Fellowships for the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

History and Mission

2017-2018 Fellows
2017-2018 Fellows

At the University of North Carolina, we are proud of our history in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and excited about our future. Our fellowship program was founded in 1972 and has trained leaders in academics, government, and industry. We are committed to continuing this tradition.

We have a faculty dedicated to achieving all three aspects of our mission: patient care, research, and teaching. The unique strengths of our program include our nationally recognized hemophilia and bleeding disorder program, our affiliation with the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center, our combined Medicine-Pediatrics fellowship, collaborations with the School of Public Health and the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and our new program in cellular therapy. We are a growing, thriving center committed to training the next generation of leaders in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.


Fellows generally spend the first year in dedicated clinical rotations, with the the next two years 80% protected for research (clinical, basic or translational). Rotations, which fulfill ABP subspecialty board requirements, include four months on our inpatient general hematology-oncology service, three months in outpatient clinics (general hematology-oncology as well as dedicated sickle cell, hemophilia/thrombophilia, neuro-oncology, bone marrow transplantation, and survivorship clinics), two months of bone marrow transplant, two months with time on transfusion medicine/hemepath/radiation oncology/cytogenetics, and four weeks of vacation. During the second and third years of fellowship, fellows participate in a half-day per week continuity clinic. Weekend call during the research years averages every fourth weekend and there is no more than once-a-week night call.

Medicine-Pediatrics Combined Fellowship

For highly qualified applicants, the UNC Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Program and Medical Hematology-Oncology Program offer a combined training program. This program has trained more dual-boarded subspecialists than any other similar program in the country.

Individuals who are interested in this program should first apply to Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and declare their interest in correspondence with the Program Director.

Clinical Care

Dr. Rupa Redding-Lallinger with a patient.
Dr. Rupa Redding-Lallinger with a patient.

Our fellows have a rich clinical experience. We see over 100 new cancer patients yearly with a broad range of diagnoses. Our sickle cell and hemophilia clinics each follow several hundred patients. Our multidisciplinary team includes PNPs, RNs, social workers, school teachers, psychologists, recreational therapists, as well as colleagues in other divisions.
We care for a diverse population of patients from a wide variety of backgrounds. Our clinical care embodies the unofficial motto of the UNC Hospital system, “By and For the People of North Carolina,” and care is provided regardless of the family’s financial status.

Barbara Savoldo, MD, PhD, conducts research.
Barbara Savoldo, MD, PhD, conducts research.

As part of the top public university/top public medical school in the US, our fellows have unparalleled research opportunities in benign hematology, pharmacology, molecular biology, survivorship, epidemiology, gene therapy, and an exciting new commitment to cellular therapies. Research plans are established early during the first year to allow us to help fellows organize a Scholarship Oversight Committee as required by the ABP. We have had fellows engage in a wide range of research activities involving molecular biology, gene therapy of hemophilia, clinical hemophilia and thrombophilia, cancer epidemiology, survivorship, sickle cell disease, and palliative care.


Old Well
Fellows participate in a variety of educational activities including our multidisciplinary tumor board, patient case conferences, a journal club, and a pediatric hematology-oncology board review series. Fellows work on their presentation skills both in these forums and through teaching opportunities with the Pediatric Residency program.

Application Process

All fellowship applications should be completed through ERAS.

Address questions to:

Patrick A. Thompson, MD
Fellowship Program Director
Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
170 Manning Drive 1185A POB
CB #7236
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Email: patom@email.unc.edu

Chris Park
Chris Park is a native Nebraskan. He got out of Omaha for a little while, attending Rockhurst University in Kansas City, majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology. He then spent a few years in San Francisco working with at-risk teenagers. After that, it was back to the Cornhusker State for medical school and Pediatrics residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He and his wife, Allie, along with their dog, Sherman, are excited to explore their new home, and probably eat at Mediterranean Deli at least twice a week. Chris is also interested in finding that perfect clinical research project, and is excited about all the opportunities UNC has to offer.


Samuel Wilson
Samuel Wilson was born in Ottawa, Canada and moved to Naperville, IL as a young child. He went to Northwestern University where he majored in Cognitive Science. He went to medical school at the University of Michigan where he stayed to complete residency in combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics and officially became a Wolverine. He also met his amazing wife during their first year of medical school. He was drawn to UNC for fellowship due to the opportunity to pursue combined Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology and Adult Hematology training. He hopes to one day focus his clinical practice and research on the care of adults and children with sickle cell disease. He and his wife are expecting their first child in November. They are excited to start the next chapter of their lives in North Carolina although he will continue to bleed maize and blue!


Second-Year Fellows

Joshua Bies
Joshua Bies grew up in Yankton, South Dakota – a small town of 15,000 along the Missouri River in the southeast corner of the state. He went to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln where he majored in Biochemistry and Spanish, became a big Husker football fan, and met his future wife on a ballroom dance team. During college he studied abroad in Costa Rica for a semester to improve his Spanish and continues to work on it in clinical settings. After graduating he moved to Omaha, Nebraska where he completed medical school and pediatrics residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He has worked on a variety of basic science research projects throughout his education and is excited for the many opportunities that UNC has to offer. He and his wife are kept busy by their 2 year old son and by exploring the new things North Carolina has to offer, such as trips to the ocean and the Museum of Life and Science.


Brendan Kleiboer
Brendan Kleiboer was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. He earned a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan in 2007. He spent 3 years in Dallas, TX volunteering with AmeriCorps where he led an after-school tutoring program in inner-city Dallas. He met his wife volunteering in the same after-school program. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and completed his pediatric residency at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC. His research interests include coagulopathies, quality of life, palliative medicine, and medical education. He was attracted to UNC because of its strong reputation in benign hematology and broad research opportunities available at this top-notch public university. When not at work, Brendan is an avid cook and a veteran home brewer. He also enjoys endurance racing events – his proudest accomplishments include completing the Chicago Triathlon and the 212-mile Blue Ridge Relay, and living to tell about both.


Third-Year Fellows

Patrick Ellsworth
Patrick Ellsworth is participating in a combined Adult and Pediatric Hematology-Oncology fellowship and is currently in the adult portion of his training. He earned a BA in German from The University of Utah and completed his last three semesters at the University of Heidelberg where her solidified his fluency in German, taught English, and became a fan of Bundesliga soccer. When he returned to the US he earned his Doctor of Medicine from The Ohio State University and then completed training in the University of Rochester combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program. Patrick chose UNC because of the unique opportunity it provided for dual training in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Medical Hematology. Patrick’s primary interest is the transition of care from pediatric to adult medicine for non-malignant hematologic conditions, especially sickle cell disease. He is also an advocate for increasing access to hydroxyurea in developing countries and is interested working in the developing world at some point in his career. For his research Patrick is interested in studying hypercoagulability in sickle cell disease and understanding phenotypic variation between patients. Outside of medicine, Patrick maintains his sanity through family and hobbies. He is the father of 4 boys, with whom he enjoys hiking, playing soccer, geocaching, and anything else that takes them outside (most recently skateboarding!). Patrick’s other interests include reading, movies, music of all genres, playing guitar, and drawing. He is also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. His favorite new North Carolina food is Maple View Farm Homemade Ice Cream.

UNC Global Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

The Program: UNC Project Malawi

Annex building

  • 25-year collaboration between UNC and Malawi Ministry of Health (MOH), established in 1991
  • >350 employees in Malawi, 40,000-square foot Tidziwe building and a new Annex building that opened in 2016, both on KCH campus
  • Training site for Fogarty, Doris Duke, and Fulbright Fellowships
  • Clinical trial site for protocols implemented through numerous multinational NIH-sponsored networks
  • Links: Malawi Cancer Consortium, UNC-Project Malawi, UNC IGHID

The Site: Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH)

  • Located in the capital of Malawi – Lilongwe
  • 1000-bed public tertiary care hospital. Pediatrics is the largest department at KCH with 250 beds but admits up to 500 children during malaria season.
  • National teaching hospital with rotating Malawian medical students and residents
  • Pediatric Oncology at KCH is serving a catchment area of around 8 million people (Central and Northern Malawi), and Malawian children from the South are referred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre. We are the only 2 centers treating cancer in the country.
Malawi map
Malawi Kamuzu hospital
Malawi Kamuzu Hospital
Malawi Pediatric Ward
Pediatric Ward

Pediatric Heme-Onc Clinical Activities

  • UNC works in collaboration with KCH and Texas Children’s & Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation Malawi.
  • With UNC and MOH collaboration, we established a pathology lab in 2011. Weekly telepathology conferences are held between USA and Malawi.
  • We have access to chemotherapy and supportive cares, but limited access to pediatric surgery and no access to radiation.
  • The most common cancers that we treat at KCH are: Burkitt Lymphoma, Hodgkin Lymphoma, Kaposi Sarcoma, Acute Leukemia, Wilms’ Tumor, Neuroblastoma, Rhabdomyosarcoma, retinoblastoma, and bone sarcomas.
  • UNC lab initiated hemoglobin electrophoresis testing in 2014.

Pediatric Heme-Onc Research Activities

  • UNC has an ongoing prospective lymphoma study since 2013 and a prospective sickle cell cohort since 2014.
  • UNC serves as a site for the multinational NIH-sponsored Burkitt Lymphoma Trial Network.
    Malawi team
    Malawi Team

In the News!

Scientific Output:

  • Translation, psychometric validation, and baseline results of the patient-reported outcomes measurement information system (PROMIS) pediatric measures to assess health-related quality of life of pediatric lymphoma patients in Malawi (In-Press)
  • Risk factors and reasons for treatment abandonment among children with lymphoma in Malawi. Pubmed Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28986643
  • Dissecting heterogeneous outcomes for paediatric Burkitt lymphoma in Malawi after anthracycline-based treatment. PubMed Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28714257https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28714257
  • Beyond Endemic Burkitt Lymphoma: Navigating Challenges of Differentiating Childhood Lymphoma Diagnoses Amid Limitations in Pathology Resources in Lilongwe, Malawi. PubMed Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28680947
  • Plasma Epstein-Barr virus DNA for pediatric Burkitt lymphoma diagnosis, prognosis and response assessment in Malawi. PubMed Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28268254https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28268254
  • Quantifying bias in survival estimates resulting from loss to follow-up among children with lymphoma in Malawi. PubMed Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27896944
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma, HIV, and Epstein-Barr Virus in Malawi: Longitudinal Results from the Kamuzu Central Hospital Lymphoma Study. PubMed Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27781380
  • Outcomes for paediatric Burkitt lymphoma treated with anthracycline-based therapy in Malawi. PubMed Link
  • Establishing sickle cell diagnosis and characterizing a paediatric sickle cell disease cohort in Malawi. PubMed Link