Research Pathway

Our pediatric residency program supports the Integrated Research Pathway (IRP) and Accelerated Research Pathway (ARP). Both Pathways are approved mechanisms for pediatric residency training by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP).

What You Need to Know

  • Residents in the IRP receive 24 months of clinical training and up to 12 months of formal, mentored research during three years of residency.
  • Residents conduct research at two sites: (1) The Abigail Wexner Research Institute (AWRI) at Nationwide Children’s – one of the top 10 NIH-funded independent pediatric research institutions; and (2) The Ohio State University main campus.
  • Residents completing the IRP or ARP are eligible for certification in general pediatrics after an additional 12 months of clinical training in an accredited subspecialty fellowship program.
  • Mentorship is the central feature of resident research success. A customized mentoring committee of seasoned investigators in the AWRI is assembled for each resident accepted into the IRP. A research mentor is then identified based on the applicant’s research and career interests.
  • Flexibility is the key to structuring the research experience, which is generally distributed in blocks of 3-5 months duration.
  • Residents have successfully competed for intramural funding from Nationwide Children’s and extramural funding as recipients of the American Academy of Pediatrics Resident Research Grant and the Physician Scientist Development Program (NIH K12 award).
  • Residents in the IRP and ARP are encouraged and supported to present their findings at regional and national meetings, where they have garnered awards from the Society for Pediatric Research.

Additional details are available regarding the ARPIRP and OSU research.

Application Process and Contact Information

Applicants interested in the ARP or IRP should apply to the Nationwide Children’s and The Ohio State University Pediatrics Research Pathway through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), NRMP Program Code 1351320C2. Applicants to this pathway will have a half day interview with our Categorical Pediatrics Program and a half day interview with our Research Pathway leadership team, where you will have opportunities to meet with potential mentors in your area of interest.

If you have questions regarding the Research Pathway at Nationwide Children's, contact Brian Becknell, MD, PhD, at

IRP participants receive an annual scientific travel stipend and a personal laptop computer.


Julie Tomolonis, MD, PhD (PGY-2)

  • Medical and Graduate School: Baylor College of Medicine
  • IRP Mentor: Timothy Cripe, MD, PhD

Alison Brittain, DO, PhD (PGY-3)

  • Medical and Graduate School: Ohio University
  • IRP Mentor: Roshini Abraham, PhD

Samantha Coss, MD, PhD

research resident spotlight august 2023

Samantha Coss, MD, PhD grew up in Erie, PA, and attended Johns Hopkins University. She earned her MD and PhD degrees through the Medical Scientist Training Program at The Ohio State University, studying adaptive immunity in mothers with hepatitis C. As a pediatric resident at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, she participated in the Integrated Research Pathway, working with Dr. Chack-Yung Yu, D.Phil. in the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute. Dr. Coss is the recipient of the Pediatric Scientist Development Program AAP/APS Scholarship. She is presently a first-year fellow in the Division of Rheumatology at Nationwide Children’s. We had the opportunity to ask Dr. Coss some questions about her clinical and research interests:

How Did You Identify an Interest in Rheumatology?

“Rheumatology is the perfect field for an MD PhD with an interest in the immune system. There’s a ton of immunology, which I love, and it’s great if you like being a diagnostician because of the variety of cases we see. Pediatric Rheumatology is especially gratifying because you can change the course of your patients’ lives for the better in a way that they can see day-to-day. And there’s so much room for new discoveries and clinical trials!”

Research with Dr. Yu

“I have been working to broaden my research exposure and skill set by working on the molecular and genetic features of pediatric rheumatologic diseases like juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM). I am really interested in continuing the work that has been done by other brilliant physician scientists linking the clinical phenotype of disease with patients’ genetic backgrounds and immune profiles. Eventually, I would love to bridge the work I am doing with Dr. Yu with my background in cellular immunology to understand how innate immunity, such as the complement system, and adaptive immunity, such as T cells, interact to drive disease phenotypes in JDM and other diseases.”

Meet Our Alumni

Graduates of the ARP and IRP have subsequently received K08 and R01 funding from the NIH and achieved international stature as leaders in their areas of clinical and research focus.

Graduates of the ARP and IRP at Nationwide Children's Hospital include:

Samantha Coss, MD, PhD
Pediatric Scientist Development Program AAP/APS Scholar
Division of Rheumatology
Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Matthew Wiet, MD
Division of Cardiology
Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Carl Allen, MD, PhD
Division of Hematology and Oncology
Baylor University College of Medicine

David Hains, MD
Division of Nephrology and Hypertension
Riley Children’s Hospital

Carl Backes, Jr., MD
Division of Cardiology
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Center for Perinatal Research
Abigail Wexner Research Institute

Elizabeth Bonachea, MD
Division of Perinatal Medicine
Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Sam El Assal, MD, PhD
Department of Emergency Medicine
Northeast Ohio Medical University

Brian Becknell, MD, PhD
Division of Nephrology and Hypertension
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Kidney and Urinary Tract Center
Abigail Wexner Research Institute

Ryan Roberts, MD, PhD
Division of Hematology and Oncology
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Center for Childhood Cancer
Abigail Wexner Research Institute

Kathryn Dickerson, MD
Division of Hematology and Oncology
Dallas Children’s Hospital

Michael Thompson, MD, PhD
Division of Endocrinology
St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Jeff Bennett, MD, PhD
Division of Cardiology
Cleveland Clinic

Amanda Campbell, MD, PhD
Division of Hematology and Oncology
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Center for Childhood Cancer
Abigail Wexner Research Institute

Nimisha Bajaj, MD, PhD
Division of Palliative Care
Akron Children’s Hospital