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Sickle Cell Disease Fellowship Program

Providing a unique clinical and research experience for treating pediatric and adult patients diagnosed with sickle cell disease

Our mission

Our mission is to train the next generation of providers with expertise in the care of individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD) throughout their lifespan.


  1. To develop expertise in the clinical, biological and therapeutic aspects of sickle cell disease in pediatrics and adults.
  2. To enhance the physician’s research skills to prepare him/her to conduct research (collaborative or independent) in sickle cell disease and to care for individuals with sickle cell disease. 

As a fellow in our Sickle Cell Disease program, you will be immersed in a multidisciplinary multi-institution clinical experience with a robust schedule of educational conferences that seamlessly blend with clinical insight and cutting-edge research. The fellow will benefit from mentorship from leaders in the field, preparing the fellow for real-world experiences.

Fellows will receive longitudinal mentorship as the fellow works on clinical research or a quality improvement project on their chosen specific interest. 

Fellowship Program

Fellowships are for one year. A fellowship can begin at any time, but a July 1 - June 30 schedule is preferred.

  1. 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 Clinical experience:

    • Acute and chronic complications of sickle cell disease.
    • Disease-modifying treatments of sickle cell disease.
    • Preventive measures specific for sickle cell disease
    • Pre and post-surgical management of sickle cell disease
    • Chronic transfusion therapy and treatment of iron overload
    • Hematopoietic transplantation in collaboration with the department of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy
    • Transitioning from the pediatric to the adult health care setting
    • Providing anticipatory guidance to parents

    Research and Quality improvement

    Fellows are regularly involved in clinical research and quality improvement projects and will have the opportunity to present their scholarly work at local or national meetings.

    Educational conferences

    Conference Day and time Description
    St. Jude Hematology Case Conference Wednesday 8.30-9.30 am (weekly) Evidence based case presentation 
    Regional One Health Case Conference  Friday 8-9am (weekly) Friday 8-9am (weekly)
    Hematology Education Conference  Wednesday 4pm (Monthly) Clinical trials and clinical guidelines presented by faculty at St. Jude 

    Hematology Research Seminar Series

    Friday 8.30-9.30am (Monthly) Cutting edge research presented by national and international experts in the field 
    Additional conferences can be attended by fellows based on the specific topics, such as Pediatric Hematology Oncology education series and Leukemia, lymphoma, hematology, bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy conference. 
  2. 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 St. Jude, Methodist University Hospital and Regional One Hospital.

    A typical schedule includes:

    • One to two months of inpatient hematology divided at St. Jude and other adult centers.
    • Ten months of outpatient rotation (4-5 half days per week: 3 at St. Jude, two at Methodist and/or Regional One)
      • Remaining time will be spent on research or quality improvement work.

    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.

Our Clinical Program

The St. Jude Comprehensive SCD Center 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. St. Jude has three full-day sickle cell clinics that care for different age groups: infant/toddler, school age and teenage patients to learn how to provide preventive care. Each clinic provides comprehensive care that is supported by advanced practice providers, nurse case managers, child life specialists, an educator, and a medical social worker. We are the center for Newborn screening referrals in western Tennessee and Mississippi, and western Arkansas. 

Additional programs are a Stroke Prevention Program and a Pediatric to Adult Transition of Care Program. Our team works closely with sub-specialists including nephrologists, cardiologists and pulmonologists with special expertise in sickle cell-related organ damage. In addition, fellows will have inpatient experience to learn how to manage acute complications of sickle cell disease.

Methodist Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Clinic and Diggs-Kraus Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Clinic for adults with SCD are integral parts of the Pediatric to Adult Transition of Care Program in the St. Jude Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center.  St. Jude patients with SCD transition their adult care to these adult programs.  The transition program ensures that adolescents transition their adult health care for ongoing management of this complex chronic disease. The transition clinic serves as a national model for other programs aiming to improve transition outcomes of this disease. Our partnerships with Methodist University Hospital, Regional One Hospital and the University of Tennessee also connect our faculty and fellows to an adult sickle cell population of approximately 2,000 adults. Fellows will attend two half-day clinics a week at the St. Jude-Methodist Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Clinic at Methodist University Hospital and St. Jude-Diggs-Kraus Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Clinic at Regional One Health. 

The SCD program collaborates with a number of other programs within the institution. The Department of Psychology provides psychology and neuropsychology services for our patients with SCD. The Transfusion medicine program provides red cell exchange for patients with SCD. 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.  St. Jude has been a leader in the field of gene therapy for SCD and has newly instituted a gene therapy clinic for patients with SCD.  We also have a Global Hematology Program, led by Dr. Jane Hankins. One of the focuses of this program is to improve the health of individuals with SCD around the world.

Learn more about our clinical program

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.

Learn more about the Division of Clinical Hematology


Our Quality improvement program

St. Jude is not only dedicated to investigating, understanding, and advancing the base knowledge of various catastrophic childhood illnesses, but invested in improving the clinical care our patients receive. Our focus through these quality improvement initiatives has been to actively engage participants to partner with clinical practitioners, hospital administrators, patients, and families to deliver equitable care to a diverse population which will result in improved outcomes such as improved remission, physical functioning, decreased hospitalization and serious adverse safety events. Our quality improvement projects partner with multiple departments and fellows are encouraged to join existing projects or propose their own. Motivated and interested fellows will have the opportunity to join our quality improvement teams and with direction and mentorship, lead their own team. Fellows are encouraged to present results of these projects at national meetings and published in peer-reviewed journals.


Applying for Fellowship


Applicants who have completed training at ACGME accredited residency or fellowship program in pediatric hematology/oncology, adult hematology/oncology internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics or medicine/pediatrics are welcome to apply. International applicants must be ECFMG certified and H1B eligible. 

Application Process

To learn more about current openings and the application process, please email Fellowship Program Director Nidhi Bhatt, MD and Division Chief, Cliff Takemoto, MD. A complete application will consist of: a curriculum vitae (CV), personal statement, three (3) letters of recommendation, USMLE transcripts and a medical school transcript. Applicants may apply at any time. Our interview season starts in the fall of each year, and applicants are informed about the decision in the winter of each year. Applicants will start near July 1st of the academic year.

Inquire about applying