As a fellow in our Sickle Cell Disease program, you will gain experience identifying and managing patients with sickle cell disease in one of the largest programs in the country.
St. Jude has three sickle cell clinics that cater to different age groups: infant/toddler, school age and teenage patients. Each team is supported by advanced practice providers, nurse case managers, child life specialists, an educator and a medical social worker. Our team works closely with sub-specialists including nephrologists, cardiologists and pulmonologists with special expertise in sickle cell related organ damage. Additionally, the Department of Psychology provides behavioral interventions and neuropsychological testing for our pediatric patient population.
Our chronic transfusion program has expertise in managing patients who receive chronic transfusions for sickle cell disease and complications associated with transfusions such as iron overload and alloimmunization. Additionally, we collaborate with the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy to offer curative therapies including allogeneic bone marrow transplants as well as gene therapy clinical trials to patients.
Our Clinical Program
The St. Jude-Methodist Sickle Cell Disease Transition Clinic at St. Jude treats approximately 900 children with sickle cell disease each year. We strive to provide state-of-the-art sickle cell care for our patients and excellent research opportunities for our fellows.
The St. Jude-Methodist Sickle Cell Disease Transition clinic, an integral part of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, ensures the appropriate transition of adolescents to adult health care for ongoing management of this complex chronic disease. Our partnerships with Methodist University Hospital and the University of Tennessee also connect our faculty and fellows to an adult sickle cell population of approximately 1,000 adults. The clinic serves as a national model for other programs aiming to improve transition outcomes of this disease.
Our Research Program
St. Jude has a longstanding commitment to children with sickle cell disease. Scientists at the hospital have been researching this disease since the institution opened in 1962. The first research grant ever received by St. Jude was for the study of sickle cell disease. We are a leading center for sickle cell research and participate in trials evaluating new therapies for sickle cell disease. The Division of Experimental Hematology also investigates topics involving sickle cell disease, including stem cell biology and gene editing.
Since 2014, we have initiated a lifetime cohort study for sickle cell disease, the Sickle Cell Clinical Research and Intervention Program (SCCRIP). SCCRIP aims to study the long-term effects of the disease and its treatments. This study serves as a resource for faculty and fellows who want to study the characterization and outcomes of sickle cell disease. Additionally, the results from this study will help scientists design new therapies.
Fellowships are for one year. A fellowship can begin at any time, but a July 1 - June 30 schedule is preferred.
As a fellow, you will receive extensive clinical training in the comprehensive management of sickle cell disease. You will work directly with leaders in the field to further develop your knowledge base and clinical skills. Although clinical experience can be individualized to each fellow’s interests, fellows should expect to gain experience in treating patients:
- Receiving chronic transfusion therapy and treatment of iron overload
- Undergoing hematopoietic transplantation in collaboration with the department of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy
- Transitioning from the pediatric to the adult health care setting
Fellows are also regularly involved in clinical research and will have the opportunity to present their work at local or national meetings.
We provide trainees with a strong clinical foundation, as well as personalize each fellow’s curriculum to their own career goals. Clinical rotations will be divided into inpatient and outpatient rotations at the sickle cell centers at both St. Jude and Methodist University Hospital. A typical schedule includes:
- Two months of inpatient hematology
- Ten months of outpatient rotation (two days per week: one at St. Jude, one at Methodist)
- Remaining time will be spent on research
Fellows may also explore electives with the option to focus on subspecialty areas such as with the Bone Marrow Transplant, Blood Bank, Orthopedic and Pain Service teams..
Applying for Fellowship
Applicants who have completed training in pediatric hematology/oncology or adult hematology/oncology are preferred. Exceptional applicants trained in adult hematology, internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics or medicine/pediatrics are welcome to apply. International applicants must be ECFMG certified.
To learn more about current openings and the application process, please email Fellowship Program Director Nidhi Bhatt, MD. A complete application will consist of: a curriculum vitae (CV), personal statement, and three (3) letters of recommendation. Applicants may submit an application at any time. Our interview season is flexible, but typically occurs in the fall for a July 1 start.