South Africa before starting pediatrics residency at Boston Children's Hospital. I've always been interested in pediatric oncology, but during residency, I also became really interested in pediatric palliative care. I'm especially interested in ways to improve communication around end-of-life issues, both in the US and internationally. My husband (Zach) is also in medicine (he was an OMFS resident, and then decided to switch career paths and is now doing radiology). Outside of the hospital, my favorite pastimes are singing, oil painting, re-teaching myself piano/guitar, and attempting to do the NY Times crossword (it doesn't usually go so well). Zach and I also love being outdoors, going to concerts, art festivals, and sporting events, and we are really excited to explore Memphis!
Spencer Mangum, MD
I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Utah in biomedical engineering, and then went East for medical school at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. I returned to Utah to complete my pediatrics residency at Primary Children’s Hospital and am excited to now be at St. Jude for my next step in training. Along the way, I’ve been blessed with a family. I married my wife during my undergraduate years, had two children during medical school, and our third child most recently during residency. I love the outdoors (particularly skiing, hiking and fly-fishing). My current professional interests involve experimental therapeutics in the hematologic malignancies; however, I’m looking forward to defining these interests further while at St. Jude.
Rosa Nguyen, MD
I was born and raised in the high north of Germany, in a city called Hamburg, where I attended medical school before I moved to Baltimore, Maryland, for pediatric residency. My interest in pediatric oncology stems from caring for patients with tumor suppressor gene disorders. Quickly, I have come to cherish the opportunity to help these children and families and be part of their lives. Elizabeth Lawrence once wrote that "there is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again." For children with cancer, I found this place to be St. Jude. I think St. Jude is the perfect place where excellent clinical care meets top-notch research, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to pursue my fellowship training here.
Anand Patel, MD
I was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. I attended Duke University for my undergraduate training in Biomedical Engineering. Then, I travelled to the upper Midwest to complete an MD/PhD at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. My research training was in molecular pharmacology, and focused on the mechanism of PARP inhibition on cell killing in ovarian cancer. After 9 years in the frigid north, I moved to St. Louis to complete a pediatric residency at St. Louis Children's Hospital. When I'm not working, I'm usually watching a college basketball game (go Blue Devils!) or catching a live music show.
I've spent most of my adult life working in one lab or the other with the aim of identifying new and safer ways to treat cancer. I chose to train at St. Jude because of the collective sense of mission I felt when I visited there, and the belief that we can do better in treating young patients afflicted with cancer.
Allison Pribnow, MD
I grew up in Portland, OR where I developed a love of the outdoors--hiking, camping and backpacking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I am passionate about global health and after receiving my BA in Spanish Literature from Whitman College I spent a year working on a minority-outreach education program before going on to complete my MPH in International Health at Oregon State University. I returned to Portland for medical school at OHSU where I solidified my love of caring for children and their families. Pediatrics residency brought me to Stanford University and furthered my drive to pursue a career engaged in global outreach work in pediatric oncology. I am excited to train at St. Jude in the exceptional environment of service, education, research and innovation with unique dedication to international outreach.
Lindsay Proud, MD
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. My incredible husband was, thankfully, up for the adventure!
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.
Jason R. Schwartz, MD
Most people call me Schwartz; I grew up in the once small, but now bustling city of Denham Springs, Louisiana. I attended Louisiana College in Pineville for my undergraduate education, majoring in biology. From there, I completed the MD/PhD program at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. My graduate training was in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology where the focus of my research was the mechanism of glucocorticoid-mediated apoptosis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. From Louisiana, I traveled to Nashville for General Pediatrics Residency at Vanderbilt.
My home is full of girls: my wife (Mindy) and two daughters (Sydney and Lynden). My hobby is endurance sports, namely, triathlon. I truly enjoy the science of the sport, particularly, the biochemistry of endurance nutrition (…it’s okay, my wife thinks I am a nerd too).
I consider myself immensely fortunate to have the opportunity to train at St. Jude. As a patient, undergraduate Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) Program student, and visiting medical student, I have experienced the unparalleled compassion and devotion that glows from all who strive to ensure that “no child should die in the dawn of life.” I am realizing a dream to be part of such a team at a place like St. Jude.
Akshay Sharma, MD
I grew up in India and graduated from a medical school there in 2010. After medical school I deferred residency and spent about two years doing lab research at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. It is during this time that I got really interested in pediatric oncology and BMT. I completed residency at the University of Kentucky where I worked on improving vaccination rates in children, something that I am really passionate about in addition to oncology.
I chose St. Jude because this place is like Disneyland for pediatric oncology. It’s not just academically renowned but also has a unique patient-centered approach, which makes working here a very satisfying experience, both scholarly and spiritually. The devotion of all the employees is truly embodied in the dream to ensure that “no child should die in the dawn of life.”
Born in the tiny town of Espanola in northern New Mexico, working as a pediatrician started as a childhood dream. I told my second-grade teacher I wanted to be a doctor who cared for children. In undergraduate school at the University of New Mexico, while serving as a child-life volunteer with pediatric oncology patients, I realized I not only wanted to be a pediatrician, but I also wanted to specialize in hematology/oncology—and St. Jude was where I wanted to work.
My path toward this wonderful facility started at the University of New Mexico Medical School, followed by a pediatric residency at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. Along the way I spent a year as a Howard Hughes Fellow conducting research on immunocompromised hosts in the pediatric oncology branch at the National Institutes of Health. I also spent several months as a Fogarty Scholar in Nigeria. Accompanying me to Memphis is my newlywed husband, Tim, and our little dog, "Lilly Monster." We are both very excited about starting our lives together in such a vibrant and exciting city.
Caitlin Zebley, MD
I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and am so excited to live in Memphis away from blizzards and subzero temperatures! Southern living sounds amazing after being in other (cold) parts of the country. In 2008, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Iona College in Westchester, New York with an Honors Degree and double major in chemistry and biology. During college, I developed a love for research after becoming involved in a NASA project analyzing the atmosphere of Mars.
My childhood dream was to become a pediatric physician and I went on to graduate from Chicago Medical School in 2012 and complete my pediatric residency at the University of Minnesota in 2015. I feel blessed to be a part of St. Jude—a one-of-a-kind facility where top-notch, compassionate patient care is combined with cutting-edge research. When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my new husband, Nico, and our 3-year-old hound-mix, Rue.
Our Alumni: Where are they now?
Albany Medical Center
All Children’s Hospital
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
Cook Children’s Medical Center
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Essentia Health Cancer Center
Helen Devos Children’s Hospital
Johns Hopkins Hospital
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
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