Bone Marrow Transplant Fellowship :: Nationwide Children's Hospital
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Bone Marrow Transplant Fellowship

Nationwide Children's Hospital offers a one-year Bone Marrow Transplant Fellowship for qualified physicians who completed a basic 3-year program in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and who wish to pursue further training in pediatric blood and marrow transplantation.

Rolla Abu-Arja, MD
Program Director
(614) 722-3553

Program Overview

The Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital offers a one-year Bone Marrow Transplant Fellowship for qualified physicians who completed a basic 3-year program in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and who wish to pursue further training in pediatric blood and marrow transplantation.

The fellowship position is available beginning July 1, but other accommodations may be possible for qualified individuals. The fellowship extends over 12 months, and the fellow rotates through the inpatient and outpatient units, the Cell Processing facility, the apheresis center and the HLA tissue-typing laboratory.

The position meets all criteria for clinical training in BMT as identified by the American Society of Bone Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) and the Federation for Accreditation of Cell Therapy (FACT). If candidates are interested in laboratory research, there is the possibility of spending additional time working in one of the Center’s basic or translational research programs.

What you need to know

Training and Experience

The goal is to train physicians to be competent in the use of hematopoietic cell transplantation and cellular therapy for the treatment of malignant and non-malignant diseases. Specifically, our program trains physicians in indications for transplant; pre-transplant patient evaluation; identification and selection of stem cell sources; use of donor registries; methodologies of HLA typing; marrow cryopreservation; management of ABO incompatible cell products; administration of high-dose chemotherapy; management of neutropenic fever; management of bacterial/viral/fungal diseases in immunocompromised patients, management of bleeding diathesis, diagnosis and management of regimen related toxicities, diagnosis and management of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease, late complications of marrow transplantation; terminal care; as well as training in documentation and reporting for patients being treated on investigational trials.

Trainees gain experience in bone marrow harvest, stem cell apheresis, stem cell product infusions, and advanced cell processing techniques.

Trainees are encouraged to participate in protocol design and development and complete a clinical research project related to transplantation during the course of their training.


The curriculum will be flexible in order to accommodate the unique learning needs of the fellowship applicant:

  • Weekly, half-day, continuity clinic with a designated BMT faculty preceptor
  • Twelve (12) weeks of BMT inpatient service to attain adequate competencies in common inpatient BMT clinical scenarios (may be divided into blocks of no less than 2 weeks duration)
  • Twelve (12) weeks of BMT Clinic rotation to gain adequate competencies in specialized BMT problems. During this rotation, the fellow will attend the monthly Long-term Follow-up Clinic and the Host Defense Clinic as well as both their own continuity clinic and the continuity clinics of BMT faculty. Fellow will also conduct all BMT consultations for upcoming patients. The rotation may be divided into blocks of no less than 4 weeks duration.
  • Four (4) up to eight (8) maximum weeks elective experience. Choices include HLA Laboratory, Cellular Therapy Laboratory, Apheresis, Adult BMT. These may be arranged through existing programs at Nationwide Children’s or The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center depending on the fellow’s learning needs/career goals.
  • Twenty (20) weeks of protected research time to conduct a research project. As described above, within the limitations of a one-year fellowship, fellows will be expected to conduct a secondary database, retrospective or limited translational science research project and prepare it for presentation at a national meeting. Additional elective time would be subtracted from this research time. Evidence of adequate research progress must be demonstrated to gain Program Director approval for any additional electives desired by the fellow. Vacation (PTO) time (3 weeks) will be approved only during research blocks.
  • Actively participate in weekly BMT census and pre-census meetings
  • Actively participate in monthly Journal Club. The group meets 12 times each year for a comprehensive journal club discussion. The group is made up of faculty and supportive services (nursing, psychosocial services, etc.) who all share a common interest in BMT/Apheresis.
  • A collection of key ‘benchmark’ manuscripts in the field of pediatric BMT will be developed and maintained by the faculty. Fellows will be expected to read one of these manuscripts each week as a directed reading and to discuss the manuscript with one of the faculty members to enhance their understanding of the topic.
  • One of the tried and true methods of learning is to teach a subject. Thus, each fellow will be expected to develop and deliver a comprehensive review on a topic of their choice to the faculty and any rotating trainees twice during the year.
  • Per Nationwide Children’s policy, fellows will complete two (2) hours of mandated core content didactic training in Quality Improvement and will demonstrate active participation in an ongoing BMT-specific QI project of their choice.
Meet Our Faculty

Click here to view our faculty.

Faculty clinical and research interests include cellular therapy, infection in immunocompromised patients, non-malignant diseases (hemoglobinopathy and primary immunodeficiency), organ toxicity (graft-versus-host disease, veno-occlusive disease), and survivorship.

Our faculty members have leadership roles and actively participate in the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT), Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), Children’s Oncology Group (COG), International Society of Cellular Therapy (ISCT), Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Initiative (PALISI), and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium (PBMTC).


Eligible applicants must be:

  • Board certified in general pediatrics
  • Board certified or eligible in pediatric hematology/oncology/BMT in the U.S. or Canada upon matriculation
  • Able to obtain an Ohio medical licensure


Application & Selection

Applications will be accepted starting June 30, 2016. Once applications are reviewed, invited candidates will be asked to interview.

Interested applicants should provide the following information to the program coordinator:

  • Bone Marrow Transplant Fellowship Application
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement
  • 3-5 Letters of Recommendation
  • USMLE or COMLEX scores
  • Transcript
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
  • ECFMG status report (include copy of certificate) *if applicable
  • Photo


Please send materials to:

Marcie Sparks
Program Coordinator
BMT Fellowship
Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43205-2696
Phone: (614) 722-3553
Fax: (614) 722-3699

Program Evaluation

Trainees will be evaluated via utilization of the Med Hub System once for each inpatient rotation and quarterly for clinic experiences. Trainees will meet formally with a fellowship review committee (comprised of the Program Directors and another faculty advisor/research mentor) to discuss progress and the overall success of the program in serving their needs on a quarterly basis.

Trainees will also evaluate the program experiences and faculty biannually. Semi-annually, program directors will review anonymous feedback data.

After successful completion of the program, the BMT fellow will receive a certificate of completion.


For more fellowship information, please contact:

Rolla Abu-Arja, MD
Program Director

Marcie Sparks
Program Coordinator
BMT Fellowship
Phone: (614) 722-3553
Fax: (614) 722-3699

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000