Second and Third Year

For complete information, please view our Brochure and Application for Fellowship (PDF)

Research Training
Continuing Clinical Training
Clinical Pharmacology Training

Research Training

The Baylor College of Medicine Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Training Program emphasizes the importance of achieving significant research expertise and productivity during fellowship training. A strong foundation in research is critically important to the development of a successful academic career. The fellow’s education in research actually begins during the initial orientation month. The Fundamentals of Clinical Investigation course introduces the fellow to the concepts of research design and data analysis. During this initial orientation period (and throughout the fellowship), trainees learn about clinical research through their exposure to and involvement in the many ongoing clinical trials and study protocols at the Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Hematology Service. This includes the Center’s clinical trials, those of the Children’s Oncology Group, and those related to other collaborative research efforts, including the NCI-sponsored Brain Tumor Consortium, the NIHsupported Pediatric Pharmacology Research Unit and the Glaser Pediatric Research Network. As the fellows attend the Center’s weekly teaching conferences, they are exposed to the presentation and interpretation of research data by multiple clinical researchers and laboratory investigators. At weekly Research Seminars, faculty and outside guest speakers present and discuss their research. Visiting speakers often meet with the fellows in lunchtime discussion sessions.

Beginning in the middle of their first year, trainees attend a series of special presentations given by laboratory and clinical research-oriented investigators. These sessions are designed to familiarize the fellows with the specific research being conducted in the Program’s many laboratories. Physician-scientists in the 26 laboratories within the Cancer Center perform research in molecular oncology, cancer genetics, cancer genomics, cell and gene therapy, pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, neuro-oncology, tumor immunology, transplantation and stem cell biology, and research hematology.

A senior member of the Education Committee organizes this series of presentations. During the subsequent two to three months, fellows make individual follow-up appointments with selected faculty members of their choosing to further discuss research opportunities. Fellows may also explore research opportunities within other research groups and laboratories throughout Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Medical Center. By the end of May of their first year, with guidance from their mentor, the Program Director and their Scholarship Oversight Committee, each fellow selects a research mentor and laboratory or clinical research project.

Subsequently, during the second and third years of the training program, the fellows have an extended protected period with limited clinical responsibilities in order to pursue their independent research project under the supervision of their research mentor. Approximately 80% of the fellows’ time is committed to their research projects. The goal of training during this time is for the fellow to develop the research skills and training necessary to ultimately become a productive and successful independent clinical or laboratory investigator. Because this process often requires more than three years, fellows are encouraged to spend an additional year on their research.

Excellent mentorship is a hallmark of this Fellowship Training Program. Fellows receive in-depth training in their selected clinical or basic research interest, under the mentorship of a committed senior faculty research mentor. Senior faculty mentors are dedicated to ensuring that each fellow receives the guidance and direction necessary to develop a successful career in academic pediatric hematology-oncology. Fellows are responsible for carrying out an independent research project under the receives support from a faculty advisory committee. This committee, which includes the research mentor and additional faculty members with expertise in the fellow’s area of research, meets with the fellow twice each year to assist in ensuring that the fellow has a productive and successful research experience.

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Continuing Clinical Training

In order to maintain and enhance fellows’ clinical skills during this extended research period, all fellows have basic clinical responsibilities that involve a total of 20% of their time. Fellows rotate in the weekend coverage schedule, spend one-half day per week in the clinic seeing their own continuity patients and others when time allows. They also spend one month each year in the BMT unit. Upon completion of the 36-month training period, the trainees will have spent approximately 50% of their time in the various clinical settings and the other 50% engaged in research activities. In addition, fellows continue to participate in the ongoing schedule of educational conferences, tumor boards and research seminars — all of which serve to enhance the fellowship educational experience.

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Clinical Pharmacology Training

Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Hematology Service has an exceptionally strong clinical and laboratory research program in clinical pharmacology. For example, the program is the site of one of only 13 NIH-funded Pediatric Pharmacology Research Units in the U.S. Pediatric hematology-oncology fellows interested in a career in cancer pharmacology may choose to participate in the Baylor College of Medicine Clinical Pharmacology Fellowship Training Program. These fellows pursue research in the laboratories of the Developmental Therapeutics Program of the pediatric hematology-oncology section during their second and third years of fellowship. Their fourth year is spent in didactic coursework offered at the University of Houston School of Pharmacy in the Texas Medical Center. Following a fifth year, during which individuals rotate through several different clinical pharmacology rotations, trainees become eligible to sit for Boards in Clinical Pharmacology.

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Page modified on September 16, 2021