Our fellowship program in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology was accredited in 2008 and accepts one fellow per year. The majority of the clinical portion of the fellowship takes place at University Hospital, part of the University Heath System in the San Antonio medical center. Stem Cell transplant experience is provided at the Texas Transplant Institute, Methodist Children’s Hospital, our partner in fellowship training. Research opportunities are available both at UHS in clinical hematology and oncology and also in laboratory and epidemiology research at the Greehey Childrens Cancer Research Institute.

Fellowship Program Director: Dr. Melissa Frei-Jones
Transplant Program Director: Dr. Lisa Madden

Program Outline

Interested applicants for the PHO fellowship at UT Health San Antonio are selected via the NRMP match process. Interviews are held between August and November of the match year. One applicant per year is accepted for a three-year ACGME certified fellowship in hematology-oncology.

The goals of this fellowship program are to develop:

  • Outstanding clinical physicians who possess an in depth experience in the evaluation, treatment and evidence-based management of children with hematologic and oncologic disorders;
  • High quality basic scientists, clinical investigators or clinical educators who are well suited to pursue academic careers focusing on medical research or medical education in the realm of childhood diseases as broadly defined by hematology and oncology; and
  • High quality clinicians who continue a lifelong commitment to patient care and community involvement.

To this end, the program is divided into two distinct phases to efficiently meet these goals.

Phase I:  First year clinical training

The primary focus of the first year is to establish a solid foundation of clinical knowledge and experience to allow the fellow to proceed with the necessary steps to ultimately function independently in patient care. This goal is achieved utilizing three features of the program:

  • An in depth curriculum consisting of rotations on the inpatient service, alternating with outpatient clinical and elective rotations including stem cell transplantation, radiation oncology, gross and hematopathology, transfusion medicine, and general laboratory medicine, outside the division surveying a broad range of clinically relevant programs to ensure the fellow is well familiarized with every aspect of care for hematology and oncology disorders.
  • A curriculum of small group learning sessions including board review questions, case-based synthesis and didactic lectures spanning a broad range of clinical topics to establish a solid knowledge base and to raise the level of sophistication in the fellow’s intellectual thinking and to critically review clinical data and to formulate thoughtful plans in the management of their patients.
  • Formal presentations on clinically relevant topics in both hematology and oncology by the first year clinical fellow during case conference, journal club and tumor board.

Phase II: Early Career Development

Scholarly Activities

During the second and third year of the program, the fellow is expected to pursue original research in one of two forms: 1) scientific laboratory research, or 2) clinical investigation. In the first year of the fellowship, the fellow discusses goals for scholarly activities with both his/her mentor and the PD/APD to determine which path the fellow wishes to pursue and what strategy is most appropriate for them given their background, past experience and long-term career goals.  A list of fellow publications and projects can be found here.

Program Graduates

Our first fellow completed fellowship training in 2010.

Greg Aune, M.D., Ph.D. (2008 – 2010)
Present position – Associate Professor with Tenure, UT Health San Antonio

Aaron Sugalski, D.O. (2009 – 2012)
Present position – Associate Professor, UT Health San Antonio

Maria Falcon, M.D. (2010 – 2013)
Present position – Attending physician, Methodist Children’s Hospital, San Antonio

Emily Moses, M.D. (2010 – 2013)
Present position – Assistant Professor, University of Virginia

Allison Grimes, M.D. (2012 – 2015)
Present position – Assistant Professor, UT Health San Antonio

Abigail Cruz, M.D. (2013-2016)
Present position – Assistant Professor, St. Jude Children’s Research Hosptial, Attending Oncologist, Johnson City, TX

Kristi George, M.D. (2015-2019) – Assistant Professor, Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Macon, GA

Deanna Maida, M.D. (2016-2019) – Assistant Professor, UT Health San Antonio

Current Fellows:
Amanda Lipsitt, M.D. (2017-present)

Samuel Pabon, M.D. (2020-present)

Cristabel Torres, M.D. (2020-present)

All applications must be processed through the ERAS website. For more information about our fellowship program, please contact:

Ms. Ann Islas
Manager, Academic Programs
Fellowship Coordinator
Phone: 210- 562-5850
Email: islas@uthscsa.edu

poetic meeting
Dr. Amanda Lipsitt, 1st place presentation at POETIC meeting
south padre event
Dr. Deanna Maida at Hemophilia event, South Padre Island
Dr. Kristi George (far right) and colleagues at Nico’s Dream reception.