Host Defense Fellowship

Host Defense Fellowship

Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s GME-approved, one-year Infectious Disease Host Defense Fellowship provides additional training and expertise in the comprehensive management of infections in immunocompromised children.

Fellowship Overview 

The Host Defense Fellowship was developed as part of Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Infectious Diseases Division and Host Defense Program. Established in 2015, we are the first pediatric fellowship program in the United States offering specialized training in infection prevention and management in immunocompromised children.

The one-year fellowship provides formal training to physicians who successfully completed a 3-year, ACGME-accredited pediatric infectious diseases fellowship and possess a strong interest in caring for immunocompromised children.

Through the fellowship, trainees are provided a diverse clinical and research experience at both Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University. Upon program completion, fellows will develop expertise in the infectious disease management of immunocompromised children.

What You Need to Know


The fellow will receive targeted training in the evaluation, diagnosis, management and prevention of infectious diseases in high-risk immunocompromised children, including:

  • Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) recipients
  • Solid Organ Transplantation (SOT) recipients
  • Children with malignancies
  • Children with primary immunodeficiencies
  • Children with autoinflammatory or autoimmune diseases receiving immunosuppressive therapies

Fellows will also gain extensive experience and training in the following areas:


  • Research project focused on infections in immunocompromised children
  • Submission of clinical, translational or basic science research grant

Educational Didactics

  • Participation/ presentations at Transplant Tuesday and Host Defense Program Journal Clubs
  • Development of institutional evidence-based protocols and clinical practice guidelines

Transplant Care Conferences

  • Participation in multidisciplinary meetings related to the care of the immunocompromised child and program enrichment

Clinical Experience

Clinical Experience Duration
ID Inpatient Consultations 12 to 20 Weeks
ID Outpatient Consultations & Pre-Transplant Evaluations 1/2 Day Clinic, Weekly
Transplant Infectious Disease (TID) Specific
HCT 4 Weeks
SOT: Heart/Lung/Kidney/Liver 4 Weeks
Adult Transplant ID at OSU 4 to 8 Weeks
Hematology: Sickle Cell and Bone Marrow Failure 4 Weeks
Primary Immunodeficiency & Lymphoproliferative Clinics
Laboratory, Pathology, & Transplant Pharmacology
2 to 4 Weeks

Clinical experience can be personalized to the HDP fellow's goals.




  • Danino D, Stanek J, Skeens M, Rangarajan H, Ardura MI. “Immunogenicity of early PCV13 vaccination in pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients,” 6th Annual St. Jude’s/PIDS 2019 Pediatric Transplant ID Symposium: Bench to Bedside, St. Jude’s Hospital, Memphis, TN March 7, 2019; oral presentation
  • Danino D, Stanek J, Skeens M, Rangarajan H, Ardura MI. “Adherence and immunogenicity of early vaccination in pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients” IDWeek, October 2-6, 2019, Washington DC; IDWeek Hot Zone oral poster presentation
  • Danino D, Stanek J, Rangarajan H, Ardura MI. “Burden of Vaccine-Preventable Infections among Pediatric Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Recipients.” 2020 TCT: Transplantation & Cellular Therapy (TCT) Meetings of ASTCT and CIBMTR, February 22, 2020, Orlando, FL; poster presentation
  • Danino D, Stanek J, Rangarajan H, Ardura MI. “Hospitalizations for vaccine-preventable infections among allogeneic and autologous pediatric hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients,” 38th annual European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID), Joint clinical and science track symposium: Infections in Children with Cancer; October 28, 2020, Rotterdam, Netherlands; oral poster presentation

Eligibility & Application

Eligible applicants must be:

  • Board certified in general pediatrics
  • Board certified or eligible in pediatric infectious diseases in the U.S. or Canada upon matriculation.
  • Able to obtain an Ohio medical licensure

Application Timeline

Application Review

  • Applications Accepted: January – March
  • Interviews: Mid-April – Mid-June
  • Fellowship Start Date: July 1st


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

  • Host Defense Fellowship Application
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation sent directly to the HDP fellowship program
  • USMLE or COMLEX scores
  • Transcript
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
  • ECFMG status report (include copy of certificate) *if applicable
  • Photo

Please send materials to:

Gina M. Pacheco
Education Coordinator
Host Defense Fellowship
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
700 Children’s Drive
Columbus OH 43205
Phone: 614-722-4864
Fax: 614-722-4458


Gina M. Pacheco
Education Coordinator
(614) 722-4864

Monica Ardura, DO, MSCS
Program Director